6/9/2010 11:15:00 AM
Competition is rife, but the iPhone 4 is still a game changer
It’s been said before but it is now more relevant than ever – the mobile landscape is changing. It’s all the more obvious when looking back to the iPhone 3GS’s announcement a year ago. The iPhone 4 is launching into a very different market.
HTC has been carpet-bombing the market with Android devices, while RIM has firmly rooted itself in the consumer market with the BlackBerry 8520. Motorola is releasing Android handsets left, right and centre as Samsung’s Wave prepares for launch.
Apple might not be quaking in its boots just yet, but the quality smartphone market is no longer a field of just one product. Indeed, on first inspection the iPhone 4 looks rather like a catch up. Its HD screen has been done before, and its video calling capability is nothing new.
Then again, the iPhone has not always offered best in class with individual features, but has excelled by doing the overall package superlatively well. The big idea with the iPhone 4 is the iAd service, which could prove to be a game changer. Apple boasts that it will claim 48% of the mobile advertising market by the end of this year with the service, and has won over developers by promising them 60% of the revenue.
Whether operators and retailers want this version to match the success of previous releases is a moot point. For those that want sales, the iPhone is a go-to product, with few returns and high ARPU. But networks and major retailers must be uneasy that a high proportion of their sales come through one product - and from one manufacturer, whose attitude is hardly one of partnership and collaboration.
For the feature connoisseur, the iPhone 4 perhaps fell flat, but don’t be deceived. It may be a competitive marketplace, with a growing array of smartphones to choose from, but Apple’s products haven’t lost their allure. Far from it, with iAd at the forefront, and reinforced by the cache of the iPad, their success is set to continue.