How the iPhone is Changing the Wireless Industry


Apple iPhone
Apple iPhone
(click to enlarge)

The latest issue of Wired Magazine has a great article on the iPhone: The Untold Story: How the iPhone Blew Up the Wireless Industry. Very interesting behind the scenes details and analysis. Here's the summary:

The hosannas greeting the iPhone were so overwhelming it was easy to ignore its imperfections. The initial price of $599 was too high (it has been lowered to $399). The phone runs on AT&T's poky EDGE network. Users can't perform email searches or record video. The browser won't run programs written in Java or Flash.

But none of that mattered. The iPhone cracked open the carrier-centric structure of the wireless industry and unlocked a host of benefits for consumers, developers, manufacturers --- and potentially the carriers themselves. Consumers get an easy-to-use handheld computer. And, as with the advent of the PC, the iPhone is sparking a wave of development that will make it even more powerful. In February, Jobs will release a developer's kit so that anyone can write programs for the device.

From The Untold Story: How the iPhone Blew Up the Wireless Industry
Referenced Thu Jan 10 2008 08:53:16 GMT-0700 (MST)

Last month a Net Applications survey put iPhone browsing share--that is, how many pageviews on the 'Net are from an iPhone--is at 0.09%. That may seem like a small number, but keep in mind that that means that almost one our of every thousand pages viewed on the 'Net is seen on an iPhone. That's 50% more than all Windows CE devices combined--which have been on sale for a decade.

A ComputerWorld blog by Seth Weintraub put it this way:

Obviously this doesn't translate to handset marketshare. We know there are much more than 20 million Windows Mobile devices out there. The reason that Apple's browser marketshare is higher while its unit sales are much lower is explained easily by the oft-touted Mobile Safari browser and unlimited AT&T data plan. No guilt, pleasurable, full-browser surfing.

It's not just just Windows Mobile that is getting killed by iPhone. PSP, Playstation and WebTV combined don't even come close. The Sidekick, also, only has 1/5 of the browser marketshare. Symbian? About 1/10th.

And it doesn't stop there. Desktop platforms are starting to come into the iPhone's blast radius. Windows 95 has less than a quarter of the marketshare of the iPhone. And all of the Linux variants combined, just over five times (.57%) the market. Broken out over Red Hat, Novel, Ubuntu, etc, someone is losing to the iPhone right now. At this rate, the iPhone/iPod platform should be the third largest computing platform by the end of next year. Remember, the iPod touch is only three months old. Oh, and it is Christmas.

Not a bad first five months for Apple's new handheld OSX devices.

From iPhone browsing marketshare closes in on .1% | Computerworld Blogs
Referenced Thu Jan 10 2008 08:42:30 GMT-0700 (MST)

I'll say. These numbers are evidence of the fact that the iPhone is a better mobile browser than anything that's come before. This despite the slow network (and, frankly, the slow browser).

Imagine what these numbers would look like if the iPhone were a business device!