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Can The iPhone Win The War?

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Last Monday, the Canadian company Research in Motion (RIM) announced their new iPad competitor, the Playbook.  While no firm dates or pricing information has been released, there has been a lot of early interest in this new device.  Later this month, Microsoft will be introducing the Windows Phone 7 OS that looks to be a major improvement to the previous Windows Mobile devices.  With all of the players stepping up to the plate, will the iPhone be able to maintain its relevance in the mobile market?

Android:

The iPhone has already lost most of its dominance in the Smartphone space to Google’s Android OS.  The OS is free to licence, and has multiple phone manufacturers producing great phones that users are buying like hotcakes. Apple’s corporate theory has never been to be the biggest, but to be the best, and I think that this is where Apple will continue to excel.  Similar to luxury car makers, it does not matter if they sell more cars than everyone, as long as they make money and are perceived as the best.  This has been Apple’s strategy for their computer business, and they have been wildly successful in this market.  As well, competition is always great for companies, and we have already seen evidence of the competition between the two platforms benefiting us iPhone users.  In the end, I think Android will become the most used platform by 2012.

Blackberry:

As mentioned above, RIM is looking to make its way back into the game, after many observers counted them as down and out in themobile phone space.  The new OS that RIM is using with the Playbook will soon make its way into Blackberry Smartphones.  From the videos shown at the event, this new OS looks like a step in the right direction for RIM, as the current OS seems antiquated when compared with Android or iOS.  This could mean  a resurgence with of the Blackberry outside of the corporate world.  The key feature that the Playbook has, that will set it apart from Apple, is the tight integration with your current blackberry.  Apple will need to maintain its push into the corporate world to try to steal some of RIM’s pie.

Windows:

In my opinion, the biggest competitor that the iPhone faces is Windows Phone 7.  After seeing previews of the Windows Phone 7 (which I still think is a terrible name for a system), it looks incredibly nice.  The home screen of the Windows Phone isn’t just a simple list of apps, but a variety of widgets that contain information for the user.  As well, with the Windows Phone syncing with the Xbox so well, it could pull many of the current iPhone users away by providing a better platform for game developers.  The iPhone has always been the king of gaming in the mobile market, but it looks like there finally will be a good competitor for the gamers.  Apple’s Game Center is a great example of how mobile gaming can evolve.  I believe that this space will be the major battlefield in years to come for all of the mobile phone makers.

All in all we won’t be able to see what happens until all of these platforms are released or reach maturity, but I think 2011 will be an interesting year in the Mobile space.  I believe that if Apple becomes complacent with how the iPhone currently functions, it will face a similar fate that Blackberry faces now.  Luckily for us, that isn’t the way Apple usually works, and I’m sure Steve Jobs has a few tricks still up his sleeve that will keep the iPhone a competitive player.  I’m interested to hear what everybody’s opinions are on this mobile phone war so make sure to make yourselves heard in the comments about your theories and views on the major players.

As always feel free to follow me @jonpilon on twitter or check me out at www.allthattechstuff.com

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  • xxJDxx

    Really all the Iphone needs is a widget system for the homescreen icons, perhaps a system to allow oversized widgets that occupy a row of icons. AND and improved notification and lockscreen info system….

  • xxJDxx

    Really all the Iphone needs is a widget system for the homescreen icons, perhaps a system to allow oversized widgets that occupy a row of icons. AND and improved notification and lockscreen info system….

  • Guest

    Once people see everything that the Iseries is lacking, apple will have to conform. I mean no flash is bullshit enough, nevermind all the extra features that these companies will bring to the table.. I’m tired of having to jailbreak everything to make it do the simplest tasks that should be a no brainer

  • Anonymous

    Android to be the most used platform by 2012? Isn’t it already?

    I’m still looking for an iPhone 4, but for the phone after that, I’m going to seriously look into which platform I want to go with. I mean, I’m a HUGE Xbox 360 gamer, so the appeal of being able to unlock achievements on the go, is very big. (If they can drop something similar to an iTouch that has similar functionality, I’d be up for tethering through wireless on my next phone.) As for Android, I LOVE the openness of it all, and being able to essentially customize whatever you want. Not to mention, once you update, it doesn’t all get wiped like an iPhone jailbreak. And the iPhone, well I’ve been using one for 2 years now, and the iPhone 4 I’ll likely have for a year or two, so we shall see how that pans out, but more likely than not, I’ll be straying away from the iBrand.

  • Anonymous

    Agreed, I’m getting sick an tired of Apple’s idiotic restrictions on the use of the phone. If you want it to perform the way it’s supposed to, you have to jailbreak.

    Really, my biggest issue is with the settings and through how many useless screens you have to go through to enable/disable anything.

  • Anonymous

    Much agreed, one of the greatest things about Android.

  • Ggf

    I agree with first poster. Thing about iphone i like is usually apple stand behind the products it supports. They try to incorperate the iphone 3g/s/4 into one. Where “iphone” killer phones seem to be amazing with better hardware then a month later they are forgotten by their own companys. The only one that doesnt do that and seem to care is RIM. But i saw them as more corperate so for them to step into this market is harsh. Besides..everyones got an iphone now so support of aftermarjet is pretty amazing too. However apple really needs to stop having control over their ios and coming out with “ammmmaaazing features” later on (copy n paste 3 years later). ios needs to be free based. Im also sick of jailbreaking and feeling like a bad guy just to get certain things done. Sure win7 phone has widgets. So does iphone too…AFTER jailbreak. Stop this nonsense apple jeez.

  • Xywix

    now that the iphone has copy & paste, mutlitasking, flash on the camera, front facing camera, a gyroscope (which no fone has) & most importantly the retina display, it makes this phone the top phone on the market curently…OH i 4got the amazing 5mp camera! there isnt a single phone that has those features!
    i also enjoy being able to download ringtones & uploading them through itunes for free! or changing my background with any picture i get from my laptop or iphone directly, my old LG rumor never did any of that!
    personally i am more than happy with my new I4 without jailbreaking it even!
    the only thing i am missing is VOIP over 3G!

  • Symbian is still technically the most used OS for smartphones. I didn’t mention this in the post as I don’t see Nokia as being a major player in years to come. I might be wrong about that and they may have something awesome soon, but as of right now, there’s not much to talk about.

  • Anonymous

    Windows Phone 7 interests me the most as it offers something different with widgets of information instead of apps..
    RIM already has their share with corporate customers and their secure networks. So while BBM is keeping their consumers around, they might lose share to Android, iOS, and WinMo7 and their share of the market will level out. I don’t think any of the competitors will be as strong as RIM is for corporate customers.

    Android is nice but i think the fragmentation will not work out too well. Manufacturers and carriers are taking too long to update their products, and by the time one releases an update Google releases the next version.

    Hopefully Windows Phone 7 isn’t as fragmented like Android.

    iOS will hold their own ground. Apple always finds a way to be ahead and come out with sleek nice looking products with great support behind them. Android and Windows Phone 7 won’t compare.

  • Anonymous

    Windows Phone 7 interests me the most as it offers something different with widgets of information instead of apps..
    RIM already has their share with corporate customers and their secure networks. So while BBM is keeping their consumers around, they might lose share to Android, iOS, and WinMo7 and their share of the market will level out. I don’t think any of the competitors will be as strong as RIM is for corporate customers.

    Android is nice but i think the fragmentation will not work out too well. Manufacturers and carriers are taking too long to update their products, and by the time one releases an update Google releases the next version.

    Hopefully Windows Phone 7 isn’t as fragmented like Android.

    iOS will hold their own ground. Apple always finds a way to be ahead and come out with sleek nice looking products with great support behind them. Android and Windows Phone 7 won’t compare.

  • I personally dislike the use of various widgets on the WP7. The first time I saw it, I thought it was a leaked photo of something in the earliest stages of development/testing.

  • By the time all these iPad killers come out Apple will already be releasing the iPad 2 just down the road, same with the iPhone. IPhone might lose it’s edge for a couple months to other phones, but I’m very confident Apple will make up for it in the next release like they always do.

    I strongly think Apple and Android will be just like Xbox and playstation, no clear winner, but both are outstanding in the field they are in. Comes down to personal choice after that. I don’t see windows phones, or blackberries posing much threat anymore.

  • rufi

    VOIP over 3g : you can do it with groundwire for instance (great app)

  • Captorian

    Apple left themselves a lot of room to maneuver on the hardware end of the iPad. Expect large increases in everything from ram, resoutuion, CPU speed and connectivity over the next two generations. I have no doubt that apple can stay at the front of the pack for the next few years in the tablet market.

    As for the iPhone, I love the luxury car analogy, but I think the Xbox / playstaion analogy fits better. Meaning I don’t think it will be relegated to a niche, but rather it will have peers offering near equal hardware, and will continue as a big player.

  • Captorian

    Apple left themselves a lot of room to maneuver on the hardware end of the iPad. Expect large increases in everything from ram, resoutuion, CPU speed and connectivity over the next two generations. I have no doubt that apple can stay at the front of the pack for the next few years in the tablet market.

    As for the iPhone, I love the luxury car analogy, but I think the Xbox / playstaion analogy fits better. Meaning I don’t think it will be relegated to a niche, but rather it will have peers offering near equal hardware, and will continue as a big player.

  • Fisata

    jail breaking is legal. (in the US at least).

  • Chris A.

    I agree with you on the fragmentation issues with Android. Openess is great but there is a price to be paid. Plus, as much as people hate how Apple controls their device/iOS, at least updates are relatively consistent. Try telling a Telus Hero customer, who’s phone is less than a year old, is still on 1.5 and lacking an update to 2.1 as often promised, that the open platform is better. I know that’s just one poor example out of many other good ones but still.

  • fista

    why do we need flash.. so i can have annoying stupid adds on almost every webpage i visit. really, the only use for flash would be video.. but HTML5 takes care of that, its better than flash and a lot of major company’s are starting offer connect through it. Flash has dominated the market for to long, we need some innovation and competition.

  • Brian

    Yeah competition, let me decide what runs in my browser. Android does it perfect, click to flash, no annoying adds but if you need to access a flash page you can.

  • I did not intend the analogy to mean that the iPhone would become a niche product, more so to the point that there may be many more Android phones on the market and more people using them, but that does not mean that the iPhone loses. For example, Ford sells many more cars than BMW, but no one would claim that BMW is unsuccessful or a loser by any stretch.

    I do like the Playstation/Xbox analogy though as an example of functionality between the devices.

  • Me Me ME!

    “In the end, I think Android will become the most used platform by 2012.”
    Anyone else catch that? (2012 … the end….lol..)

  • Me Me ME!

    “In the end, I think Android will become the most used platform by 2012.”
    Anyone else catch that? (2012 … the end….lol..)

  • I welcome all this competition. In the end, no matter what smartphone OS/platform you choose, consumers win. If anything, it keeps each company innovating (Apple mainly; the others tend to “copy”) and that’s when we get the best toys!

  • Frank

    Android will grow before it slows down, in my opinion. Right now it’s a hot item and a lot of makers use it in smart phones and that’s it’s undoing. Every day a new Android phone is released and is called an iPhone killer till it gets replaced in a couple of days with another model. That makes updating all these so many different models hard to upgrade. In a short while, there will be too many models to make it worth upgrading. In other words, the owner of an Android phone will be stuck with the original version of the OS it was released and can’t take advantage of future improvements. It is already happening now and will become a big routine with all Android phones: Much like Windows phones in the past and future. In my opinion, only IPhone and Blackberry will emerge because there are limited models per OS and the OS enhancements and updates will be successfully developed for all models.

  • I agree:
    The iPhone Win The war

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