Chicago Tribune: iPhone may overshadow rivals (QJ.NET)

No doubt Apple took over the portable music player (PMP) industry by storm; but can it do the same and take on the mobile phone industry kings such as Nokia and Motorola with iPhone ‘s release? Chicago Tribune says that Nokia and Motorola will have no problems with market shares… for now. These companies’ Research and Development teams should be ready though for a lot of headaches to come. Nokia, one of the dominant mobile phone manufacturers owns about 36 market share, with Motorola trailing behind with its 17 share. Indeed, with the iPhone expecting to grab only 1 of the cell phone market shares by the end of 2008, they don’t have to worry about Apple removing them from the top spots. Roger Entner, senior vice president of IAG Research’s communications sector agrees. It will not be a financial disrupter, but it will be a psychological disrupter, a research and development disrupter. Mobile phone industry competitors will find themselves getting nagged by people to imitate the iPhone. The iPhone’s audience may be limited in its initial launch. Most of the general market may consider the first generation iPhone as too pricey – the exclusive contract with AT&T may mean shelling out around an extra US 150 to pay off contract termination fees for Sprint and Verizon customers – which may deter them from getting one. But consumers will eventually be drawn to the iPhone’s concept of simplified design and user interface, in effect asking for the same value and features from other phone manufacturers. Apple may become a considerable threat to mobile phone manufacturers if the company decides to roll out cheaper versions of the iPhone, like what it did with the iPod. Doing so will mean that Apple will eat up most of the mobile phone market shares, and more people besides Apple supporters, tech enthusiasts, and the rich will find themselves running their thumbs across the iPhone’s glass screen. Motorola isn’t batting an eyelash for now, though. “Really, the iPhone benefits the entire industry,” said Brian Stech, Motorola phone division’s global marketing director. He further explains that the iPhone will direct more consumer interest towards multimedia phones, which Motorola is also specializing on. This may be Apple’s first foray into the mobile phone business, but analysts are already convinced that the iPhone will most certainly change the cellphone industry landscape.