As the smartphone wars continue, it looks like the iPhone (my preference for it’s integration into all my other Apple products) is getting some stiffer competition. Will Apple’s culture hurt the iPhone?Amplify’d from www.nytimes.com
If you want a smartphone powered by Google’s Android software, you could get Motorola’s Droid 2 or its cousin, the Droid X. Then there is the Droid Incredible from HTC, the Fascinate from Samsung and the Ally from LG.
Paul Sakuma/Associated Press -Steven P. Jobs, in 1984, presented the new Macintosh personal computer.
That’s just on Verizon Wireless. An additional 20 or so phones running Android are available in the United States, and there are about 90 worldwide.
That very short list explains in part why, for all its success in the phone business, Apple suddenly has a real fight on its hands.
Americans now are buying more Android phones than iPhones. If that trend continues, analysts say that in little more than a year, Android will have erased the iPhone’s once enormous lead in the high end of the smartphone market.
But this is not the first time Apple has found itself in this kind of fight, where its flagship product is under siege from a loose alliance of rivals selling dozens of competing gadgets.
In the early 1980s, the Macintosh faced an onslaught of competition from an army of PC makers whose products ran Microsoft software. The fight did not end well for Apple. In a few years, Microsoft all but sidelined Apple, and the company almost went out of business.
Can Apple, which insists on tight control of its devices, win in an intensely competitive market against rivals that are openly licensing their software to scores of companies? It faces that challenge not only in phones, but also in the market for tablet computers, where the iPad is about to take on a similar set of rivals.
“This is a really big strategic question,” said Toni Sacconaghi, an analyst with Sanford C. Bernstein and Company. “No one knows whether openness will ultimately prevail as it did on the PC.”
Apple declined to comment on the issue.
By some measures, the competition Apple faces this time is even more formidable than it was in PCs. In addition to the Android family, Apple already competes with Research In Motion, maker of the BlackBerry.
And the iPhone will soon have one more powerful, and familiar, foe: Microsoft. That company’s well-reviewed Windows Phone 7 software will appear in as many as nine new smartphones beginning next month. Others like Nokia cannot be counted out.
I’m a gadget girl from way back. I remember when I got my hands on a PalmPilot for the very first time. It was well over a decade ago and back then I was one of the first people to have one. I used it to organize my entire life, appointments, addresses, my calendar it was the best thing since slices bread. No, it was better!. A relic by today’s standards by sure, but back then it was high tech. Called a personal digital assistant, PDA for short, it was my fist gadget addiction and it started me down a road of “toys” I have yet to recover from.
I couldn’t live without my PDA and that silly little stylus that to this day I have no idea how I didn’t misplace time after time. Then Motorola rolled out the Motorola two-way pager and I tell you, I was in love. From there I went through a series of Palm devises until I landed on the mother load… the Blackberry. My first one was big as all get out and the screen was a lackluster green with black letter. But the draw wasn’t it’s looks, it was the fact that I could get multiple emails to my handheld device. This means I was no longer tied to my desk! This also meant I would end up working all hours of the day and night because I became addicted to that flashing red button and I had to know who was contacting me.
Over the years I’ve had at least seven or eight BlackBerry devises. They rolled them out updated, new and improved and I bought a new one almost each and every time. In my lifetime I’ve given at least four away, have had one stolen, recommend their use over 100 times and had one I only used for a month. Through them all I remained a loyal fan. UNTIL last month.
As the iPhone and Android phone wars dragged on I stood by my Blackberry. “I like to feel my keys” I said. “I can’t stand AT&T”, I moaned. Then, something started to happen. Blackberry’s RIM technology started to fail. Developed by Canadian company Research In Motion (RIM) caught many BlackBerry users off guard in a series of nationwide outages. I wasn’t a part of the first outage but the second one hit me hard and the third outage had me out of commission for over 18 hours. Normally, this would be an issue. However, I was about to go to the SXSW® Interactive Festival, a conference of cutting-edge technologies, the brings together the world’s most creative web developers, designers, bloggers, wireless innovators, content producers, programmers, widget inventors and new media entrepreneurs in Austin, Texas. There was no way I was going to be able to travel without a Smartphone. So… I… a most loyal BlackBerry customer jumped ship.
The day after my BlackBerry RIM outage I looked into getting an iPhone. I landed on an iPhone because I’m a Mac girl and it just seemed to make sense. Well, let me tell you this… for a techie, geeky, gadget girl… the iPhone is like technology CRACK. I am absolutely in LOVE with this phone. I also love all the phone wars I have with me friends who take our Smartphones way to seriously! “Do you have a signal? No? Ha! I do.” Or, “you can’t check into Foursquare? LOL… I can!.” Folks get very territorial and defensive about their Smartphones… especially Power Users (I just love that title) like myself and my techie friends.
Well, it seems I’m not alone in abandoned BlackBerry. A new report from Business Week says RIM shares are sinking as BlackBerry indicates prices are declining. Well, that’s what happens when you have several nationwide outages. Here’s a portion of the article. Click here for the full story:
April 1 (Bloomberg) — Research In Motion Ltd. fell the most in five months in Nasdaq trading after saying prices for the BlackBerry handset are dropping, signaling its push into developing countries may hurt profitability.
The average price of a BlackBerry sold to a carrier was $311 last quarter and will drop to between $305 and $310 this quarter, the company said yesterday. RIM projected gross margin, the percentage of sales left after production costs, of 44.5 percent, down from 45.7 percent in the previous period.
Profit margins may shrink further as RIM expands into countries such as Indonesia and China to counter slowing growth in North America, said Pierre Ferragu, an analyst with Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. in London. Costs to develop new products, which climbed 46 percent last quarter, also may weigh RIM down as it vies for customers with Apple Inc. and Motorola Inc.