The iPhone enjoys unprecedented success in the mobile phone market. It is the leader that all other devices hope to match. But so far, none have. Apple’s mobile device was not only a revolutionary product when it was first released back in 2007, it came from a company that consumers trusted. And it offered new, fresh ideas that, for once, appealed to consumer desire, rather than disappoint.
Since that launch, things have been going just as well for the iPhone. Sales are higher than ever. More people are enjoying Apple’s device than some pundits thought possible. It even has more than 100,000 applications available to users. Simply put, the iPhone is an unbridled success.
But that doesn’t mean that it can’t be beaten. Mobile phone users are notoriously fickle. They want the best product on the market. Perhaps that’s why there is so much excitement over the possible release of Google’s Nexus One mobile phone. It has features that the iPhone doesn’t. It comes from a major, well-respected company. And by the looks of things, it has some real potential.
With the right strategy, the Nexus One could beat the iPhone. Here’s why.
1. It’s from Google
One of the main reasons why the iPhone was so successful was that Apple was behind it. People know Apple; they trust Apple. The same can be said for Google. Sure, an HTC device might be great, but when consumers haven’t heard of it, they’re suspect. It’s human nature. Google is a household name. Once they find out that the company has released a mobile phone, they will undoubtedly try to find out if it’s worth buying.
2. It’s unlocked
Instead of being locked down to a single carrier such as the iPhone, the Nexus One can be brought to any carrier. That alone is enough to make some consumers (and business customers) think twice about the iPhone. It might even lure some iPhone owners away from AT&T and Apple’s device.
3. The Android Market
Apple’s App Store has more than 100,000 applications, easily leading the mobile market in available programs. But it’s Google’s Android Market that comes in second behind Apple’s store. The Android Market has a slew of useful applications designed specifically for Android OS. Plus, some of the applications that weren’t allowed into the App Store are available in Google’s offering. Quantity isn’t everything.
4. Touchscreens, anyone?
Most consumers want a touchscreen. For now, Apple’s iPhone has the best touchscreen on the market. But Motorola’s Droid, an Android-based device, has a nice screen of its own. The Nexus One will reportedly feature a touchscreen. The market requires touchscreens and that is what Google plans to offer. It doesn’t plan to give Apple any advantage.
There’s Room for Improvement in Mobile Phones
5. The iPhone isn’t perfect
The iPhone might reign supreme in the market, but it’s not perfect by any means. The device still has a suspect virtual keyboard. It lacks availability on other carriers’ networks. And it generally fails to appeal to the enterprise. Those are major problems that we can’t forget about when evaluating the Nexus One’s chances of beating the iPhone. There are chinks in Apple’s armor. Google just needs to exploit them.
6. Droid is helping
If nothing else, Droid has helped put Google’s Android platform on the map. Prior to its release, Android was well known in tech circles, but it wasn’t so popular in the mainstream. With the Droid’s help, the mobile operating system is now relatively well known to many consumers. That should help Google sell more Nexus One devices, since potential customers will generally know what to expect from the device’s OS.
7. Google fully understands the consumer
From a corporate perspective, Google understands what the consumer really wants. The company has made billions of dollars evaluating its users, measuring the competition’s effectiveness, and delivering a product that combines simplicity and usability in one package. It has become a staple of Google’s offerings. Why should the Nexus One be any different?
8. It could change everything
Part of the appeal of the Nexus One is its potential to change the mobile industry forever. For the first time, a well-known, mainstream device will be offered sans carrier. If users flock to the device, it might just cause Apple and other competitors to follow suit and make devices available on multiple networks. The Nexus One could set the new norm in the industry.
9. The right design means everything
Judging by the pictures, Google seems to know what a “new-age” mobile phone should look like. The Nexus One features a sleek exterior, a big, vibrant display, and a footprint that should appeal to those who like to keep their phones in a pocket. At first glance, the Nexus One reminds me of the iPhone with its attention to detail. Once consumers pick it up, I think they’ll have the same feeling.
10. Apple still hasn’t targeted the enterprise
Although more enterprise-friendly applications have made their way to Apple’s App Store of late, the hardware company still has a long way to go before it can say that the iPhone is adequately appealing to enterprise needs. That could be an opening for Google. If it engages in the right strategy (an unlocked phone is a great first step, by the way), it could move into the business world, capturing market share away from Apple and RIM. If it’s successful in that space, it might only be a matter of time before it enjoys similar success in the consumer market.
The Nexus One has outstanding potential. Now, Google needs to ensure that it makes the right moves to make it a success.