And once again we have the same dumb shit ( link ) being posted by the usual suspects – that apparently Apple is dying , that they’ve ‘lost their mojo’ and that ‘Apple need to jump onto the next wave or commoditisation will eat them up’ and so on and so on. Same shit different day. Apple is maturing and there is a limit to how much of the market you can capture with a slimmed down line of products (four variations of the iPhone (two of them are the same look/feel/shape etc) vs. Samsung/HTC that have hundreds of variations – big and small. People like Apple because their products are refined, they work and they’re functional with the only risk being not the lack of ‘revolutionary changes’ but screwing things up like RIM did with their own platform. Sit down and talk to anyone who had a Blackberry and how many times they had to reset their phones because it would freeze solid – that is the kind of thing that pisses end users off and nothing to do with the so-called ‘innovation war’ that some on osnews.com claim as being the lynch pin of Apples success. Apple success or failure is off the back of their products ‘just working’ – end users buying a phone, taking it home, plugging it in and everything ‘just working’ as it should.
If anything is going to challenge the iPhone and iOS in the high end space (Android has the low end market thanks to ZTE and Huawei but that is a different story entirely) it will be Windows Phone 8 and its relationship with Nokia and HTC. End of the day it doesn’t matter a hill of beans if the likes of Samsung are putting out NZ$1050 (incl. GST) Galaxy S3s that are loaded to the gills with crapware that is only uninstallable via rooting the device then to add insult to injury it is a hit or miss whether you’re actually going to receive support by way of a their synchronisation software being updated to support the latest version of Windows or OS X let alone Samsung actually being bothered to provide timely updates for Android as general bugs, security holes and new releases are made available. Heck, I’ve just checked then (20 January 2013 NZ time) and Samsung can’t even be bothered updating their Windows application to support Windows 8 let alone providing an update so a person can easily install it on OS X 10.8 without the installer crapping out.
As for the low end there is a game between the high end gradually trickling down to the low end whilst in the immediate future we’re seeing that Windows Phone 7.8 has a lot of life left in it as a low end entry level platform for emerging markets being sold by ZTE and Huawei (these two brands probably unknown to most people as they’re sold are carrier branded smart phones) along with the low end Nokia. The death of Windows 7.8 has been greatly exaggerated but then again I’m not surprised given the so-called insiders actually don’t know shit from shinola. Again, there will come a time once these Windows 7.8 phones get out there and people give them a try thus you’ll have people no longer willing to put up with low powered phones running Android at the speed of treacle going down a hill – they’ll see how fast and fluid Windows Phone 7.8 is, they’ll see the price tag $200 for a Nokia 610 and wonder why they would even waste their time with a much slower $200 Android.
Side note: lets not try to kid ourselves, the biggest momentum in the Android space is coming in the sub $200 smart phones (prepaid and unlocked) that 16-20 year olds buy with money they’ve earned from their part time job. In fairness I wouldn’t even call them smart phones – at best they’re glorified feature phones with a touch screen. Nothing wrong with that said phones but lets not try to delude ourselves into thinking that the large market share equals a large potential customer base willing and able to purchase applications, music and games or that it represents a valuable long term customer base. As soon as these kids get some more money do you really think they’ll go for another Android device or will they upgrade to an iPhone or Windows Phone 8 at the earliest opportunity? I’ve yet to see a single kid at the place I work move from a low end Android device to a high end – the low end Android or Bada devices were seen as ‘good enough until I get enough money to purchase an iPhone or something better’. As for those who do choose Samsung Galaxy S3, funny how I rarely hear them mention Android as a factor – it is always based on the Samsung brand and reputation which means in other words Samsung tomorrow could switch to some other platform and apart from a noisy rabble from the cheap seats you’d see the vast majority keep purchasing said phones with the only comment being, “oh, this looks different to my last one I bought” and thus the world keeps spinning.