Apple Got the Right Market With Their First Entry
There are 3 types of smartphone users:
1. The business user who actually benefits from the capabilities, needs to be in touch when "out of civilization". By "out of civilization", I mean unable to access their e-mail from a nearby PC, laptop, kiosk, hotel business center or other means.
2. The consumer who actually benefits from the capabilities of a smartphone, likes to be in touch all the time but also gets benefit out of its capabilities by using it as a multimedia / entertainment device.
3. The self important poser who wants people to pay attention to him and uses the device to try and get that attention. This is the individual who can't seem to take the device out of their hands and is always showing people all the cool things it can do. This user "must have" a new device every six months.
Apple quite smartly realized that the market sector with the least penetration by the existing smartphone club was the segemnent defined by 2 above. I have a Palm OS Treo and wouldn't get an iPhone. The Treo has served me well for over three years but I find I use it less and less as time goes on. Typing on a thumbpad is just not efficient and I find it more efficient to just wait till I drop "back into civilization" and can grab a PC at a hotel business center, client's office or whatever cause thumb typing is just too slow and cumbersome.
OTOH, my 18 year old son has an iPhone and for his normal communications (text messaging and 12 word e-mails) the iPhone is ideal. Comparing how it does the web with any other smartphone out there is like comparing a Porshe with the field from your local soap box derby. Apple nailed that market. Every high school kid with a part time job is saving for one if they don't have one already. One thing I notice is that most people at some point in their career reach a point where they get in the car and they don't even notice if the radio is on. These are your Crackberry users. Most everyone younger or at a lower career level .... the ones with iPods plugged into their car radio......are now buying iPhones.
Most thought that after an initial flurry the iPhone sales would crap out. But 2.32 million sales is 1st quarter 2008 alone is staggering. It would therefore seem that going after that untapped market with their first entry before jumping in and competing directly with Palm / Crackberry / PPC was a rather brilliant idea.
I once had a surgeon tell me he needs push e-mail in case he gets an important message while operating on someone....and that he would actually have his nurse take it out and read the message while he was operating. What critical message warrants not giving your full attention to the scalpel in hand I am wondering ? "Bring home milk and bread ?" ...... "My mistake, you had a gout infected toe removal scheduled this morning not a penile amputation....hope you didn't get this message too late."
Every time I see a smartphone user in a hotel lobby or lounge typing for 30 minutes on his BB, Treo or whatever I can't help laughing. Here they are all smug about how efficient they are being while 20 paces away are full size keyboards and 19" screens available for free usage in the hotel business center. I'm not saying that my Treo hasn't come in handy when such an option isn't available, but if you are using a smartphone when you have full size resources 20 paces away, or a laptop up in your room, then I'm sorry, but you're a poser.