9/10/2008 1:13:00 PM
Larger slice of the Apple
For handset manufacturers, notching up 5% market share used to be the golden threshold that showed you had well and truly ‘made it’ onto the industry’s radar.
The first sales figures obtained by Mobile for the 3G iPhone reveal that Apple is on course to breeze by this milestone. Its sales have consistently hovered at around 4-7% of the market. What is amazing about this feat is that it has been achieved on the back of a single product, sold at a premium price on terms dictated by the manufacturer. In contrast, the likes of LG climbed up through the second division of handset manufacturers by cheap 3G handsets to the whim of operators (namely 3). It then graduated to the top tier by turning cartwheels to produce one eye-catching designer product after another.
What is the difference between the two, and why did LG have to work so much harder? Let’s sidestep questions of who has the best products so we can be simplistic. It’s really all down to brand. Apple had one before it started handset manufacturing, and LG didn’t (unless of course you count producing fridges and air-conditioning equipment). Of course, Apple’s brand is more than just image, it stands for cool technology that works. Regrettably, no other handset manufacturer has been able to establish the same credentials.
Great military commanders in history, such as Nelson or Napoleon, were masters at winning battles against larger enemies. Their technique was to mass small forces at a single point where the enemy was weak, to create an overwhelming advantage that would force a breakthrough. That’s pretty much what the polo-neck brigade at Apple has achieved.