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« Enter The iFlop, What Will Be Seen as First Apple Failure After Steve Jobs - But the first edition Apple Watch will of course sell massively to iSheep | Main | Time For Some Told-ya-so About iPhone - Is Anyone This Accurate? »

September 16, 2014

Comments

Colin Crawford

@Tomi, you may be correct about the Apple Watch but it's the first innings. I took the opportunity to re-read many of your predictions around the launch of the iPhone - then you were full of reasons why Apple was likely to stumble and struggle to get to significant sale - but it did not stumble. A company that was near bankruptcy in 1997 is now one of of most valuable companies in the world and mobile is it's core strategy. Apple will likely sell 100MM iPhone 6s Apple, globally it's the most profitable manufacturer of smartphones. It has deftly navigated a market it had to enter as a raw incumbent back in 2007, eliminating Blackberry, Nokia and others along the way who failed to appreciate the need for open access to the full internet on mobile - that move by Apple, alongside a developer eco-system changed the game. Without Apple - the Japanese, Koreans and Europeans would have desperately tried to restrict users to "walled gardens" You speak of the challenges with the apps stores but do not really dig into the in-app purchases and premium services, which are much stronger on the iPhone. Today, only Samsung, liberally borrowing from Apple is now a real competitor in marketshare but not profits. However, as the Chinese lock down their market - both Samsung and Apple may face significant challenges in this region. It will be interesting to come back in a year and re-examine the numbers. I'm an Apple fan having run MacUser UK and Macworld US from 1987 - 2003 and I believe Apple's understand the customer experience and total eco-system far better than most of their competitors. It's far from perfect and should be called out when it missteps. The Android / iOS war have echoes of the past. I remember well the specs wars in the PC-era - speeds and feeds were marketed as the differentiators when what was really important was the ease of use. From the customer perspective - competition is always welcome and prevents any player resting on their laurels. I look forward to continued mobile innovation no matter from which source it comes. "Religious" wars are tedious and unproductive - we need to work to push the whole industry forward rather than just focusing on particular companies.

JMM

Deceiving and lame reading, confusing also.

After (and before) this:

"Now that being said, Apple doesn't need to be market share winner. When it last tried that (in the PC/Mac wars of the 1990s) Apple went to the brink of bankruptcy."

You spent thousand of words writing about market share.

Apple is about profit not market share, Microsoft won the desktop's war, no HP, no Dell, no Lenovo. Google is wining the smartphone's war, no HTC, no Sony not even Samsung who will see the same fate of the computer OEMs.

Apple is about UX and usability not about specs, Macs always performed better than their windows counterparts same goes for iPhone vs. the rest. Is like saying that a Ford Taurus is better than an Audi A6 because it has more cc.

I'm pretty sure that Tim Cook cannot sleep thinking about people in Kenya and the lack of radio in their phones, writing this means you know very little about Apple...

Worst insult (well, not insult but very annoying) is your mention to the Z3, do you know that the Z3 is a Z2 with a rounder frame? I can imagine a bunch o comic people at Sony saying "we have to lunch a(nother) flagship in H2/14 but we are not ready", and a small and wise Japanese guy answering "WTF, let's lunch the Z2 again with a slightly tweaked chassis". They are telling "sony customer, screw you up, your Z2 was made obsolete by the same freaking phone!!!"

I usually enjoy your readings, not this one, very sub par.

Janne

I'm sure Apple would be able to make a device with all the features in the world, but the question is why would they do that? The design is above everything. They are profitable in what they are doing; it's a well crafted model which is carefully steered forward.

There's a pattern of creating a desire. Just at the final point Apple introduces features that satisfy that desire. It's a slow intravenous drip that's borderline sadistic, but it works. I think that of all of the players in the market Apple understands and exploits the emotions best, and this will keep them well afloat.

Enyi

http://www.engadget.com/2014/09/16/iphone-6-and-6-plus-review/

"iPhone 6 and 6 Plus review: bigger and better, but with stiffer competition."

"Even though this is Apple's first attempt at building large phones, it's not breaking new ground -- in fact, it feels more like the company is catching up than innovating."

The review above echoes Tomi's opinion.

Even pro Apple blogs like Engadget can see the Emperors nakedness. They are still not as fair on Apple's competition, still very biased. TheVerge, in particular is horribly pro Apple. Thankfully, these are US centric blogs.....relatively insignificant in the context of global mobile. I will wait for gsmarena review.

Enyi

The pro Apple bias in US media is sickening. The likes of Mossberg and Pogue are more or less an extension of Apples marketing department. The UK also has Charles Authur of the Guardian newspaper playing second fiddle to these mugs.

Thank goodness that the US is no longer that much influential in mobile. Read more of the disgusting bias below. Apple has got the US media under a barrell. No doubt.

http://www.businessinsider.com/iphone-6-first-reviews-2014-9

abdul muis

@Enyi

Talking about bias, I think this is the worst. It's like being written by AppleTurfer & Baron95
http://www.ibtimes.com/iphone-6-vs-android-9-signs-youre-samsung-user-who-should-switch-apple-1690023

iPhone 6 vs. Android: 9 Signs You're A Samsung User Who Should Switch To Apple

Your move, Samsung. For years, big-screen smartphones powered by Google Inc.’s (NASDAQL GOOGL) Android operating system have been chipping away at iPhone's market share, particularly in emerging markets. But with the introduction of the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) just copied the killer feature of most Android phones: big screens.

Pre-sales of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus ahead of the devices’ Sept. 19 launch are breaking records. How many of these iPhone buyers are Android converts? We'll have to wait for the sales data. But if you're Apple fan living in an Android world, here are some signs that it might be time to switch:

You only chose Android for the large screen. Devices powered by the Android operating system have dominated the large-screen market for some time, with manufacturers commonly releasing devices with displays that surpass 5 inches and some that even surpass 6 inches. The previous protocol was: If you wanted a large phone, you likely opted for an Android device because Apple stubbornly released device after device with 4-inch displays.

Now, the iPhone 6 features a 4.7-inch display and the iPhone 6 Plus features a 5.5-inch display. Both devices cater to two very important sectors of the market. Analysts say that devices with displays larger than 4 inches but smaller than 5 is currently the fastest growing market, while devices over 5 inches are a vital niche market that does not have many devices at premium price points and specifications. It is believed that with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, Apple is trying to win back the Android users it previously lost due to device size.

You find Android interfaces too difficult. Apple’s iOS operating system is known for providing a simple and streamlined user experience, while the Android operating system is more focused on customization and ongoing development of applications and other features. Many programmers and hackers often opt for Android for this reason, but the variation in the software might be too much for a layman user.

The Android user experience can also vary depending on the brand of the device due to the custom software that manufacturers add on top of Android. There is pure Android found on Google’s Nexus line, the TouchWiz UI for Samsung (KRX: 005930), the Sense UI for HTC (TPE: 2498), the Optimus UI for LG (KRX: 066570) and many others. But the Apple user experience will be the same on the iPhone 6, iPhone 5s and so on.

You’re frustrated by infrequent Android updates. Apple is also completely in charge of sending software updates to all its supported devices, which means that updates become available for all iOS devices at roughly the same time. The process for receiving Android updates is much different since for most devices, the software has to go through device manufacturers and mobile carriers before they reach users. This often leaves devices without updates for several months following the release of a new Android system version. In particular, this could leave users with unfixed bugs and other issues for an extended period of time. Though Google is making an effort to fix this issue by optimizing its latest system version to be compatible with more devices, most Android devices still run a much older version of the operating system.

Your entire electronics ecosystem is Apple except your phone. Somehow you own a MacBook, an iPad, an iPod; all of your music is on iTunes, yet you have an Android smartphone. Dual fans of Apple and Android know all too well the stringent incompatibility between the two platforms. Connecting an Android mobile device to an Apple computer will prompt the Android File Transfer feature, which allows users to manually move files from one device to another -- instead of automatically syncing files. This is only one of many roadblocks of having incompatible devices. Tried and true Android smartphone fans with Apple computers will be accustomed to this, but if it’s too much of a hassle for you, it may be time to switch to an all-Apple device lineup.

You’re concerned about safety. Despite the major iCloud hack during which intimate photographs of several celebrities were stolen, Apple’s software is considered some of the safest on the market. Apple encrypts both its software and hardware, so that all information on its devices is confidential. The Android platform is considered open source, which means anyone can access the system’s code and modify it to their liking. While most developers and programmers use this ability for good, there are many that do not. The Android operating system reportedly contains 97 percent of all malware on the market. The truth is, no software is completely safe and it is quite easy to protect an Android device from malware threats. But for some, owning an Apple device gives an extra sense of security.

You’re interested in Apple Watch/Apple Pay. Apple also recently announced its new device Apple Watch and its new service Apple Pay. Consumers shouldn’t be surprised that these new products are compatible only with other Apple devices; so if you want to use either, you’d have to bite the bullet and get an iPhone.

You can’t decide on which Android device you want. Samsung recently announced its Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy Note Edge smartphones; there is also the Sony Xperia Z3 and the Motorola Moto X (2014) among the latest Android-powered devices. In addition, there are many Android devices that released earlier this year, such as the Samsung Galaxy S5, HTC One M8 and LG G3. The question becomes which do you choose? If you’re unsure, an easier question might be: Do I choose the large iPhone or the larger iPhone?

The new iPhone will be available in just a few days. The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will be available for purchase on Sept. 19 and the devices are already available for pre-order. Not only have the new iPhones sold more than 4 million pre-orders, they are expected to surpass 10 million handset sales during their introductory weekend. The iPhone 6 launch is expected to be the largest in Apple history. Additionally, mobile carriers are offering several deals in order to get customers to purchase the new iPhones on their network.

You want the new U2 album. While many iOS users are trying to figure out how to delete the new U2 album “Songs of Innocence” from their iTunes library, perhaps you’re still a fan on Bono. Notably, the album was sent to users for free during the iPhone launch event last Tuesday. This might be a sweet deal for some -- buy the iPhone 6 and get the new U2 album free.

abdul muis

My 3 favorite quote from above bullshit were:
1. You can’t decide on which Android device you want.... [...] ....If you’re unsure, an easier question might be: Do I choose the large iPhone or the larger iPhone?
2. You want the new U2 album..... [...] ..... This might be a sweet deal for some -- buy the iPhone 6 and get the new U2 album free.
3. You’re concerned about safety. Despite the major iCloud hack.... [...] ...The Android operating system reportedly contains 97 percent of all malware on the market.... [...] ....But for some, owning an Apple device gives an extra sense of security.

Huber

@Apple Turfer:

>>Apple's market share has gone down is debatable. Apple's share of the mobile phone market continues to rise. What you have is a erasing of the line between feature phone and smartphone. $100 Android phones are competitors to feature phones, not the iPhone and not the Galaxy line. So, really, if one MUST include the cheap Android phones, might as well consider all mobile phones.

Mobile phones are distinguished by features, not by arbitrary price points.

A $100 Android-phone actually has more features than your iPhone (file browser, sideloading, Bluetooth file transfer, any app can be replaced and even be set as new default app just to name a few), so the comparison is valid.

You cannot just introduce new rules to the game to make Apple look better.

>> they came up with an innovate way to help the large screen version via the double tap to bring down the far top of the screen into thumb range.

The first Samsung Galaxy Note in 2012 already had a similar feature, so again Apple is copying Samsung. The first Note even had pen input, a feature that the iPhone 6+ lacks.

Also the Galaxy Note has multiwindows to run 2 apps side by side. Apple does not have this feature - perhaps they copy it next year :-)

Enyi


Apple press vs Tomi Ahonen? No chance for Tomi lol.

See video below, the bias is disturbing :

iPhone 6 Review: Now Fewer Reasons to Get an Android…: http://youtu.be/SFCLYDwsjOA

Ethan Hawk

Apple is a margin company and will defend margins rather than market share. Nothing has changed since 1976

iPhone's biggest threat is not the standard giants (samsung etc) but rather niche products with enough brand value to address the key USP's where Apple fails. Apple is the generalist for the niche market.

1. Music - Nothing has changed , iPhone is still and iPod touch with telecoms jacked onto it. The challenge is that the ipod/itunes environment is still stuck in 2007 (hardware wise)

2. Camera - Come on seriously?

3. Portability - the iphone lacks scalebility which means that it is not a real productive tool. Sorry but its not really even good enough as a telco tool or note taking device. Most iPhone users (at least in my micro cosm) has secondary devices.


This means its the brand (Apple) and that it is an awesome brand with a good enough product.

Samsung, Sony, HTC .... seriously crap brands. Just NO lifestyle . The only thing keeping them alive are massive advertising campaigns. So is Apple that great or is it because the rest are so crap?

Fiona Keenan, consumer insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech says that the (lifestyle) trend is most worrying for HTC and Samsung, where 29.7% of their current users would choose a phone based on other reasons * (hardware, OS, features), but only 6.5% on the (handset) brand.!

The smart phone market is about to change and Apple as a company is just TOO dependent on the iPhone for their own good.

RottenApple

@Janne:

"I'm sure Apple would be able to make a device with all the features in the world, but the question is why would they do that? The design is above everything. They are profitable in what they are doing; it's a well crafted model which is carefully steered forward."

You are absolutely correct about Apple's actions.

There's just one problem with this: Apple is acting as if they existed in a vacuum without competition. And that only works because the typical Apple customer tends to completely ignore what the competition does, assuming by default, Apple is 'best'. This can work for some time - but not forever.

No doubt

@RottenApple

"And that only works because the typical Apple customer tends to completely ignore what the competition does, assuming by default, Apple is 'best'. This can work for some time - but not forever."

The question is, when will this change? Will it take 10 years or a week?

RottenApple

@No doubt:

Very hard to say. What's sure is that Apple knows its current customers and completely plays their attitude to maximize profit.

But as market share numbers tell, they don't gain many new customers this way, the iPhone business has become mainly an upgrade-business and as such might be sustainable for quite some time.

The real threat comes from secondary effects of this strategy: Smartphone marketshare will inevitably fall further. And since that marketshare is very unevently distributed among countries, with almost half of Apple's customers located in just two countries - USA and Japan - it will also mean that in other parts of the world that marketshare can easily fall below a critical mass where iOS is merely considered an 'also ran' platform, and if that happens, then Apple really has a huge problem on its hands.

Imagine what would happen if some highly popular local service decided not to support Apple anymore due to low marketshare: Customers may switch platforms in a hurry to be able to continue to use that service (or Apple may be forced to pay that service for continued support - and should that happen only once, all dams will break loose, we already see with Microsoft how such a strategy ends.)

The thing is, what Apple does is great for their short-term profits, it ensures it can milk the same customers over and over and over again, of course they'll report record profits each year. But what they really need is to expand their reach to other customers to keep their marketshare above this critical mass. The Apple 'ecosystem' is gravitating towards services, not devices. But these services need users, lots of them, and many of the potential users do not use Apple due to their strategy that's all about squeezing the most profit out of the market.


Spawn

@TDC123

> of those how many can afford even a data plan !!!

A typical smalltown question. First the need for a "data-plan" for internet is not typical but exceptional. Typical is prepaid. Second the price you pay for your data-plan is insane and not normal.

Remove this both, bound through data-plan and high data prices, and add to the mix rich competition, an amazing portfolio of devices, a strong second and theird hand market, newer devices, way more customers. That explains why the turnaround-times, how long people here stick to a device before replacing it, are much lower here compared to US. Here (asia) lot of people change there smartphones more often then underware.

@RottenApple

> The thing is, what Apple does is great for their short-term profits

Exactly. Longterm iPhone goes the iPod way fading out and be replaced. Can Apple offer the product that replaces it? I would certainly see iPad, iPhone6+ and the Watch as attempts. iPad opened new channels, attracted nee customers, smashed. Now with Cook we got 6+ and Watch, both more iphone accessoirs then game-changers. Milking old cows rather then born new ones. Shortterm more profit but longterm... and that they have in common with Microsoft. Milking the old cow, more profits now while the WP/Surface-cows die and they are doomed to stick with a cow that wil not survive forever.

Is Apple without Jobs able to do betternthen Microsoft under Ballmer did?

AndThisWillBeToo

@spawn
You are now mixing data plan and American silly tariffs.
My kids have data plans with literal "all you can eat" data usage, i.e. no limit for megabytes you want to download. They pay 2 EUR (2.6 USD) per month for it.
Where's the catch? The speed is limited to 384kbps. Enough for most browsing, enough for WhatsApp, Skype (save video), Internet radio, Wordament,...

My wife has similar no-limit data plan except she has 4G LTE with speed of 50Mbps. She uses YouTube, Netflix, Spotify, etc.

My kids bring no value to carriers, app developers or service providers. They use every service as free version if they can. They don't have money to spend. My wife does. She pays per month for Spotify and Netflix. She needs fast data.

Guess who would be glad to have FM radio in her Lumia 620 and who couldn't care less?
Guess who is in the Apple target group and who is not?

AndThisWillBeToo

Oh one more thing: My wife's subscription costs 25 EUR (32USD) per month. Literally over an order of magnitude more than those of my kids.
Carriers want one of these as their subscriber. Guess who that is?
Samsung, Apple, LG, Huawei would primarily want to sell their phone to one of these. Guess who that is?

So what comes to Tomi's text:
Yes, Apple MUST have FM radio.

Spawn

@AndThisWillBeToo

> You are now mixing data plan and American silly tariffs.

Please read again. I wrote "First dataplan [...]. Second pay".

> My kids bring no value to carriers

Try to think outside of the personalization concept, think prepayed. Anybody can buy the same thing independent of personalized usage/services/... But it doesn't stop there. Know what promos are? Like if you open/start to use the prepayed card at a certain date you get double that. Like if you have a codeword you can tribble that. Like if you pay two such cards and stack them you get 3 (pay 2, get 1 free). Like replay to a certain sms and you get ...

Its not fixed price. Its not fixrd service either cause you can, at anytime, switch between 2G or 3G for example, surf 10 minutes and pay half using 2G and full using 3G depending on region, datetime, ...

Point is unlike your upfront 2 years contract with fixed datalimit, speed, etc. its variable. It depends on you and your willingness. The carriers are in competition and that all of thentime. They do not have you for two long years. You are not bound to them.

Think a bit future. Why are dualsim phones standard in that context? Imagine you buy 2 prepayed cards from two competing carriers and use them the same time. If you call your friend X whos at carrier N and you are at carrier N too the call is free. So, you are gonna use your carrier N prepayed card. If you are in a region where carrier N has bad connecrion you can swit h to carrier M. If carrier M has a special offer, like surf today pay the half, you are gonna use carrier M for mobile internet. No problem cause when you are not using your carrier N card for a week you not lose anything.

Point is, there is no fixed dataplan. The price of the orepaydd card is fixed. You are in charge to make out of that prepayed-card as you see fit.

That is competition, service and choice.

Pissed Off

Tomi is so full of himself that he now believes that he has predicted everything that can ever happen in mobile.

Huber

@AndThisWillBeToo:

>> Oh one more thing: My wife's subscription costs 25 EUR (32USD) per month. Literally over an order of magnitude more than those of my kids.
Carriers want one of these as their subscriber. Guess who that is?

Does your wife even get a subsidized phone with this contract?

The people I know with ~€20-contracts do not get subsidized phones anymore, it's just the SIM card. If you want to have a phone on top, you pay an extra fee (IIRC about €25/month for an SGS5 or iPhone 5S).

Spawn

@Huber

> Does your wife even get a subsidized phone with this contract?

That is a thing I actually not understood in Tomi's article. It sounds as there are still subsidized phones?

I made and still make complete different experiences in asia. There are no subsidized phones available at all since many many years. Its near impossible, or somebody needs to look really hard, to find such offers. China Mobile, sure, but its just a very special case.

Everywhere where there is choice, real choice, subsidized phones are long gone. Nobody is willing to stick with a phone for 2 long years here let alone would sign into 2 years fixed phone/data contracts. What was the number? 98% are on prepayed? My experience says 100% and there are no alternates. But this 2% are maybe business contracts. Still, why would a business buy subsidized phones?

I just not saw that since years. No offers available at all outside of such special cases like china mobile.

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    Tomi Ahonen is a bestselling author whose twelve books on mobile have already been referenced in over 100 books by his peers. Rated the most influential expert in mobile by Forbes in December 2011, Tomi speaks regularly at conferences doing about 20 public speakerships annually. With over 250 public speaking engagements, Tomi been seen by a cumulative audience of over 100,000 people on all six inhabited continents. The former Nokia executive has run a consulting practise on digital convergence, interactive media, engagement marketing, high tech and next generation mobile. Tomi is currently based out of Helsinki but supports Fortune 500 sized companies across the globe. His reference client list includes Axiata, Bank of America, BBC, BNP Paribas, China Mobile, Emap, Ericsson, Google, Hewlett-Packard, HSBC, IBM, Intel, LG, MTS, Nokia, NTT DoCoMo, Ogilvy, Orange, RIM, Sanomamedia, Telenor, TeliaSonera, Three, Tigo, Vodafone, etc. To see his full bio and his books, visit www.tomiahonen.com Tomi Ahonen lectures at Oxford University's short courses on next generation mobile and digital convergence. Follow him on Twitter as @tomiahonen. Tomi also has a Facebook and Linked In page under his own name. He is available for consulting, speaking engagements and as expert witness, please write to tomi (at) tomiahonen (dot) com

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