Originally Posted by teckstud
Wrong- look to the RAZR which shows why relying on one phone will eventually do you in. The cell phone market is a highly fickle market. 3 years into the market and the fact is Apple has only 1 cellphone available and to the general public, it's getting stale. Where is the Nano version?
Also, this will be played out much differently than the PC game of the 1980's because here you have a very important deciding factor - AT&T
which is getting slammed almost daily now. Funny how no posts are factoring in AT&T's badwill.
This is one of those rare occasions where I actually agree with TeckStud. I think people who are roundly dismissing Android are making a serious mistake, and I hope there aren't many of them sitting around inside 1 infinite loop.
There are many parallels between what is going on now in the smartphone space and what went on between Apple and M$ in the early years. Then Apple tied itself to one hardware manufacturer (itself) and they could never produce enough hardware to meet demand. Now the constraint is in provision of services their devices need to be useful / functional; the dependence upon AT&T cannot have any effect other than to limit market penetration, for obvious reasons. Recent experiences in markets where Apple is prohibited from exclusivity in contracts proves this point; in those markets Apple has surged when the artificial constraint of exclusivity has been removed.
A second factor operating in the Android market is hardware innovation / cycles. No matter how hard Apple works to produce new and exciting hardware, Apple will never be able to keep up with 30 other companies all trying to bring product to market at the same time. It is almost inevitable that the iPhone will become stale in the minds of some consumers. In a market crowded with many devices of varying form factors, all of which provide a user experience that is close
to Apple's, the value proposition that drives iPhone becomes less distinct. Thus far Apple has enjoyed having a very polished and integrated user experience that has surpassed everyone else by leaps and bounds. However, when the gap is narrowed, it is clear what happens; consumers become more influenced by other factors. This occurred after the introduction of Windows XP, which was 'close enough' to Mac OS that many consumers could not tell the difference. In that environment, they became influenced by other factors, factors like : 'gee, it costs more to buy that mac than a pc', and 'I can buy a pc at my local box store but I have to go to that weird mac dealer across town to get a mac', and 'there are 85 bajillion software apps for this PC here in this store, and only 10 for those macs.' In the absence of something compelling to convince the user to buy the mac, the purchase choice is obvious. If apple is not careful, the same logic will begin to emerge for iPhone.
These factors all played a huge role in the M$ market victory over Apple. Don't cry foul - M$ did
win in the market, which is why Apple has 10% and M$ has 90%. Apple is content to be the niche player now
, but that is because Apple has reinvented itself to be that company. Apple was not always the market niche; it was the market leader, and it lost that lead to M$, and that is what we are talking about here. Apple presently enjoys a lead in software and in user experience. If Android manages to narrow the gap appreciably in user experience (and it is arguably true that it already has), then consumer logic will begin to be driven by other factors, some of which I mentioned above. As the resulting Android share grows, so will the Android software base. What will happen when Android is on 30 devices sold through every major carrier, and when the Android marketplace has 8 or 9 thousand apps? At that point, the iPhone value proposition will be dramatically less clear than it is now to the average consumer, and they will wonder 'why should I switch to AT&T when I can get three of these Android phones from my present carrier at the same price point?".
The Android strategy is not that different from the M$ strategy in the 80's and 90's, and Apple's position with iPhone is not that different from their position with MacOS then. I really hope someone at Apple is looking at these parallels and thinking about how they can break out of the pattern this time and avoid the results.