Originally Posted by TenoBell
(...) No matter how brilliant they could be, products do not market and sell themselves. Their are lots of great ideas that failed because they were poorly positioned or poorly marketed.
The iPhone came to a market that was already saturated with choices. In the time the iPhone has been available their have been a lot of new phones. In tying the iPhone to partner carriers Apple has given the iPhone a supportive foundation. As that carrier is now invested in the success of the iPhone.
This also gives the iPhone a sense of cache and exclusivity which I think many of you here are complaining about. But the result of that is people want it even more. I know people who weren't even thinking about buying an Apple product a year ago who are lusting after an iPhone.
The iPhone isn't successful simply because Apple put it out there. Its successful because of how it has been positioned and marketed. Especially in the crowded mobile phone market.
There was no guarantee of the iPhones success. It could have been as easily ignored as many products have been.
You have to also realize what happens in Europe doesn't necessarily effect us in the US. We don't really use the same phones. We mostly use phones from companies based in the US. Just as Europe mostly uses Nokia and Sony/Ericcson.
TenoBell, you have just proven me right - all your talk is US centric talk. Why do you Americans think you are the world and the rest is 'jungle'? Can't you see that, just in terms of population, the EU alone is almost twice as big as the US?! Can you not see that EU cellular penetration is much higher than US's, that many people buy unsubsidised-unlocked cellphones, that most non-smartphone people in the EU carry two or more phones with pre-paid/pay-as-you-go sim cards with them the whole time? With this kind of self-centeredness you lose sight of it all. Oh, I forgot, Europeans don't pay for any communications we receive, only for the ones we make...
And you mean that Motorola doesn't sell here? You also mean that US cell operators are not turning to european de facto world standard GSM (over 85% and increasing phones in the world are GSM)?!
The EU happens to be the world center for cellphones the same way it happens to be the world center for the travel industry. So what? It's not to say our grass is greener than yours, it means that if you're doing business in the global market and setting yourself global with the products you sell but still you outright ignore this in terms of marketing and address your biggest markets with your rear, you're setting yourself up to a big tumble. Japan is also much bigger than the US, not just in terms of volume but of value too, they're crazy about their technology and phones, used to spend big money on bells&whistles. And, contrary to any expectations, so it seems China is.
You know why the EU is a bigger cellphone market than the US and people of all classes have so many phones? Because it's a far more competitive environment. I'm saying the US is a far more protective dinosauric environment in terms of telecoms. Why do you think the 700MHz band rules that are now being auctioned were formulated to create freedom of choice?
Steve knows all this, I'm sure, and I'm sure he simply couldn't launch a 3G iPhone to date thus not launching the iPhone globally. Still, 6 months after the US launch, he went to push the same 1st generation models to Europeans? Why do you think they're not selling that much?!
Do you mean being from AT&T gives "cache"?! Maybe that's why over 35% of them are bought to get unlocked, maybe that's why so many are screaming about having to be forced into using such a "cache" network.
The iPhone needed support from a carrier to get noticed: could you be more mistaken?! Are you telling me the iPhone got noticed because of AT&T?! HTC, for example, which sells 3 to 4 times what Apple sells (if I'm not mistaken), is a tiny company compared to Apple and they didn't start selling "supported by carriers", they started selling their phones unlocked and they are still at it for almost every model if not all. There are some carriers that rebrand HTC but those same models are available unlocked for not much more.
Sure there are phones that are subsidised by operators but then it's your choice if you want to buy it cheaper upfront only to pay the difference on the huge monthly obligatory fee, with 18-24 months contract duration. You lose your freedom AND it's not cheaper, it's just cheaper upfront. I mean, would carriers lose money on you? How could they afford their own absurd salaries?
The fact that the iPhone was coming to a saturated market only helped it become successful, why do you present it negatively as if it was an adversity? It was really the best possible scenario for a "think different" company such as Apple and the main reason for its success - not only was the iPhone different from the large majority of (crappy) phones but it had the chance to teach everyone how a cellphone these days is supposed to be.
Forget about the difference between smartphones, dumbphones or plainphones, they're all turning into media players + personal digital assistants + gps devices + internet/email/sms/voice communicators - ALL of them! Studies have just now shown it, even the cheapo guy is ditching its lackluster voice only cellphone to go run buy a MID - mobile internet device, iPhone or otherwise.
At the end of the day, success in this business is all about timing, really. Steve has set himself up against every major tech manufacturer there is on Earth - not just computers anymore - and he's still thinking "US and the rest of the world"?! If he doesn't wake up pronto - and I mean until mid-year at the most - and launches an array of new products with a globally centric marketing strategy, he will be in for a big surprise.
You see, Bill Gates needed Apple to innovate so that MSFT would emulate, they even invested 150 Million USD so that Apple would survive at one point in time. HTC doesn't need Apple, Nokia doesn't need Apple, HP doesn't need Apple - the future of the industry is already clear for every player: it's a computer+tv+phone+music+gps+games+... convergence. Having established that set-in-stone truth, it's only a matter of designing beautiful and effective GUIs and believe you me, there are plenty of designers in the world and plenty of cheaper high quality electronics manufacturers out there. After all, Apple doesn't manufacture anymore, they have it done in Taiwan. So does everybody else.
Even if they would need Apple to invent what they would emulate and improve, history will repeat itself because Apple doesn't really
have a presence in all those markets that really matter
and this time the man is not just up against MSFT but also SONY, Nokia, Samsung, Phillips, Toshiba, HTC, LG, MSFT, Google, Siemens, DELL, Garmin (formerly a GPS only company, do you thing TomTom will wait much longer?), I can't recall all the names in the electronics industry, etc. etc. etc. Oh I forgot about VODAFONE, with this loony approach to sales, VODA has become an Apple competitor too, rebranding exclusive Samsung models [F700]!
Even Asus will have a cellphone sometime soon. Why not, it's all turning into a handheld computer, it is Mobile Internet Devices (MID) and every computer and tablet and phone and piece of hardware will soon have a radio module that'll do 3.5G, GPRS/Edge/GSM, FM Radio, TV, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi etc. in every frequency there is on Mother Earth, it's not just a tiny phone anymore.
Even TV set manufacturers will eventually become competitors of Apple and manufacturers or rebranders of computers, handheld, laptop or desktop - HDTVs are computers! HP has a 50" HDTV Media Center, i.e. an HDTV with a computer built-in. Hello, where's the 50" iMac?! Anytime soon?
All this because it's is a global world and global means convergence and when you don't think global + convergence but convergence only [even not that much if you note there's no 40"/50" iMac still], you have already lost.
Want more proof it's a global world? The iPhone is working in more than 40 countries when it is only sold in 4. That's 10 times! It should be otherwise, it should now
be that the [current model] iPhone would be sold unlocked in 165 countries in the world and should any cellphone operator be willing to subsidise it, well let'em do it, why the heck not?!
Let's trust Jobs has some kind of card up his sleeve and shows it soon.
PS: months ago, I mean months after the iPhone launched, I went to the AT&T web site and struggled to find the iPhone there. I didn't, not even in the professional area. And this was many months after your so-called AT&T supported iPhone launch. Don't you know AT&T hates the iPhone? They hate it because it represents the market revolution which will make them/cell operators obsolete. They hate it because it's coming from a computer company. They hate it because it means they must give up being utterly incompetent and monopoly driven to actually have to try and look competent. Do you mean that since AT&T was all that supportive of the iPhone, the public was unfair by only 1 in 5 iPhone buyers [or fewer] going to AT&T shops/web site to buy?
Disclosure: author is long AAPL and hurting big time. Demands Steve to 'innovate' his way out of downfall immediately.