Which company is most at risk from Apple’s looming iPhone onslaught?

“Analysts at Bank of America and Morgan Stanley say Apple is poised to snap up marketshare from competing smartphone producers, even though some segments, as always, would prove tough to crack.” Aidan Malley reports for AppleInsider.

Malley reports, “Research notes from the financial institutions, published late this week, told investors that the iPhone is entering a market where many of its audience’s tastes (and competitors’ weaknesses) would play into its creator’s hands.”

“And while Nokia’s devices were best positioned to compete with those from Apple, the latter could brag of advantages its rivals simply couldn’t offer. No current phone designer has the same kind of devoted fan base, the Bank of America researcher said. Neither could they claim iTunes’ grip on existing customers nor the same skill with creating a user interface,” Malley reports. “Other cellphone heavyweights are at considerably greater risk, said a similarly-voiced investor note from Morgan Stanley’s Katheryn Huberty.”

“While some phone makers are shielded from the potential damage of Cupertino’s initial onslaught, particularly RIM and its work-oriented BlackBerry line, others are especially vulnerable. Those devices whose Internet or media features appealed to the iPhone’s target audience, but yet weren’t crucial to a corporate environment, were the most likely to be dropped in favor of the Apple model,” Malley reports.

Malley reports, “Palm’s Treo phones may be at the greatest risk of all, Huberty said. Beyond sharing features and prices, Palm is also in the unfortunate position of having a disproportionately large number of Apple enthusiasts in its midst. Treo owners are twice as likely to own an iPod or Mac, according to a Morgan Stanley survey, and are much more likely to consider iPhones regardless of their existing Apple product ownership.”

“Motorola, which helped Apple experiment with music phones through the ROKR, is now a virtual non-factor thanks to the poor reception of its music efforts and an emphasis on less expensive phones,” Malley reports.

More inf the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Gregory” for the heads up.]

MacDailyNews Note: Morgan Stanley’s survey of 2,500 US consumers found that more people are interested in buying an iPhone than the combined number of people who already own or are planning to buy a similar high-end device in the near term (23% vs. 19%).

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  1. Morgan Stanley’s study is suspect. The 23% that are considering purchasing an iPhone and the 19% who are considering “a similar high-end device” must be mutually exclusive, because otherwise the latter proportion would necessarily be smaller than the former. So that means that 42% are considering buying some high-end device.

    But since we all know that nowhere near 42% will ACTUALLY buy such a device, these people must have been just dreaming. Well who the hell cares? That just means that iPhone is more dream-worthy than other devices. No surprise there, it’s a drool inducer. I want to know how many really think they will buy an iPhone, not how many have thought about it.

    Statistics in the wrong hands is more of an annoyance than a useful tool.

  2. The ROKR could have been a contender if Moto had paid a LOT more attention to the design of the thing. But when you are catering to an Apple audience mainly- if the design isn’t there – neither will the Apple customer base. We expect good design as well as excellent functionality. I wanted one but it was so fugly I said forget it.

    The sad fact- the Windows group didn’t even go for the design.

    Nice try Moto but you don’t know your customer at all. Apple will show you the way.

  3. Apple damage to the other cell makers will be marginal

    First? Because most of all the iPhone features that make it desireable will be tied to a expensive computer. This limits it’s widespread use.

    The iPhone will be just like a iPod. Don’t have a computer? Then your SOL. (sh*t outtta luck)

    Apple has a chance to make the iPhone a completely independant platform with the ability to access a computer, but not necessary to access all the features.

    Will Apple set the new standard for handheld computer phones or continue to tie products to expensive and (in the case of Windows) frustrating buggy operating systems?

  4. As soon as they make an iPhone without the phone they will have another smaller market to sell to, i.e. me. Hmmm… iPhone without the Phone. I guess that woud be an i. Yeah, that’s it an “i”, or more specifically an Apple Inc, i or better yet the Apple of my i. Yeah that’s it.

  5. Well, it seems you’ve done it again; you have apparently made conclusions based upon untested assumptions. Since the referenced article does not specify how the data were collected and evaluated, you really haven’t any reasonable means of thoroughly critiquing the statistical methods of collecting and analyzing the data. Why haven’t you provided this information? Of course, you are entitled to thread your opinions and biases, however, unless you have other information not linked through MDN that support your conclusions, that’s all you can present.

  6. Palm, sans doubt. RIM will do fine though. They have a pretty equally loyal user base as Apple’s…maybe not as zealot-ish but still loyal. Also, they’re damn good at what they’re doing. A friend of mine just received his BB 8800 and it’s a fantastic setup to say the least – including syncing with OSX.

  7. Having worked with them numerous times over the past decade, I can say with certainty that Motorola is toast. They just don’t get it. All the people I talked to over there during the past two years told me that they “knew exactly what Apple was up to and it certainly doesn’t concern us”. I would remind them over and over that we’re talking about Steve Jobs and what his track record has been. And every time they would respond “Oh, we’ve already seen everything that they are doing. They’re going to release an iPod phone, that’s all. We know everything that Apple is doing because we already working with them on our iTunes phones.”

    And so I would just let it go, knowing that they were about to be burned big time. In fact, they just laid off 3,500 employees about 3 weeks ago. And that’s just the beginning. I wish them all well, but none of them seems to grasp what Apple is up to and how deeply it is going to affect them.

  8. Interesting how Palm has a higher percentage of Mac users than the others. Guess it’s the windfall of those who want to avoid Microsoft infected phones at all cost. However my Treo does a LOT of useful stuff that the iPhone seemingly won’t be capable of. If few developers are allowed to program for it, how would the iPhone compete with the thousands of free programs available on the Treo? All you Treo owners out there, be sure to visit http://mobile.google.com and get your Google Maps binary on that phone, that’ll remove another advantage the iPhone has over it.

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