Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone 4 June 7 at the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference. While its new features and longer battery life will doubtlessly appeal to consumers, the smartphone faces rising competition from Android devices. In many ways, Google’s smartphone strategy is the opposite that of Apple’s—and it may be working.
3A Question of Control
With the iPhone, as with the Macs, Jobs has a singular philosophy: Keep tight control of both hardware and software. This differs from Googles strategy, which involved opening Android to various smartphone manufacturers. But then, Apple has traditionally had issues with clones and outside manufacturers.
After returning to Apple in 1997, Jobs terminated the licensing deals with manufacturers for Mac clones. That allowed Apple to streamline its brand. Theories abound, however, that if the company had decided to license the OS earlier in the 1980s, it might have surpassed Windows in market share. Seen here is the Apple Lisa, which debuted in 1983 and ran a graphical UI.
6Microsoft and Google
8Androids Rapid Refreshes
9Android on the Rise
10HTC Evo 4G
11Apples Niche Play
With the Mac line, Apple hit upon the strategy of appealing to an “ultra-quality” niche—and cornered the market for higher-end PCs. Apple has marketed the iPhone as a top-of-class smartphone equivalent, but a flood of Android devices on a variety of different carriers (the iPhone remains restricted to AT&T) presents a strong counter-argument for variety and convenience.
14Samsung Galaxy S
15Apple and AT&T
16Apple in the Lead, for Now
Nielsen claims Apple’s iPhone smartphone market share was 28 percent through the first quarter of 2010, more than tripling the 9 percent share garnered by Google’s Android platform. Android adoption is growing, however, with analysts predicting that Android may eventually surpass the iPhone for market share.