Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Maybe Apple is right in focusing on the iPhone instead of the desktop

"Smartphone Rises Fast From Gadget to Necessity"

The iPhone OS has become the de facto platform for mobile application development, making it the Windows of the mobile world. My earlier post about Apple losing the script still stands, but for the moment, the iPhone is selling in droves. In this downturn, the key is to ride the cash cow to profit. Maybe iPhone OS 4.0 will be installed on Apple's version of a Netbook.

Excerpts from this article substantiate what is already known in Technology circles - the smartphone market is growing while the overall cell phone market is shrinking. The reason - social expectations, great features, an always-on Internet connection, social cachet, etc.
The smartphone surge, it seems, is a case of a trading-up trend in technology that is running strong enough to weather the downturn. And as is so often true when it comes to adoption of new technology, the smartphone story is as much about consumer sociology and psychology asit is about chips, bytes and bandwidth.

For a growing swath of the population, the social expectation is that one is nearly always connected and reachable almost instantly via e-mail.
And the devices are not cheap. The upfront payment looks small, less than $200. But over the life of the contract, usually two years, the cost of data services adds up to a sizable amount.
Smartphones are not cheap, particularly in tough economic times. The phones, even with routine discounts from wireless carriers, usually cost $100 to $300, while the data and calling service plans are typically $80 to $100 a month.

But recent smartphone converts are often people who count pennies, including many from the growing ranks of job seekers. Helene Rude of Briarcliff Manor, N.Y., was laid off from her job as a business development manager at I.B.M. this year, when her unit, among others, was the target of cuts. When she left, Ms. Rude had to turn in her company notebook computer with its constant wireless connection.

So she got an iPhone instead, allowing her to be online no matter where she was, without having to lug a computer around.
All of this is making the cellular providers salivate.
“Smartphones are seen as essential to be productive in a mobile society,”...

The smartphone wave, industry analysts say, should continue to build. The room for gains is ample because, though rising, smartphone sales will still account for only a quarter of total cellphone shipments in the United States this year. And along with the Palm Pre, a host of new smartphone handset and software offerings are coming this year, from Apple, R.I.M., Nokia, Microsoft, Google and others.

The industry’s goal is to win over more rank-and-file converts
As always, such devices are a mixed bag.
... the key is to make sure this technology helps you carry out the tasks of daily life instead of interfering with them. It’s about balance and managing things.

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