If you read business publications and main stream media, you’re likely to stumble across an article featuring Apple. The surprising thing about the articles that are written is that many of them boast about Apple and its products in a positive light. Meanwhile, Microsoft seems to get slammed in most media mentions. This may come as a result of Microsoft’s decreasing customer satisfaction.
I think the main reason this happens is because the Apple iPod dominates the portable music player market (72 percent as of Jan. 2007). I’d also argue that Apple’s recent wave of media placement is because of their growing popularity in the laptop market, rather than a result of great external communication. I’m not knocking Apple’s PR and marketing department, but rather giving a tip of the hat to their R&D department for making the iPhone in time to capitalize on built up momentum.
However, how well will the Apple iPhone do considering it does not allow third-party applications that many early adopters and business consumers currently use to store information? I think the switching costs for this gadget will be too high for small business owners and older professionals that don’t have time to learn a new device, for a few added features.
In addition to high switching costs, the iPhone ‘s capabilities are not unmatched throughout the world. In fact, consumers in Japan already have phones that can be used similar to a debit card to purchase rail passes and small consumer items (gum, cigarettes, candy, etc.). In addition, Nokia and Motorola look to compete heavily with Apple in the consolidated technology, mobile phone market.
I do think the iPhone will be successful in the U.S. because of the iPod’s success. It consolidates devices for people and the technology is new to the U.S., which are two things consumers will like. However, I don’t see the iPhone sweeping the world nearly as much as the iPod, no matter how much publicity Apple gets.