In Principle, It's Game Over for iPhone's Competitors

There is little talk anymore of iPhone killers. In fact, it's questionable whether anyone, in this economic climate, can overcome the advantages the iPhone has in marketing and technological muscle. Here are the reasons why.

Lately, I've been seeing major, big time, expensive ads, full page, at the Wall Street Journal and Newsweek, There are probably other instances I've missed. Here's one I scanned from Newsweek's back cover.

Apple print ad

Combine this paper ad campaign with:

  1. Apple's patents
  2. Other competitors playing catchup in a recession - which curtails their own resources
  3. Apple iPhone apps on just every TV show each evening in prime time - dizzying
  4. The buzz that Apple's marketing creates
  5. The halo effect
  6. A significant fraction of the sessions at WWDC cover the iPhone.
  7. The iPhone has 67 percent of mobile browser market share according to Net Applications.
  8. Apple has 11 percent of the smartphone market share, and it's growing fast. BlackBerry is okay for now, but Nokia's is dropping.
  9. 40,000+ apps in the app store

... and you get a freight train that's just about unstoppable. I also believe there's a synergistic effect. Customers who buy iPhones say to themselves: "If the experience is this good on an iPhone, it must be equally terrific on the Mac."

My perception right now is that PC apologists, Windows Mobile apologists and Apple competitors are doing everything they can to make it appear as if it's all business as usual. The way to do this is to look at isolated items and drag out exceptions and mythconceptions.

However, when I look at the big picture, I see that the rest of the industry is no closer to closing the gap than they were in July 2008 when the 3G iPhone appeared.

The only remaining question is, what would be the impact of Apple obliterating the smartphone industry? And don't take me wrong, but Apple is not the kind of player who thinks about playing in a friendly sandbox. After years of customer indifference and technological somnambulance by competitors, Apple would love to bury every other competitor.

The list above suggests the handwriting is on the wall. However, a lot of people, industry executives and tech journalists, will vainly try to say it isn't so. Competition is healthy. Apple can only go so far with this product.

I don't believe a word of it.