Apple iPhone: Whats next?
Apple rise to glory has been fast and furious! In time, i think it would be given a “cult” brand status for its pathbreaking technologies and designs whether be the Macintosh, Apple Mac Book, iPod or iPhone! The iPhone has been around since June 2007. One year and a quarter and a refresh version later, the iPhone buzz is only become stronger, louder everywhere! It has redefined the smartphone category with its design appeal, intutive UI and backend service elements (Music and applications).
Apples performance in 2008 US Smartphone market has been explosive. It spearheaded a 68% increase in the smartphone sales by growing 101% Year on year. RIM also did amazing by outgrowing the market at 88% growth! Apple beats its iPhone shipments and sales targets both in US and all over the world! Basis the Iphone shipment numbers, Apple has also cornered a 1.16% share of the world handset sales in 2008.
However, 2009 will be different! A period of slow growth (4 to 5%: IDC forecast) because of the economic slowdown and a maturing market could make things difficult. Smartphone growth will depend upon the operato’s abaility to subsidize these devices and developers continuously producing “killer” applications!
This year I Phone is expected to come up with three new iPhones: a 32 Gig iPhone in the first half, a low cost 2.5G iPhone for the developing markets such as India and China and a smaller version iPhone Nano at $99! Also expect the China Mobile Chinese iPhone variant by first quarter 2009 and a gaming iPhone by first half 2009 (with Etisalat!)
While the plans are good and knowing Apple, it would deliver more than what it promises, i would still believe that sometime this year, Apple will need to look at the “look” of the iPhone. A similar looking phone in various avatars is not a winning proposition for long! You just need to look at Motorola and its Razr for answers! (Razr,Razr 2, Razr D&C, Razr Gold etc etc…)