I wrote in an earlier piece, that the iPhone is most likely to be positioned against laptops, as a convergence device that eliminates the need to have to carry around multiple devices. Frank Levinson had talked about the iPhone as a convergence device as well, a few months back.
Let’s take a look at the laptop market. HP is No. 1 with 20% market share, Dell is No. 2 with 15%. At No. 3, breathing down Dell’s neck, is an unexpected Taiwanese company: Acer. They’re followed by Toshiba, Lenovo, Fujitsu-Siemens, SONY, Asus, and at an unglorious No. 9, Apple.
So far, Apple’s strategy has been to sell really expensive notebooks. But with the entry of the iPhone, this could change dramatically! We get all the Apple magic, for a low price-point for laptops, although a very high price-point for a phone.
The branding of this Laptop replacement as a Phone is a clever marketing move. “Here, look, we have a phone that can replace your laptop …” Never mind that it is a VERY EXPENSIVE PHONE.
I wonder how these rankings would look in 2010, if the iPhone was counted under laptops, instead of under Phones? Who could come up with a full scale Windows based covergence device? Is it even possible, given how heavy an OS Vista is? What would happen to Palm and RIM? Neither is a full-scale OS. Nor is Symbian. Nor, for that matter, is Windows Mobile, although it has the advantage of being integrated well into the rest of the enterprise eco-system.
Only Linux can meaningfully compete in the OS arena. Who is building the Linux-based covergence device?
Remember, the key decision that Apple has made, is to put the Mac OS on the iPhone, opening up a vast range of possibilities. The competition also needs to think OS!