iPhone 5 Faces Mobile Market Unlike Anything Apple Has Known
The iPhone 5 will sell well, no doubt, but for the first time, Apple will face a very dominant Samsung and a phone market with little low-hanging fruit left.In the 24 hours leading up to release of the iPhone 5, the tech world is trying to get a handle on just how big the launch of Apple's latest smartphone will be. While expectations for any Apple event are always high, some analysts are cautioning that the iPhone 5 will face some serious challenges. On the extreme positive side, one analyst believes the iPhone 5 could shift the mobile market along with entire economy.
The Apple iPhone 5 is expected to bring about the "biggest upgrade in consumer electronics history," Topeka Capital analyst Brian White said in a research note this week, according to SlashGear.
The iPhone, as well as Samsung's phones, have continued to gain brand share over the past year and their joint share now exceeds 50 percent, which is likely to make it more difficult for Apple to easily take share from weakened competitors, because many of the easy share gains have already been accomplished. On the operating system side, iOS and Android have such dominant share that, as with brands, growing faster than the market will increasingly require taking share from a much stronger competitor, as opposed to merely vanquishing those who are already falling by the wayside.On that wayside are brands such as HTC, Motorola and Sony, which have struggled to compete against Samsung for customers open to the Android operating system. During the first quarter of this year, Samsung overtook Nokia-which led the phone market for 14 years-to gain the top billing. Another leader, RIM, held just a 3 percent market share during the second quarter, down from 11 percent, according to NPD, while in a year's time, Apple grew its share from 28 percent to 31 percent and Android's share rose from 53 percent from 59 percent. Apple has made quick work of converting Motorola and HTC users, among others, but it will be another story to take consumers from Samsung, which since the iPhone 4S's release has introduced the Galaxy S III, the Galaxy Note II, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the Galaxy Nexus, among other devices. NPD's Baker adds that his comments in no way suggest Apple won't have "an extremely successful" launch, but simply that the challenges Apple now faces are greater. "Blowing away all weakened competition, as Apple has done to this point, makes it infinitely harder to continue to blow away the remainder," wrote Baker, "because they are, by virtue of their current position, much more competitive than those that have fallen by the wayside."