iPhone dominates Mobile World Congress 2009 without Apple

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
While reports have suggested that Apple may attend next year's CES to "sit amongst its competition" in consumer electronics, the company has elected not to attend the GSMA Mobile World Congress being held in Barcelona this week. That hasn't stopped the iPhone from dominating talk at the mobile conference.



Journalists seem to find it hard to cover any news coming out of the event without mentioning Apple's smartphone by name as a point of reference, even when the announcements seemingly have nothing to do with Apple.



Skype's new bundling deals with handset makers Nokia and Sony Ericsson were nearly dismissed for being irrelevant because the addition of VoIP applications would only make their phones less attractive to the US mobile providers who control what units are sold here. The exception cited by reports is Apple's iPhone, which negotiated the availability VoIP over WiFi without losing AT&T's blessing or subsidy.



The announcement of Cisco's new WebEx software for modern BlackBerry, Nokia, and Samsung models also had to point out that the iPhone 3G had already gained those features via an earlier software release.



Nokia's unveiling of its Ovi software store and Microsoft's announcement of its plans to open SkyMarket later this year both required comparisons to Apple's barn storming iPhone App Store, which has already moved a half billion apps since it opened last year.



Similarly, Sony Ericsson's announcement of MediaGo, a new service that will enable users to upload full length movies to specific models of the company's phones via a PC, required comparison to the iPhone's integration with iTunes, which has been able to do that since it first appeared in 2007. MediaGo transcodes various videos into a format that will playback well on mobile devices, avoiding phone compatibility errors such as "incompatible format," "unsuitable frame rate," or "incorrect aspect ratio." iPhone users don't ever see those errors because Apple thought to specify a standardized, optimized video format for the iPhone: H.264; iTunes doesn't allow incompatible video formats to be loaded onto the iPhone without first passing through QuickTime for transcoding.



The next release of Microsoft's Windows Mobile 6.5, planned for the end of 2009, as well as the introduction of new devices planned to run it, including new models from LG, also required comparisons with the features already present in the iPhone OS.



The Mobile World Congress seems to serve as a worldwide report card outlining how well the iPhone's competitors (apart from Google's largely MIA Android) are doing in their efforts to catch up to Apple.



Speak software and carry a big schtick



Apple's conspicuous absence from the annual mobile conference should come as no surprise. While the company achieved spectacular sales figures at the launch of the iPhone 3G, Apple is still a small newcomer in the mobile industry and guards its public announcements carefully.



Much of the recent attention related to the iPhone has stemmed from the company's ability to implement the first very successful mobile software store, resulting in thousands of apps that turn the iPhone into anything that third party developers can imagine. While other mobile platforms claim larger software libraries, they can't claim games from top tier developers, nor similar flocks of attention from other mobile programmers attracted to the revenues Apple's secured store is collecting to fuel new development.



Apple also leverages its ability to whip up excitement among consumers to gain media attention right at the moment its new hardware releases are ready. That affords the company far more visibility than if it were to regularly issue piecemeal details on upcoming hardware releases.



With the third major revision to the iPhone expected in June, any announcements made this week by Apple would likely result in only dampening interest in the current model while robbing the company of any element of surprise once the next revision is ready to hit the market. Apple's dramatic releases provide the company with surges of attention right when it helps the company most.



Despite representing just 1% of the global market for all mobile phones, Apple briefly became the third-largest mobile phone supplier in terms of revenue during the company's fiscal fourth quarter of 2008.



That peak in sales at the launch of the iPhone 3G also gave Apple over 17% of the worldwide smartphone market according to Canalys, eclipsing even red hot RIM in unit shipments worldwide. It also pushed Apple over its goal (well ahead of schedule) of selling ten million units in its second year, something many analysts were expressing doubts about the company meeting even as late as early 2007.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 39
    from what I've seen coming out of this event, the claim that Jobs made about the iPhone being 5 years ahead of everyone else seems to be pretty accurate, there is nothing from that event that is impressing me at all.
  • Reply 2 of 39
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member
    Quote:

    Journalists seem to find it hard to cover any news coming out of the event without mentioning Apple's smartphone by name as a point of reference, even when the announcements seemingly have nothing to do with Apple.



    In the American press, certainly. Around the world? Not so much.



    Quote:

    While other mobile platforms claim larger software libraries, they can't claim games from top tier developers



    As much as it's derided, Nokia's N-Gage games platform does have top tier companies developing for it. Check out Metal Gear Solid from Konami, for example. The reports out of Nokia suggest that the N-Gage platform is a very profitable business for Nokia.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Walter Slocombe View Post


    from what I've seen coming out of this event, the claim that Jobs made about the iPhone being 5 years ahead of everyone else seems to be pretty accurate, there is nothing from that event that is impressing me at all.



    I don't know. I still think that the Palm Pre looks interesting (especially the GSM version shown at WMC) and the Samsung Omnia HD looks very interesting too. Apple still has a lead in apps and overall UI design, but that lead is being eroded - especially when other phones have better displays and better hardware.
  • Reply 3 of 39
    Check out the SE Idou.
  • Reply 4 of 39
    [ed: OK, Let's not let this get out of hand any more]
  • Reply 5 of 39
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by RichL View Post


    Apple still has a lead in apps and overall UI design, but that lead is being eroded - especially when other phones have better displays and better hardware.



    I concur, the competition is catching up. The next iPhone must do something pretty impressive to pull away into the lead.
  • Reply 6 of 39
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by caliminius View Post


    [...] software that will automatically re-encode your video for you and then sync it to your device?



    You don't have to convert videos manually. This is exactly what iTunes does: it will re-encode for you and sync automatically to the iPhone or iPod. No hassles.





    Cheers,

    _iCeb0x_
  • Reply 7 of 39
    mark2005mark2005 Posts: 1,158member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by RichL View Post


    I don't know. I still think that the Palm Pre looks interesting (especially the GSM version shown at WMC) and the Samsung Omnia HD looks very interesting too. Apple still has a lead in apps and overall UI design, but that lead is being eroded - especially when other phones have better displays and better hardware.



    When you compare a phone released in July 2008 to phones to be released around May 2009 (Pre) or later, surely the lead will look like it's being eroded. But do you know what Apple will release in July 2009 (which will be before the release of most of the phones being announced this week)?



    As for the Omnia, it's been around for as long as iPhone 3G, though mostly in Asia and Europe, but has garnered much less in sales and interest. It does have a longer list of features than iPhone, but in the same way as happened with the iPod, it's not having the longest list of features that will win out in consumer electronics, but having the best overall experience (i.e., most important features integrated together, and ease-of-use).
  • Reply 8 of 39
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mark2005 View Post


    When you compare a phone released in July 2008 to phones to be released around May 2009 (Pre) or later, surely the lead will look like it's being eroded. But do you know what Apple will release in July 2009 (which will be before the release of most of the phones being announced this week)?



    No-one outside of Cupertino knows what the next iPhone will look like. I'm sure it will raise the bar once again. However, it's impossible to compare these new phones against something that hasn't been even announced yet.



    Quote:

    As for the Omnia, it's been around for as long as iPhone 3G, though mostly in Asia and Europe, but has garnered much less in sales and interest.



    The one announced at WMC is the Omnia HD, not the standard Omnia. It's a different kettle of fish completely. Check it out.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bavlondon2 View Post


    Check out the SE Idou.



    I like the Xenon flash. Not so keen on the lack of a 3.5mm headphone socket.
  • Reply 9 of 39
    rainrain Posts: 538member
    My wife and I can spend 2 weeks at a 5 star all-inclusive resort in the Caribbean, buy a new 10 megapixel camera and wardrobe for the trip... for the same price Rogers wants for an iPhone.



    The iPhone just doesn't make sense up here in Canada.

    3 years is just way too long of a contract. It's almost like financing a car ffs



    All these smart phones have the same problem... the carriers. I think that most people who need or can afford a smart phone, already have one. Rim for business, iPhone for wealthy consumer.

    Until the price comes down a lot, I can't see all these other companies having a whole lot of success. Especially with these market conditions.

    There might be room for 1 more consumer level iPhone clone that's not Apple, but not another 10 or 15.

    I think Apple got in at the right time. The others are going to struggle quite hard. Even RIM is posting loss's.



    As for the iPhone success here in Canada...

    It's not the price of the iPhone, it's the $4000 - $5000 contract that ties you to the phone, and the inflexible and crappy service the carrier provides. The crazy restrictions and limitations don't help either.



    I've seen quite a bit of 'buyers remorse' up here with the iPhone. After the initial fad and excitement has worn off, people are realizing they didn't really need one, and are bummed they are stuck for another 2-3 years with the bill.

    New app's from the store will hopefully keep their interest renewed, as a few people who i've talked to said they wouldn't sign again under the same conditions.



    Microsoft is getting it right by copying the App store. How on earth is Palm going to compete?
  • Reply 10 of 39
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,166member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by RichL View Post


    Apple still has a lead in apps and overall UI design, but that lead is being eroded - especially when other phones have better displays and better hardware.



    You mean not yet released phones?!
  • Reply 11 of 39
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rain View Post


    My wife and I can spend 2 weeks at a 5 star all-inclusive resort in the Caribbean, buy a new 10 megapixel camera and wardrobe for the trip... for the same price Rogers wants for an iPhone.



    The iPhone just doesn't make sense up here in Canada.

    3 years is just way too long of a contract. It's almost like financing a car ffs



    .......................



    As for the iPhone success here in Canada...

    It's not the price of the iPhone, it's the $4000 - $5000 contract that ties you to the phone, and the inflexible and crappy service the carrier provides. The crazy restrictions and limitations don't help either.



    I've seen quite a bit of 'buyers remorse' up here with the iPhone. After the initial fad and excitement has worn off, people are realizing they didn't really need one, and are bummed they are stuck for another 2-3 years with the bill.

    New app's from the store will hopefully keep their interest renewed, as a few people who i've talked to said they wouldn't sign again under the same conditions.



    I agree that the 3 year term contract is excessive in principal. It shouldn't be that way but unfortunately Rogers holds all the cards on that one. If there were another carrier that could sell the iPhone perhaps things would have been different.



    I do have to call you out on your issue of the rates however. It bothers me to hear people throwing out those multi thousand dollar numbers like that's how much your paying for the phone, because you're not. That's how much you're paying for a service... over 3 years. That is an important distinction. The statement you made could be said about Cable or satellite service, or a home alarm system, or your ISP. Even the cheapest phone with a $30/mo contract will cost you over a thousand dollars in 3 years. And the iPhone IS NOT a basic phone. It isn't for everyone and not everyone needs one. People who don't do their research before they sign to a 3 year contract and drop $199-$299 will get no sympathy from me.



    It makes little to no sense for a kid in high-school to have an iPhone. It might not make sense for you to have an iPhone. I love mine, for business and personal use. It makes sense for a segment of the market, and you're right- it's the smartphone segment. And why shouldn't it be... it IS a smartphone. I don't know why some people think that high end products should be cheap enough for everyone. When has Apple EVER played in that market space?
  • Reply 12 of 39
    mark2005mark2005 Posts: 1,158member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by RichL View Post


    No-one outside of Cupertino knows what the next iPhone will look like. I'm sure it will raise the bar once again. However, it's impossible to compare these new phones against something that hasn't been even announced yet.



    All I'm saying is that your phrase "the lead is being eroded" is misleading. It assumes that Apple is standing still, when Apple is actually still moving forward, altho we can't yet see where they've gone.



    Last Feb, people were saying "Apple's lead is being eroded" as more smartphones were announced as having a touchscreen UI with icons. But while they were busy working on getting those models out, Apple was secretly getting its SDK and AppStore process/infrastructure ready.



    And thanks for the pointer on the Omnia HD.
  • Reply 13 of 39
    ivladivlad Posts: 742member
    That's how cool the iPhone is that it doesn't have to attend these parties, yet be the reason of all the talks.=)
  • Reply 14 of 39
    rainrain Posts: 538member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 11thIndian View Post


    I do have to call you out on your issue of the rates however. It bothers me to hear people throwing out those multi thousand dollar numbers like that's how much your paying for the phone, because you're not. That's how much you're paying for a service... over 3 years. That is an important distinction. The statement you made could be said about Cable or satellite service, or a home alarm system, or your ISP. Even the cheapest phone with a $30/mo contract will cost you over a thousand dollars in 3 years.



    But that is the point, you can't get one unless your willing to sign a contract for $5000 worth of debt to a company. What if you no longer require the service? or your phone gets stolen? You still have to pay your debt.

    I have cable and high speed internet, but guess what, I can cancel them at any time. No contract.

    I also have a home land-line phone, with no contract.

    I don't have a contract for my power or heat either.

    I don't have a contract with my barber, waitress, car wash, dentist, dry cleaner, post office etc... yet these are all services that cost money over years, but I'm not in DEBT to them for 3 years.



    The phone DOES cost 4 to 5 thousand dollars, because you have to pay that to get your hands on one. The service is a secondary thought. If you wanted one to use as a paper weight only, you still have to pay thousands for the phone.
  • Reply 15 of 39
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mark2005 View Post


    All I'm saying is that your phrase "the lead is being eroded" is misleading. It assumes that Apple is standing still, when Apple is actually still moving forward, altho we can't yet see where they've gone.



    Last Feb, people were saying "Apple's lead is being eroded" as more smartphones were announced as having a touchscreen UI with icons. But while they were busy working on getting those models out, Apple was secretly getting its SDK and AppStore process/infrastructure ready.



    And thanks for the pointer on the Omnia HD.



    Apple's lead APPEARS to be eroded by new hardware that is being put on new smartphones. I mean, eight-megapixel cameras for crissakes and AMOLED displays. I think some handset has a 1 GHz processor and plenty of them will have 32 GB microSD slots. Sure we know that these are state of the art smartphones that haven't even gone into production, but feature-wise, they seem very impressive on that basis alone. These are all different products and I doubt one product combines all these features. And even if they did, they'd be too expensive for most people to buy.



    The iPhone may still have an edge in UI but it does appear that the hardware edge is gone. A good handset is still important for usability. It's just that most of the competitors are throwing hardware feature after feature at the iPhone. Moving fancy icons around on a screen with your fingers isn't that much better than a standard menu if it doesn't make any sense to the user. Flick, flick, swipe, see, just like the iPhone.



    I'm interested to see exactly how Apple is going to keep its edge over competitors. Will the iPhone have to offer a unique feature that no other handset has or will it just be a perfect combination of user interface and slightly improved hardware.



    Users brains will really have to take a leap just to use many these high-performance handsets. I personally don't think their average user brains are up to it.
  • Reply 16 of 39
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by icebox_br View Post


    You don't have to convert videos manually. This is exactly what iTunes does: it will re-encode for you and sync automatically to the iPhone or iPod. No hassles.





    Cheers,

    _iCeb0x_



    Please explain how it does that? I'm honestly not aware of such a feature. I believe you can right-click a video file and tell it to convert, but it doesn't do anything automatically as far as I'm aware.
  • Reply 17 of 39
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by caliminius View Post


    Wow, that's some fanboyish sh*t!!!



    So Apple's video syncing is better because it won't even load a video if it's not the right format? And to get it into the proper format, you have to manually convert it via Quicktime (that's of course assuming it's one of the few formats Quicktime will properly re-encode) or (more likely) some better video conversion softare. That's better than software that will automatically re-encode your video for you and then sync it to your device? Yeah, um, okay. Please step out of the RDF before writing your articles...



    I'm a fanboy, but from what i've heard so far i'm throwing the points to caliminius on this one.
  • Reply 18 of 39
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rain View Post


    But that is the point, you can't get one unless your willing to sign a contract for $5000 worth of debt to a company. What if you no longer require the service? or your phone gets stolen? You still have to pay your debt.

    I have cable and high speed internet, but guess what, I can cancel them at any time. No contract.

    I also have a home land-line phone, with no contract.

    I don't have a contract for my power or heat either.

    I don't have a contract with my barber, waitress, car wash, dentist, dry cleaner, post office etc... yet these are all services that cost money over years, but I'm not in DEBT to them for 3 years.



    The phone DOES cost 4 to 5 thousand dollars, because you have to pay that to get your hands on one. The service is a secondary thought. If you wanted one to use as a paper weight only, you still have to pay thousands for the phone.



    I agree completely that the required 3 year contract term is unreasonable. But what I'm paying per month for the level of phone I have with the plan that I have is not [in comparison to other Rogers plans]. So I just put the term contract out of my mind. What other choice do I have?



    For me, the switch was easy. A no-contract BASIC phone with Bell was costing me about as much as I'm paying for my iPhone now with Fido.
  • Reply 19 of 39
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rain View Post


    My wife and I can spend 2 weeks at a 5 star all-inclusive resort in the Caribbean, buy a new 10 megapixel camera and wardrobe for the trip... for the same price Rogers wants for an iPhone.



    of course that only works if you're willing to give up phone service for three years.



    Quote:

    The iPhone just doesn't make sense up here in Canada.

    3 years is just way too long of a contract. It's almost like financing a car ffs



    there is no arguing with that. it IS unreasonable.



    Quote:

    I've seen quite a bit of 'buyers remorse' up here with the iPhone. After the initial fad and excitement has worn off, people are realizing they didn't really need one, and are bummed they are stuck for another 2-3 years with the bill.



    That hasn't been my experience. mind you - i don't live in the big city, but in a town of 1500 - i'm surprised at the amount of people i see that got iphones, most if which i wouldn't have pegged as the 'apple buying type'. i don't know a single one that would give it up willingly...



    Most of them had blackberries before and all seem to agree that the iphone has made their life easier. One of them had just gotten an HTC Touch (sales guy told him 'it does everything as well as the iphone and more!') and actually paid out his contract with telus to make the switch just because he hated his HTC so much....
  • Reply 20 of 39
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by RichL View Post


    I don't know. I still think that the Palm Pre looks interesting (especially the GSM version shown at WMC) and the Samsung Omnia HD looks very interesting too. Apple still has a lead in apps and overall UI design, but that lead is being eroded - especially when other phones have better displays and better hardware.



    the palm pre might impress me when/IF it ships, until then.. pfft.



    ok there is ONE phone that is impressing me at the moment, or more accurately, one part of one phone, the see through number dial on the LG GD900. usability might be a complete bitch, but looks wise COOL AS ICE! props to them bringing an eye-full of the future we were all promised 20-30-40 years ago



    http://www.engadget.com/photos/we-ki...flesh/1363364/
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