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Apple iPhone competitors "feign complacency"

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.

by MacNN Staff





  1. psdenno

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Quoting yourself, or your other web site, as the "reliable" source is getting a little old and leads me to question the integrity of the article. How about listing the original source of the information for a change? Or, maybe, simply saying, "This just in!"

  1. russellb

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Iphone Competitors

    "There is nothing revolutionary or disruptive about any of the technologies"

    bahhhh bah bah ha ha ha ha oh i'm crying as i'm laughing so much .. they just dont get it or they dont want to public admit how scared they are.

  1. bobolicious

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Solving contact data... would be a huge blessing - no more porting of data if the OS can run apps both ways - Palm data sync & in fact iSync have been problematic & if one tries to look for 3rd party software the array of options is truly dizzying...

    Imagine a computer, cell phone & OS from a single, clever source - gee why has it taken so long!

    Microsoft with all it's resources seems to be so far behind Apple's design lead it is surprising...

    If iPod didn't convert the peecee users my sense is this likely will, especially when trickle down may offer iPhones at $250 in the not so distant future... ;-)

  1. Filburt

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Nokia 3G

    Shortly after iPhone was unveiled, Nokia's exec quipped how iPhone lacks crucial 3G. Guess what? None of the Nokia phones sold by GSM US carriers have 3G either!

  1. msuper69

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Expensvive, Cingular-only

    "... and its expensive, Cingular-only price plan,..."

    Where did this come from?

    Has Cingular published the plans that will be offered with the iPhone?

  1. LouZer

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: expensive, cingular

    Has Cingular published the plans that will be offered with the iPhone?

    There's no reason to expect that the plan for the iPhone would be more or less then what's currently being offered by them. And at $500-$600 for just the phone, it seems expensive to me.

    BTW, russellb, there is nothing revolutionary about the iphone. Its nothing different then a bunch of smartphones on the market, with the exception of the screen. "Oooh, look at all the cool features! Sure, I have to stop what I'm doing so I can press the buttons on the screen, since I can't feel what I'm touching, or whether I've actually pressed the button already!".

    And it would be nice if we waited to put Apple on the grand pedastel of all things great in the world of telecommunications until people actually can use the iPhone, which at this point is as vaporous as Microsoft's ZunePhone.

  1. dscottbuch

    Joined: Dec 1969


    re: Expensive, cingular

    1) If reports are correct and Cingular is NOT subsidizing the phone then the plan will likely be different

    2) It is revolutionary because its usable. I've tried using some of these other smart (read dumb) phones. As shown and reported by hands-on use this is light-years ahead.

    3) Since real people have used the iPhone and ZunePhone was announced as an IDEA today your disinginuity shows through when you call them equally vaporous. Is there even any spec page for the ZunePhone (my goodnes, what a name) let alone a unit that a journalist could use???

  1. corsair

    Joined: Dec 1969


    fly on the wall

    Well, it sure would have been interesting to have been behind some of those closed executive doors at the other phone companies 20 minutes after the iPhone launch, when everyone else's stock was dropping. We can assume there were executives yelling at managers to figure out what was going on and how to respond...

  1. jbelkin

    Joined: Dec 1969


    New World Order Coming

    There are many factors at play here. First, Apple is not going to make much of a market share dent NOR DO THEY WANT TO so while yes, Nokia, Erickson, LG, Samsung & Moto sell a lot of phone worldwide, they also sell a lot of phones that Apple has no interest in competing against - Apple is not going to compete against that crappy phone that you get 5 for $49 for your family - Apple is ONLY interested in people who have $300 or more to spend on a phone. The rest can have all the subsidized $10 phones that devalue the brand ... or look at the RAZR you can get for free now - Moto has already stupidly killed the RAZR name. Apple is not going to do that. You want entry into an apple phone - you'll hafe to pay. If you're not interested, fine, back off - go away - you have literally a thousand other choices. Apple is NOT interested in you.

    Like their computers, Apple si interested in selling to people who control their own pocketbooks - Apple could easily 1,000 sales guys to go knock on corporate America but they like to do things the "pull" way - we'll create world class products including servers. If you want it, you know where to find us. We're not going to waste time buying you lunch at the shrimp shack and hope you buy 10 computers. WE HAVE BETTER things to do.

    So, presuming Apple is succesful, it makes no real difference to all the other companies EXCEPT PSYCOLOGICALLY and MARKETING wise. Right now, they all have a handful of $300 to $700 smart/pda phones - how are they selling? okay. acceptable but no one has broken out of the pack - after 10 years of Pda/smartphones - any groundbreaking phones? No, they all are pretty much the palm pilot with a phone, a tiny keypad and some icons. The blackberry service is noted by name ONE of their phones? Beyond the push service, who can navigate that damn thing with the giant pixel icons? Yes, they work okay but clearly NOTHING has really advanced in the last 10 years including MS's myriad of attempts to get in this game. After 10 years, hundreds of phones, maybe billions in R&D, they have MAYBE 3% of the US market.

    So, as Monty burns might say - ripe for the plunking. and yes, unlike the ipod, Apple is competitng against dozen companies who have been in the business and would be called successful but the market is SO MUCH LARGER. 5 years, the entire mp3/dap market was around $100 million dollars so to be really succesful, you do have to grab the large marlet share - obviously in growing the market to a multibillion now, it's another story but the phone market is different because 1% of the phone market today is worth MUCH MORE so Apple doesn't have to measure huge succesful with marlet share but marlet share within the sector they are pursuing.

    And the companies now - they are COMPLETELY INEPT like the mp3 market. Yes, they can design some hardware and some nice forms but UI - they are morons. They have sold something like 3 billion phones - how many phones have

  1. doctor9

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: expensive, cingular

    I agree somewhat w/ "louzer". It seems inappropriate to comment to heavily either in favor or in disagreement with the iPhone until its release. It's more similar to the lead up to Zune's release when pundits were claiming it was "THE iPod killer". Needless to say, that didn't happen.

    That stated, I'll be one of the first to buy one but I'm by no means the average consumer when it comes to Apple products. Like every consumer electronics device (including the iPod), the first version is bound to have its shortcomings but will, if successful, become better with each iteration. But I won't be able to stop myself from getting one...that and I'm already a Cingular customer w/ an expired contract...timing is everything!

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