Decisive iPhone Advantage
The application is a little pricey-it costs $99-but it also boasts
features that could cripple both the GPS industry and competing
smartphones. There are millions of iPhones in the wild. And although
not everyone will need to (or want to) buy a GPS application for their
iPhone, there's a good chance that there will many business and
personal users who will. It could significantly cut into GPS sales.
More importantly, it could put all of its smartphone competitors on
notice: if they want to compete with the iPhone, they need some serious
improvements to their own app stores.
RIM, Google, and Palm all offer apps, but they pale in comparison. There are currently less than 3,000 apps available to Android users. There are even fewer apps available to RIM BlackBerry users. And since many of those apps were simply ported from Apple's App Store, they don't provide the same appeal or competitive advantage as they do on the iPhone. Simply put, competing smartphones don't offer the end-to-end experience employees will find on the iPhone. The iPhone's competitors might have many of the features users want, but they don't have all the features users want. That's a problem.
The iPhone certainly isn't a perfect device. It's only available on AT&T, it doesn't have a well-respected enterprise server solution like the BlackBerry, and its virtual keyboard can be a hindrance. But it has the software. And if Microsoft's dominance in the operating system market has shown us anything, it's that software compatibility is an extremely important component in the success of a product.
Whether it's access to online cloud services or apps like the TomTom GPS, the App Store is home to applications that mean something to the business world. iPhone competitors don't have the apps users need. They don't have all the features users want. And worst of all, these other smartphones don't deliver the overall user experience people covet.
The TomTom GPS app alone won't be the reason for a mass exodus to the iPhone. But it is just another app of many that promote an important sentiment in this space: users who want the best apps to help them have the best experience will find it on the iPhone.