The iPhone is a Success, but Not the Only Game in Town

Carl Weinschenk

Many sites and publications, including a report by IT Business Edge's Susan Hall, noted that the dynamic duo of Apple and AT&T both reported positive quarterly results this week.


This is a big deal because it represents official results for the first full quarter of iPhone sales. Apple sold 1.1 million of the phones, while AT&T enjoyed a positive quarter based to a great extent on strong wireless sales. These sales, of course, benefited from the carrier being the only network officially hosting the iPhone.


We don't remember anyone saying that the iPhone would flop and clearly aren't surprised by the positive numbers. The interesting dynamic is what the iPhone's success means for business users going forward. Most immediately, IT folks must watch whether Apple moves to make the iPhone a corporate tool.


Though it is making the most noise, the iPhone isn't the only smartphone game in town. In addition to paying attention to the direction in which Apple takes the device, it is important for IT departments to keep a keen eye on the many smartphones that can do as much for traveling employees as the iPhone -- indeed, more, if Apple doesn't customize the device for workers.


This Detroit Free Press story describes some of the consumer alternatives to the iPhone. The most space is given to the Voyager, which will be available from Verizon Wireless and LG next month. The biggest difference between it and the iPhone, the story says, is that the Voyager features a QWERTY keyboard and faster wireless connectivity -- two elements that could make it more amenable to business. The piece discusses LG Muziq, the Sony Ericsson W580 and the Nokia N95.


This interview in the Telegraph with BlackBerry inventor Mike Lazaridis is quite interesting. He is somewhat skeptical of the iPhone because of the rapidity with which the multimedia features drain the battery. In the bigger picture, however, he suggests that the iPhone and the BlackBerry have convinced the public that cell phones are appropriate for much more than just talking.


He also says that BlackBerry owner Research in Motion (RIM) will continue to go after enterprise users. Lazaridis points out that consumers' increasing sophistication is driving them to the BlackBerry. Others may argue that RIM is courting consumers with the Pearl and the Curve. Regardless of who is wooing whom, the fact is that more consumers than ever are using the devices.


This useful buyer's guide at shopLocal should only be the starting point for research. The writer defines smartphones, describes the basic designs, common operating systems, wireless connectivity options and storage. The piece provides good information on the Palm Treo 750, the Nokia E62, the Samsung Blackjack, the Blackberry 8100 Pearl, the Dash HTC Excalibur, the Cingular 8525, the iPhone and the Motorola Q. Separately, ratings -- but no information -- is provided on Motorola's Razr v3 and Moto Krzr, the LG Chocolate, the Sony Ericsson Z520 and the Nokia N93.


The bottom line is that the iPhone is here to stay -- and that there are many other devices worthy of enterprise consideration, both because of their features and the fact that support may be better if the device is aimed at enterprise use.

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Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Oct 23, 2007 4:35 PM Verizon LG Voyager Verizon LG Voyager  says:
I can't wait for the Voyager to come out! I'm pre-ordering it on November 8th. I've been following the release on the Verizon Voyager Website and another fan review site at Verizon LG Voyager dot com.Are you going to buy the Voyager too? Reply
Oct 24, 2007 7:24 PM hardmanb hardmanb  says:
"We dont remember anyone saying that the iPhone would flop and clearly arent surprised by the positive numbers. "Sure."There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer "The iPhone, scheduled to ship in the United States on June 29, appears to be a great consumer device but has no redeeming qualities from the perspective of a business user, Gartner analyst Ken Dulaney says," Brodkin reports. Soren says: "Apple and its dumbed-down versions of products will only appeal to people without the know how to use or buy superior products with a higher learning curve.""They're way overhyping this," said Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group, a San Jose-based research firm. "The phone isn't that good." Research in Motion head Jim Baisilie believes the iPhone could be potentially toxic for the cellphone industry, according to a recent interview. The reality won't match the hype; it was rushed to market and will be buggier than Florida in September; the battery will have the longevity of a mayfly; the touch-screen keyboard will be more irritating than a mosquito bite. It won't hold enough music; the big glass screen will crack; the big glass screen will be smeared with unsightly fingerprints; it'll be incompatible with other software makers' applications; forcing users onto iTunes is too restrictive; at $500 it'll be too expensive; and now, from branding expert and fellow Ad Age columnist Al Ries, it'll fail because convergence devices fail .Palm CEO Ed Colligan also insisted that Apple would be out of its league in making a phone. However, there is a very good chance that, when the smoke clears in the next weeks and months, a whole lot of disappointment, frustration and dissatisfaction will be left behind. George Jones (Computerworld) -- It's time to cut this stupid phone down to size, once and for all! And mark my words, that's all it is ... a stupid phone! Jim Lynch, Ziff-DavisCIBC's Ittai Kidron is out with monster call on Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL ) saying based on their store checks, they believe that demand for the iPhone has seen a significant decline in the past 10 days. CIBC has noticed decent inventories at stores, and thin demand at best. In fact, most Apple store visitors were not looking at the device and only a very small subset bought it.In a January column for MarketWatch, Dvorak tries to talk down the iPhone. He agrees with Microsoft's Steve Ballmer, who can't see it being that successful. For evidence, Dvorak mentions a European phone called a Neonode, also with a touch screen, that is "more of a fashion accessory and conversation piece than anything else." Reply

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