Tuesday, June 23, 2009

iPhone - A Superstar amongst Gadgets

Apple's latest iPhone version, launched on June 19, 2009, has beaten its own previous launch record.

Apple's iPhone 3G S - where the 'S' stands for 'Speed' - has broken the record of its predecessor - the iPhone 3G, which sold a Million units during its launch week-end. According to Apple's press release yesterday, it has sold more than 1 million units of iPhone 3G S in the first three days of its release since Friday last.

Even the previous year's iPhone 3G launch saw Apple sell its then latest gadget at 1 Million units during the first 3 days but that launch happened simultaneously in 21 countries across the globe as against just 8 countries now in which iPhone 3G S has been launched including the United States, Canada & six other European nations. It took the original iPhone, launched in mid-2007, 74 days to reach the 1 Million mark.

Thus, through its brisk sales, Apple has beaten analysts' predictions of anywhere between 400,000 to 750,000 units sales during its launch week-end. Seeing the brisk sales of iPhone 3G S, one analyst remarks that "even in this down economy, food, shelter, clothing and smart phones are becoming essentials of people's lives".

As per analysts' data, more than half of the iPhone 3G S buyers were upgrading. This shows that Apple can benefit if it shortens its replenishment cycle apart from benefitting from its ever growing market share in smartphones. Another significant development of this year's iPhone sales is that 12% of the buyers have discarded their Blackberrys (up from 6% earlier).

Apple Inc.'s CEO, Steve Jobs said in a statement that “Customers are voting and the iPhone is winning. With over 50,000 applications available from Apple’s revolutionary App Store, iPhone momentum is stronger than ever”.

Yes. Apple's iTunes AppStore, a simple but effective software applications retailing portal from which applications can be downloaded onto iPhones and iPod Touches, is a roaring success with more than 1 Billion downloads in nine months. Coupled with the latest update of its iPhone OS 3.0 software, of which 6 million downloads have happened since its official release last week, an overwhelming majority of 88% of the buyers opted for iPhone 3G S due to its new feature sets.

One of the new features in the latest operating system is Find My iPhone (available only for Apple's MobileMe subscribers). By enabling this feature, an IPhone owner can locate & retrieve his lost iPhone. If you think I am kidding, please read this great story.

Apple's iPhone is yet to enter (officially) the one big market in the world for mobile phones - China. Rumours are doing the rounds that Apple is in talks with a Chinese mobile carrier for a possible iPhone 3G S roll-out in China from October, 2009. Once that happens, iPhone is expected to start garnering real market share in smartphone sales, which is at present hovering at around 8.4%.

As far as iPhone 3G's India foray is concerned, it was a huge flop, thanks to both the carriers (Bharti Airtel & Vodafone) who have not subsidised the devices but, at the same time, tied the user with a two-year contract. Since the Indian market is highly price-sensitive, I think it will take a while before iPhone starts making inroads into India. I think the possibly of iPhones making some dent in the Indian smartphone market will be the time when the 3G spectrum services are allowed to be rolled out by the Indian Government, which is unlikely before 2010.


கிரி said...

Arun two weeks before I bought iPod Touch, its really nice. Actully I plan to write a post about iPod touch.

M Arunachalam said...

Giri - Congrats on your new iPod Touch purchase. Looking forward to read your experiences with that gadget soon.

Arun Kumar said...

Hi Arun, thanks for the information.
will this phone is available in india?is there any news about the subsidized rates for this phone in inida?

Vijay said...

iPhone is cool. But it is super costly and it covers only the super duper high end model. I would buy as 32" LCD TV for this phone. However, I strongly feel that iPhone should become more open. meaning, if I buy an iPhone from Airtel, I can't switch it to any other operator. Applications written for iPhone are not open source. Which means, if a bug exists, I can't get fixes for from the internet.

I believe, google's android platform is going to beat iPhone as it is much cheaper and above all the apps are all opensource. Even I can write an application for the Google Android. They have already teamed up with HTC to manufacture phones and it can be seamlessly switched across operators.

M Arunachalam said...

Hi Arun Kumar,

Thanks for your comments. As per some reports iPhone 3G S is expected to be launched in India on 9th August, 2009.

As far as the rates are concerned, trust the carriers to spoil the party for all Apple/iPhone enthusiasts. I bet neither the device's cost nor the plan charges are likely to be on the lower side.

Hi Vijay,

Long time no see. Gone on a Goa trip again?

The "coolness" factor is what all other iPhone Killers(?), a.k.a. copycats, are trying to achieve with their hardware as well as Mobile OS but so far have failed (including HTC Touch which uses Google's open Android OS). Palm Pre, which was launched in the US on 6th June and which uses Palm's propreitory Mobile OS was the closest to have come to iPhone so far but even their association with the US carrier Sprint is expected to yield a sale of only about 500,000 Pre units in the 1st year.

Reg. your other point about Android platform beating iPhone OS, I have my own doubts about it because of the way Apple has taken a massive lead over all other competitors through its iTunes AppStore which has got 50,000 applications written by independent software developers numbering more than 25,000 from around the world in less than a year for the iPhone. Compare this with Google's Store (I forgot its name) which has got just around 1,000 apps only written so far, inspite of it being an open platform.

With the momentum which Apple & its AppStore has got and gaining still, its going to be very, very tough for any competitor, be it Google or RIM or Palm or even the Mother of All Copycats - Microsoft, to even come near Apple.

BTB, do you know MS is trying to refurbish its failed Zune to compete with iPodTouch with the launch of its new Zune HD planned for this October?