“In many ways this defines our vision, our sense of what’s next.” – Jonathan Ive
They just signed the death certificate of the PC.
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During the reported quarter, Motorola shipped 12 million mobile phones, commanding a global market share of just 3.7%. However, the newly launched two Android 3G smartphones CLIQ and DROID witnessed impressive results. Launched in the fourth quarter of 2009, these two devices generated sales of 2 million units together in the quarter.
Not sure what’s impressive about getting 2 million units sold after $100 million in promotion by Verizon.
Nokia Smartphones had a good quarter due to new launches. I show also share and ASP comparisons for smartphones in both companies.
I think it’s a logical evolution of mobile computing. A hop along the trajectory. When the iPhone first rolled out as an embodiment of the new touch-based UI–a disruptive technology, I said it was far too good as a phone. It could not be a better phone because phones were as good as they could be. It was a pretty lousy computer so I reasoned all it could become was a better computer. The iPad is a better computer.
Will it be a big hit? I think it will grow nicely and be profitable. It will take several iterations but eventually it will absorb usage from low-end laptops and move computing to new contexts. It will have amazing applications in certain verticals like education, health care, travel and automotive use.
All these steps are like checkboxes in the disruptor’s playbook. In 5 years, this will be as big a business as the Mac and then Apple will have to think how they break out of the 5% share ghetto.
Will there be a response? Yes, but, like with the iPhone, not for a long time, and not symmetrically. The PC guys will dismiss this and the phone guys will see it as outside scope. Once they begin the effort in earnest, it will fall well short of the entrenched, incumbent, integrated(*), rapidly evolving juggernaut that will be Apple Mobile Computing.
(*) Note the emphasis from Apple on its own CPU in the device. Apple does not talk about chipsets in their devices, but they did this time. Not only are they signaling control, but it also shows that value-chain integration down to silicon is what is needed to go up the performance trajectory for good-enough mobile computing.
When asked about the company’s recent acquisitions of Quattro and Lala after yesterday’s earnings report, Apple’s chief financial officer Peter Openheimer answered, “In terms of Quattro and Lala we acquired Quattro because we wanted to offer a seamless way for developers to make more money on their apps, especially free apps.”
As I said before: why would a developer bother with AdMob if Apple integrates ads into the SDK? Does AdMob offer better terms? Does AdMob offer more sponsors? It’s the developers (and Apple indirectly) who supply inventory.