The new iPhone is nothing revolutionary, technology-wise. It takes the prior model, adds a faster CPU, a new OS rev., a GPS receiver and connectivity through 3G telephone networks. This is a very expected and evolutionary step for the iPhone. What makes the iPhone 3G revolutionary is the price — $199 for the base model. This is stunningly cheap for a smartphone and will take the iPhone from most-coveted status to most-used status.
So how do we get to “Blackberry is dead?” The price. A current generation Blackberry is running around $400, without cellular provider discounts for contracts. This gets you a rather ugly device with pathetic capabilities for twice the price of an iPhone. And although the Blackberry Bold looks like it is going to be pretty cool, if it costs more than $300 list, it is dead-on-arrival.
Apple is playing to win in the mindshare race for the next computing frontier. About their only possible competition will be Google’s Android platform, but they’ll have a two year headstart on Google and will have effectively captured the majority of the development community. iPhones at $199 will be selling as fast as they can make them, and this new user base, combined with Apple courting the developer community, will mean an enormous software market for the iPhone.
All this will be great for consumers, but it means the death of the legacy players who owned this niche before. Windows Mobile/CE has always sucked in a big way. Microsoft will keep some market share by throwing away money at it, but they don’t hold a prayer of keeping up with Apple. Palm has been on life support for a decade and is just awaiting the coroner. Blackberry has enjoyed a one-horse race for years, and the iPhone is going to crush them. They will not be able to attract the developers or carry the same marketing buzz that Apple will create with the iPhone. They’ll sell some Bolds to their existing customer base, but they’re on the same path as Palm.
This leaves only Google as a possible contender, and their offering is too far out to slow down the iPhone. Apple is going to own the smartphone market with the new iPhone, and a lot of legacy players are going to perish in their wake.