Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon.
Nobody creates in a vacuum.
Apple does take a product area where they see room for improvement and go into that market if it's within their core competency. And they're good at it because they choose their fights very carefully and don't spread themselves too thinly.
They aren't perfect.
But the iPhone? When it was launched? Blew the competition in smart phones out the water. The 1st useable internet phone/browser/smartphone...integrated with best in class mp3 player. Apple went in...and swept all players away. It's only a matter of time before Apple chase down Nokia in unit sales.
They made a few 'mistakes' along the way. eg Pricing of iPHone was horrendous to start with, and single carrier exclusives and no 3G. However, the exclusivity thing allowed them the 'control' Apple need to make a product. Now they've got the kinks ironed out in the product, SDK, app store, 3G they've opened it up to software developers, made it cheaper and offered it to more carriers and countries. The 3GS iPhone is the ultimate in smartphones to me. The rest seem very 'me too' despite their hype, palm, droid and the vapour ware M$ phone.
Google. Yeah. Some may say they're a 'snake in the grass' (yeah, one of your primary competitors sitting on the board...not sure how that works...) But who cares? If they are to mobile and web computing like M$ was and is to desktops? Are we worried? I use Google's search engine. That's all. Anything else they do? Anything great? Gmail? Don't use it. Use Yahoo. Free apps? Don't use them. Use Apple's apps. Interface? Hmm. Seem like cheap ass M$ copy interfaces to me. I like Apple's interfaces. Simpler and more intuitive.
Google phone? Is it here yet? Competition? Bring it on. It's not like Apple like's sitting still. I think they have their answer ready and waiting. Apple knows how to compete in their new arena of consumer electronics. They have nearly 300 Apple stores and counting. They have carriers. They are getting MORE carriers on board. Hell. They even have Tesco on board in the UK. Carphone warehouse. 02. Orange. And Vodaphone soon probably. So, if you want an iPhone, it's not like you can't get one.
Will the Google phone have a better interface? I doubt it but we'll see. Being a 'good copy' won't be enough. Will they have an app store of 100K and counting apps? Will it be easy to develop for with it's hundreds of different models? Will it be as intuitive? Faster? Easier to use? Have more games? And even if they pull level or SOMEHOW get ahead. How much ahead will a fractured eco system be?
Apple can do VOIP if they want to. Apple are building a data centre. I wouldn't rule Apple ultimately buying out ATT or doing their own 'cloud pipe' over the internet. It's not like Apple aren't aware of these issues.
This isn't the Apple of the early 1990s. They aren't asleep. They have Steve Jobs. They a great executive team who performed very well in Steve's absence. These 'me too' phones have the benefit of being 'new' then what do they do? They gain little traction because they are far behind. Physical k'boards are so 20th century. 30 apps in your app store is so smartphones last century. Have clunky interfaces that don't work or 'novelty' touch that doesn't work. So last century.
Apple lets them fire their ammo'. 2010 is just around the corner. And yet another iPhone update will be upon us.
People seem to forget...the iPhone is Apple's 1st foray into smartphones. Yep. First. And they went in as a 'software platform'. That's what alot of the other guys just don't get. Apple dropped a mountain on them with tehat paradigm shift. That's why Nokia are gurning. They got outcompeted in 2 years. Nokia sat on their Phone market for 20 years. Apple's going to improve the iPhone. I'd expect 200K plus apps at the store soon. I'd expect a price shave if any nearly serious competition turns up. I'd expect more carriers. I'd expect a hardware 'redesign' aka slimmer iPhone this year. And I think an iPhone 'nano' may...just be in the works...but she's keeping very quiet... Apple's only just getting started.
And let us not forget 'the beast' (slate) and 'another' (nano) they will compound the competition's fears. The 'slate' is a casual computing iPhone/iPod touch. Selling 4 million of them a year is only going to add to the iPHONE OS PLATFORM (which adds to the Mac Os X platform...)
Apple. Ready and waiting with the chainsaw.
Lemon Bon Bon.