September 2012
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Month September 2012

Positioning Lumia

The US has reached 50% smartphone penetration.

comScore data shows July penetration at 48.8% and a monthly growth in penetration of nearly 2 percentage points. Given the rate of growth, it’s nearly certain that we’ve crossed 50% in August.

The historic growth is shown below:

The platforms making up the smartphone market in the US have seen unequal shares of this new population of users. The following diagrams show how the install bases have changed in absolute and share terms.

 

To round out the analysis, here is the net user gains for the platforms showing the net addition or loss of users since early 2010.

5

It looks like the next iPhone will be called the iPhone 5. What’s in a name? As it turns out, quite a lot.

Every hardware product that Apple has released has had a brand and a sub-brand. Macs for example use the Mac brand and a sub-brand as follows:

  • iMac
  • Mac Pro
  • Mac mini
  • MacBook

Thus each sub-brand imparts certain meaning to the buyer. iPro, mini, book are all evocative. MacBook even has its own sub-brands:

  • MacBook Pro
  • MacBook Air

These Mac sub-sub-brands of Pro and Air are specifically designed to also distinguish and convey meaning.

iPods as well use the iPod brand followed by a sub-brand.

  • iPod Classic
  • iPod touch
  • iPod mini
  • iPod shuffle
  • iPod nano

Note how the mini  sub-brand was retired from the iPod line to be used exclusively in the Mac product line. That may not be specifically necessary or desirable but it is an interesting coincidence. (The Pro sub-brand is shared between different Mac lines)

However, when we look at the iPhone and the iPad, the nomenclature has been distinctly different. Both products have been using generational naming conventions. This implies no sub-branding as the iPhone and iPad are the only identifiers of brand and hence the only meaning being imparted to the buyer. You either get an iPhone or and old iPhone.

That changed with the iPad however. The third generation iPad became just iPad. This was deliberate (why would they want to confuse buyers?) I think there is some logic to this.

Note the parallel to the convention of the original iPod. When the iPod launched it was just the iPod. Subsequent versions were identified by a generation, but not a specific sub-brand. After the third generation iPod (still called iPod), the mini version was launched, creating the sub-brand convention that remains in use to this day. The iPod therefore was born generational but switched to sub-branding in adolescence.

The possibility exists, therefore, that there will be a sub-brand for the iPad. Perhaps “mini” is being reserved for a new iPad, to distinguish it from the regular iPad (no sub-brand) that is likely to remain in production. The logic is to make room for sub-brands when the core brand begins to cover a wider array of form factors, themselves proxies for separate use cases or jobs to be done.

So what about the iPhone?

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An interview about Microsoft's Surface

This interview was conducted with Bruno Ferrari Editor of Exame magazine in Brazil.

First, do you have forecasts for tablet market share including Microsoft for next years? (Apple, Android, Amazon etc)?

I have some guesses but I don’t think it’s something that is defensible. Too many things can change. Fundamentally I believe Microsoft sees the tablet as a PC and intends to migrate a substantial portion of would-be PC customers to tablet forms. If they are successful then they preserve the existing PC user base and allow it to grow a bit.

In contrast Apple sees the iPad as a new type of device that is used for things not directly related to PC style computing. In that sense the iPad competes with PC non-consumption. It means people may own both a PC and an iPad and some will own only an iPad. The iPad will expand the market while taking share from the PC. Windows tablets will try to hold the Windows share steady.

 How do you analyze Microsoft’s strategy with Microsoft Surface? Don’t you think they’re admitting themselves that Apple was right since the beginning?

We don’t know the strategy yet. Without pricing and an idea of how the other OEMs will respond, I have more questions than answers. The fact that they are doing their own PC hardware does indicate that they see the industry architecture changing and that a large number of vendors offering hardware “choice” is not really the basis of competition in PCs. In other words, buyers are not willing to pay a premium for Windows because the hardware it’s available on is offered in a wide range of options.

Do you think MS growth at tablet market will surpass the lost at PC (desktop and notebook) market in the next years?

5by5 | The Critical Path #52: The Art of Making Money

With Horace criss-crossing the globe on various secret missions, Moisés Chiullan, host of Screen Time, fills in for Dan this week. In this episode, Horace follows up on last week’s predictions now that the Apple v. Samsung verdict has been finalized … or has it? Horace and Moisés also dig into the algebra needed to decode how many tablet units which manufacturers have sold, and what that means for Amazon’s Kindle Fire in particular.

via 5by5 | The Critical Path #52: The Art of Making Money.