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Dec 15, 2009

Who will kill the iPhone?

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If in the past many people giggled when occasional "iPhone killers" appeared and then disappeared... (remember the first Diamond? the Pre? the XPeria?). But today, 3 years after the iPhone made his premiere, it seems like things have changed, and the popular term "iPhone killer" is more realistic than ever.

Apple needs to start worrying; Droids from the right, Pre and HD2 from the left - they are not kidding around, this time - it's for real.

I think Apple should be worried. Why, you ask?

Because every good thing must come to an end sooner or later and with so many companies out there seeking for more than the leftovers, someone will surely get it right sometime.

We are now on the verge of the point of no return where new devices actually have most (if not all) of the iPhone goodness (auto screen rotation, finger gestures, multi-touch, app-store, etc.) running on a much better hardware.  Disturbing...

While most of the new devices now look pretty much the same, act the same and do the same things - it's reasonable to think that Apple has much more to lose than to earn from this "uniformity" process because While all the others closed a significant conceptual gap (at last!) around usability and graphics, Apple closed some minor functional gaps (MMS, Copy/paste) that were never a deal breaker and added little innovation comparing to the past (like: a compass? again? give me a break).

The question now is how can Apple continue to improve its' brand, upgrade the 3-4 years technology (which is not getting younger...), continue to innovate and at the same time protect the market share from beasts like Google, Motorola, Samsung, HTC and practically the entire mobile world? Can't wait for July to see...

War of the phones

In a post I've made few weeks ago I came to the (subjective) conclusion that iPhone still leads the smartphones racetrack, but with so many new handsets out there and with Apple practically fighting all the others - it may not last for long.

I can't wait to see what Apple hides in the sleeves for July. I bet we will see the iPhone 4.0 with some new functionality, but will it have a better screen display? will it include a "pro" version with a physical keyboard? will it allow easier customizations? new camera maybe or at least a decent today screen?

What will be Apple's next revolutionary innovation?

I just hope it will not be a 3D compass or something like that...
 

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7 comments:

Seth said...

You shouldn't underestimate the value of adding compasses to mobile devices. Allowing the device to know exactly where it is and it's orientation is what enables augmented reality applications. Whoever can make the easiest, most seamless implementation of augmented reality will have a major advantage in the future of mobile technology. Google stepping into the AR game with goggles just emphasizes AR's importance in the future.

Thora said...

Yes, compasses are a very good thing to have. That said, I don't think anything will ever truly KILL the iPhone, sadly. There will always be hardcore fanboys who tout its superiority over everything else, even other devices which are FAR superior to it.

Brad M. said...

I was discussing this very same question with a colleague, who also happens to be an Apple fanboy.  I was arguing the point that while Apple had a substantial lead (maybe a 2-year lead?) over the competition when the iPhone first came out, the competition has improved exponentially to the point where Apple can't update its product fast enough to maintain that sizable lead--the competition is catching up. Just look at what Google, Palm, and *gasp* even Windows Mobile/HTC (with the HD2) have done in a relatively short time frame.  In that same time frame, the iPhone has had evolutionary updates, but is largely the same as it was when it first came out.

Of course, every product release can't be as revolutionary as the first iPhone release.  The iPhone caused a paradigm shift in the industry and it would be unrealistic to expect that from subsequent iPhone versions.  But in retrospect, none of the original "iPhone killers" really came close.  Apple nailed the UI, not just from a touch perspective, but from an ease-of-use perspective in that they re-thought how smartphone applications, messaging functions and settings were organized: everything is clearly visible and labeled right on the main screen. People over 60 can use the iPhone and figure out at least basic phone functionality and web browsing.  I don't know if I can say the same about Android phones, and certainly can't say the same about WinMo phones, despite HTC's best efforts.

However, technology- and usability-wise, the competition is catching up. Who would have predicted that we would see a WinMo phone with a capacitive screen (HD2) before WinMo 7? Apple might have a leg up on ease-of-use, but the others could easily surpass the iPhone in terms of functionality and hardware specs.

Pro Compass said...

including a compass to the gadget isn't bad at all, its useful if you know how to use it. I've read on some dissertation that its all effective if you get all lost. no doubt about it.

Patrick Hermawan said...

Windows Mobile 7, trust me!
But it must be going to released this year (2010), not next year!

Q said...

the iphone rules!!!

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