Remember when Apple’s Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone. He castigated previous smart phones as not being all that smart. Compared to what we carry around in the pocket or purse today, Jobs was correct.
That was then and this is now and smart phones are common place and new user adoption as begun to slow down. Why? Most of us have smart phones already, and those that don’t will get one soon even if they’re not as smart as the phone.
It won’t be long before almost all phones will be smart phones.
That brings me to the iPhone 5, Apple’s latest, unannounced, and highly anticipated new version of the record setting, industry changing device which can be credited for putting the smarts in smart phone (it sure wasn’t Microsoft or Nokia or any manufacturer that uses Google’s free Android OS).
The iPhone may be the last hurrah of the smart phone generation.
That’s what Bill Whyman says. He’s head of an investment research firm that studies the industry and his conclusion makes sense.
First, growth in the smart phone segment is slowing down. Why? More people have smart phones already and today’s generation of devices is already mature.
Second, competition is intense. Well, duh. How much time did he put in on researching that. Whyman goes out on a limb and says the iPhone 5 will be a huge success, but those makers feeding on the bottom– RIM, Nokia, Motorola, HTC, Microsoft, et al– are likely to suffer.
There’s also a paradigm shift taking place with the wireless carriers and the vendors. Content and services and ecosystem is where the money is, and that’s Apple’s heartland.
Wireless carriers are quickly being relegated to dumb pipe purveyors, which is a fate they deserve. Who cares what carrier you use so long as you can get an iPhone or the latest Samsung Galaxy X1-44C B device (I’m mocking Samsung’s lack of creativity)?
Where Whyman loses his touch with the obvious research results that didn’t require much research is that open systems like Android OS will start to win.
What? Isn’t Android winning already? Carriers already sell more Android devices than Apple sells iPhones. Except that only Samsung makes money on Android (even Google will never get a return on their Android investment, and still loses money), and everyone else is taking a huge bath. Except Apple, of course.
Somehow Whyman and others think that open system will win because they always do. Really? How about some similar examples. Did Linux, an open system, win on the desktop? Or in notebooks? Nope.
When it comes to profits and customer loyalty, it’s not a two-horse race. It’s Apple. And everybody else.
That brings up a good question, though. If the iPhone 5 is the last hurrah of smart phone growth, and I suspect it will be, what’s the next great thing?