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Old 04-06-2009, 10:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Blackberry's space and Apple's space

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In truth I feel that Blackberry and Apple have different spaces, and you all know the tool vs. toy argument, business vs. consumer, blah blah blah.

Although between the two, I would say Blackberry has been more aggressive going into Apple's space via the Storm and the general consumer space with the Curves, Pearls and Flips.

Apple's space remains limited to those who deem it acceptable to use a touch screen phone. Apple will never intrude into the hardware QWERTY space without an Iphone that features a fixed qwerty keyboard. But Apple's dogma of conceptual purity will surely prevent such a product. Their strategy is to make the iPhone and even the iPod Touch more and more acceptable to businesses and corporations, and maybe so, through a PDA sort of way. That's squarely aimed at the HP iPaq business.

What happened in the market is that RIM laid waste to the candybar qwerty market. In so doing just blew away Palm's and Motorola's market on qwerty phones. The biggest casualties are Win Mo phones especially. Bolds and Curves just ate up through the Treos, Q9s and Blackjacks. HTC accounts for over 50% of WinMo phones, and only one of them is the bar qwerty type.

What Win Mo lost in market share in the qwerty side is made up in the touchscreen side, especially through the HTC Touch, Diamond and Touch Pros. Other Taiwanese manufacturers like Glo-Fish has a similar pattern. In a way, although Win Mo qwerty phones are still being introduced, like the HTC Snap, much of the Win Mo efforts are directed at the touch screen side and therefore Apple's space. The biggest loser has been Nokia's N-series, whose emphasis in multimedia places them right in the tracks of Apple's train.

One does has to consider how much the hybrid---touch screen with slider qwerty---pose a threat to both spaces. This isn't just in reference to HTC's phones using that factor with Win Mo like the Touch Pro or Moguls, but also mid end phones with proprietary OSes, the spiritual descendants of the Sidekick. This factor isn't going away, and it may become more popular. Nokia has just moved into this space with two models, on the E series and another on the Xpressmusic side. I suspect RIM is looking at this direction, with probably a Storm kind of variant with a pull out keyboard.

I think RIM's future strategy lies on three horns.

1. Increase and maintain dominance of the candybar qwerty market.

2. Increase the beach head on the touch screen market.

3. A response to the hybrid touchscreen with slider qwerty market.
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