Thursday, June 17, 2010

Android Smartphones vs Apple iPhone 4

A new Research report just released by Official Wire has shown that smartphone sales have skyrocketed thanks to the iPhone. Google's entry into the market with Android as well as other phone manufacturers such as RIM, HTC etc, are all trying to emulate Apple's runaway success since the first iPhone was introduced a few years ago. 

This week, Apple maintained it's phenomenal dominance with the release of a major upgrade - iPhone 4, which sold 600,000 units on pre-release orders in just the first day. The nearest rival, the HTC EVO from Sprint, is nowhere near this type of success when it was released about a week ago.  In fact from Q1 2009 to Q1 2010, Apple more than doubled its sales of iPhones, selling 8.5 million phones in the quarter and saw its global market share rise 16%.  Despite being locked into an AT&T partnership, Apple has managed to garner a 25% share of the US market.  And one could interpret this laser focus as a deliberate decision to manufacture the GSM version, which is a global standard after all, opening up many markets overseas  - a smart move indeed.   

You'll hear the Android fans say 'wait a minute, Android holds 28% of market share'. Yeah maybe, but that is a combined number involving many handset makers.  No one single smartphone manufacturer can come close to Apple!   iPad and iPod (and even Mac computer owners) have all driven sales for the iPhone 4.  Some are first time Apple users who fall in love with one product and migrate to others in the product line.  That clearly is the clever marketing strategy of Apple and the sleek and smooth integration of the entire product range.  
Some key findings of the Official Wire Report:
  • Apple has defined and driven this market to its current state. All other players in this market are reacting to Apple and playing catch up.
  • The smartphone market forecast is a $350 billion revenue opportunity over the next few years.
  • Led by Google, the Open Handset Alliance, which supports the Android handset technology, are trying to gain control of this market by the numerous releases of Android handsets.  There's almost one new release a month.
  • Android has been late to market and thus is trying to catch up with iPhone, now in its 4th generation.  
It's not all about the handset since it's the Apps that really create the user experience.  Apple has over 200,000 available Apps for the iPhone and many are free, not to mention the iTunes music store, and growing daily.  Google is expected to launch its own Google Music store later this year and most definitely has a lot to catch up with.  The iPad future releases - 2011, is only going to continue to strengthen Apple's dominance and even bring new customers to the platform who will consider future releases of the iPad as perhaps their main computing device.  As for WebOS from Palm, sadly I do not believe it will be a major player now that it has been acquired by HP and lost two of its great engineers and visionaries. 

If you managed to get an order for the iPhone 4, please do tell us what you think once you get it in your hands.

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