News Analysis: As rumors continue to swirl around the iPhone 5, it's becoming clearer that Apple's upcoming smartphone could take a bite out of Android adoption this year.
iPhone has been nothing short of an unbridled success in the mobile market.
Since its launch in 2007, Apple has sold millions of smartphones to customers
around the world, and several companies, like Motorola Mobility and HTC,
have tried to jump on that bandwagon and generate the same kind of cash Apple
has been able to tally.
some cases, those competitors, who opted in most cases to run Google's Android
platform, have been successful at achieving success in the mobile space. In other
cases, they have not. But with each passing year, Apple's competitors seem to
believe that with the right product, they can supplant the iPhone as the top
smartphone in the market.
in 2011, that won't happen. When Apple releases the iPhone 5 later this year,
it will likely achieve even greater heights. Perhaps most importantly, it will
cut into Android adoption for the duration of the year.
might eventually become the top mobile operating system in the marketplace, but
through 2011, Android
adoption won't be as high as some think
The possibility of a slimmer, cheaper iPhone is huge
rumors suggest that Apple is considering
offering a slimmer, cheaper iPhone
that will offer those on a budget an opportunity to get into the smartphone
game. Currently, there are several cheaper Android-based devices available to
consumers. The only issue is, those cheaper Android options lack some important
functions, and if Apple offers a cheaper version of the iPhone 5, Android
alternatives will likely lose their commercial appeal to Apple's new product.
There is too much fragmentation in the Android ecosystem
Android ecosystem is a bit of a mess right now. There are a countless number of
devices that are running several different versions of Android. There are also
several applications stores that are compatible with varying devices. The
iPhone 5, on the other hand, will offer a more uniform experience that
customers have grown accustomed to. As more people start trying out different
Android devices, they might realize that such uniformity really is better.
There aren't enough "killer" Android smartphones
face it: When one considers all the Android smartphones on the market right
now, there aren't nearly as many outstanding devices as Google would like the
market to believe. Motorola Mobility's Droid X and the HTC
Evo 4G are among the top Android-based devices on the market. But they compete
in a space that's also inundated with subpar devices, like the Motorola Bravo
and the HTC Aria. Even the Nexus S isn't as
appealing to customers as the Droid 2. Meanwhile, Apple keeps churning out
highly sought-after products that sell extremely well. If nothing else,
consumers will know later this year that opting for a device like the iPhone 5
won't be as big of a risk as choosing an Android-based smartphone that might or
might not work well.
The rumors suggest more choice
with any Apple product, rumors
surrounding the iPhone 5 are everywhere
. Some are more plausible than
others. But so far, there is a single persistent rumor that makes quite a bit
of sense: There will be more iPhone model options available to customers.
Granted, that might only mean that Apple offers up the iPhone 5 and a slimmer,
cheaper version of the smartphone, but the company might also offer the
previous-generation iPhone 4 at a reduced price. After all, this strategy
worked quite well with the iPhone 3GS. Later this year, consumers might be able
to choose from a reduced iPhone 4, a new iPhone 5 and a cheaper iPhone
alternative. With three devices on store shelves, Apple will be able to attract
more customers. This could definitely cut into Android adoption.