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MacBytes
Apr 4, 2008, 12:39 PM
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Category: 3rd Party Hardware
Link: So Maybe Apple Was onto Something (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20080404133946)
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Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)
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FJ218700
Apr 4, 2008, 12:48 PM
very pro-Apple BusinessWeek article, always nice to see.

I like how the upcoming iPhone "competitors" are all still sporting a slide-out keyboard = cheap plastic designs.

Sounds like Sprint has dropped more in R&D with Samsung to make a competitor phone that Apple did in designing the iPhone in the first place.

mkrishnan
Apr 4, 2008, 12:57 PM
I like how the upcoming iPhone "competitors" are all still sporting a slide-out keyboard = cheap plastic designs.

Some of them are touch-only (just as the Prada one preceded Apple to the market), but like the Prada one, they just don't look like they can compete with Apple's gestalt, much less its uncanny ability to build buzz. That soft factor is the biggest thing. There has really never been a cell phone with this kind of buzz, I think. Not even the StarTAC or RAZR.

Music8Guyz
Apr 4, 2008, 02:06 PM
I have to agree w/ the statement that no other phone has generated quite this much hype. The RAZR is the closest comparison I can think of in recent history.
I do think that had handset makers stepped up their game earlier, they would be better suited to have a competitor, but companies like Motorola mostly opted to ride on the success they had with handsets like the RAZR, which is why we have the RAZR, KRZR (K1), RIZR, and SLVR, all based off of the same basic design.
If companies are only now trying to step up their design teams again, I think it could be awhile before a true competitor comes along, and even when it does the companies need to employ new, different marketing strategies to effectively be able to compete.

Roniniku
Apr 4, 2008, 02:22 PM
It's interesting to see all the devices coming out to "compete" against the iPhone. The iPhone, like many of Apple's products, is iconic. I'm not saying the iPhone is perfect because it isn't, but it's kind of like Ford saying they are coming out with a new car to compete with a Bugatti. The "new Ford" may be a mechanical marvel and it may even be just as good mechanically...but the Bugatti will always stand a lone as something that's just better. I think it's like going to a high school reunion and seeing the kid who was the odd one out...suddenly, years later, he comes back and the things that made him weird also made him "think different" and now he's the billionaire. Basically, I think when you are backed into a corner, you are forced to do things radically different in order to survive...that's what Apple has done. Hopefully they won't lose the innovative thinking they are known for.

kockgunner
Apr 5, 2008, 05:58 PM
It's interesting to see all the devices coming out to "compete" against the iPhone. The iPhone, like many of Apple's products, is iconic. I'm not saying the iPhone is perfect because it isn't, but it's kind of like Ford saying they are coming out with a new car to compete with a Bugatti. The "new Ford" may be a mechanical marvel and it may even be just as good mechanically...but the Bugatti will always stand a lone as something that's just better. I think it's like going to a high school reunion and seeing the kid who was the odd one out...suddenly, years later, he comes back and the things that made him weird also made him "think different" and now he's the billionaire. Basically, I think when you are backed into a corner, you are forced to do things radically different in order to survive...that's what Apple has done. Hopefully they won't lose the innovative thinking they are known for.

Yeah, corvettes outperform ferraris in some aspects but ferrari still feel more special.

mkrishnan
Apr 5, 2008, 06:03 PM
Yeah, corvettes outperform ferraris in some aspects but ferrari still feel more special.

At the same time, I think keeping it real has its value... the phone in your pocket is neither a Ferrari or a Corvette. It's not a Bugatti either. ;)

http://img.skitch.com/20080405-c9a8thfbi494apxwdhpdjpa6wh.jpg

madmaxmedia
Apr 5, 2008, 06:04 PM
The hype only works if there's a product that backs it up. Lots of companies have tried 'viral marketing' or teaser campaigns that get plenty of publicity or at least mentions (remember the weird Zune commercials?), but the product itself is a dud.

Thus far, I don't think anyone has come close to matching the iPhone's UI.

FDX
Apr 5, 2008, 06:27 PM
Thus far, I don't think anyone has come close to matching the iPhone's UI.

I really think the UI is where all the others will fail in the 'race'

madmaxmedia
Apr 5, 2008, 07:06 PM
I really think the UI is where all the others will fail in the 'race'

Yeah, and the SDK only widens that lead.

The other big thing is that Apple is one of the few that does both the hardware and software. The only other company that could compete like that is Palm, but they've been too busy buying, selling, splitting up, re-naming, re-developing, etc...

janstett
Apr 6, 2008, 05:19 PM
I'm not saying the iPhone is perfect because it isn't, but it's kind of like Ford saying they are coming out with a new car to compete with a Bugatti. The "new Ford" may be a mechanical marvel and it may even be just as good mechanically...but the Bugatti will always stand a lone as something that's just better.

Don't go to the hackneyed car analogies if you don't know cars, and didn't know about Bugatti before the Veyron.

Ford GT40 ring a bell?

In the 1960s everybody was losing to Ferrari at LeMans. Henry Ford II wanted to buy in, and spent millions auditing Ferrari, only to have Enzo change his mind at the last minute. Enraged, Ford set about to field a Ferrari killer. The GT40 was the result, and it kicked Ferrari's ass at LeMans in 1966. And again in 1967. And 1968. And 1969. Ford built a better Ferrari than Ferrari. The GT40 is a racing icon, and a symbol of what happens when arrogance is beaten back. Winning LeMans 4 years in a row builds prestige enough to overcome Ferrari's aura. Many purists would prefer a GT40 over their contemporary Ferraris. There's a lesson here for Apple. Imitators don't always fail, sometimes they actually come up with something better and the Ferraris are caught off guard. One of these days someone like Samsung or LG might come up with their GT40 and Apple gets its ass kicked.

Eraserhead
Apr 6, 2008, 05:34 PM
^^ Interesting point, the problem is that none of the other hardware companies are good with computer software. Although people like Nokia have done OK with the software, the only real place there has been any competition with advanced software is in the PC platform. Also where other companies have done the software well they have only done so, they haven't integrated it particularly well with other products. This basically leaves the only serious players in consumer electronics going forward to be Apple and Microsoft.

However Microsoft are at a disadvantage as they don't generally make hardware, so they licence it to third parties which has never really worked as a model before in consumer electronics.

This gives Apple a big advantage over the other players, and not just in the phone market.

kockgunner
Apr 7, 2008, 06:43 PM
At the same time, I think keeping it real has its value... the phone in your pocket is neither a Ferrari or a Corvette. It's not a Bugatti either. ;)

http://img.skitch.com/20080405-c9a8thfbi494apxwdhpdjpa6wh.jpg

it was for analogy's sake. i am by no means comparing an iphone to a ferrari!

twoodcc
Apr 8, 2008, 01:46 AM
the article does make a point, the iphone has made other companies make iphone-lookalikes. let's hope this makes apple make a better iphone, and soon