updated 05:50 pm EST, Thu February 1, 2007
iPhone rivals hide concern
Apple's new opponents in the cellphone industry are only maintaining the illusion that the iPhone won't affect their plans, ThinkEquity Partners analyst Jonathan Hoopes observed today. Electronista writes that while he acknowledged the iPhone's success was far from certain, given its lack of 3G wireless and its expensive, Cingular-only price plan, the industry expert argued that apparent disinterest from competitors such as Nokia and Samsung was just a ruse, disguising their own uncertainty. The cellular mainstays face "an extremely savvy marketing competitor with a huge user base," Hoopes commented. "They better be nervous. But they are all trying to feign complacency."
Established cellphone companies in recent days have presented mixed opinions about the iPhone, commending Apple's effort but being equally quick to downplay its long-term damage to their own lines, pointing to differences in design.
Palm spokeswoman Marlene Somsak, whose employer's Treo smartphone was openly criticized during Apple's iPhone introduction, contended that its professional base "need[s] a full keyboard" instead of touchscreen input. US-based Motorola has also said that the iPhone brings nothing new to the table. "There is nothing revolutionary or disruptive about any of the technologies," wrote the company's Padmasree Warrior in her blog.
Uncofirmed rumors suggest, however, that Microsoft may indeed find the iPhone a threat, leading the company to begin work on a Zune phone that sidesteps the company's own Windows Mobile operating system. Like the iPhone, the theoretical Zune product would be heavily media-oriented.