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. Notebook computer makers will feel it too!

    My housemate is a salesman, he is going to dump his dell sub note for an iPhone the day it comes out.

    The trouble will spread well beyond the smart-phone sector.

  2. I really feel like I am the only person who feels that the iPhone wont be the “earth shattering” device that everyone is claiming it will be.

    Personally, I think it will certainly raise the bar with the other smart-phone companies…and I’m sure Apple will sell tons of them.

    But, like a few people have said already…the iPhone requires an updated, fast computer. This eliminates many people right off of the top. Secondly, the vast majority of cell hone users have little need for all of the bells and whistles that the iPhone has. Most people just use their phones to make calls and text.

    Add on top of all this the price of an iPhone, and I really see a mediocre effect on the Communication Community as a whole. Sure, in a year’s time or so the price will be lower…but lots of people like their $29.99 phones, and wont mind the 2 year contract that comes with it.

  3. The real potential loser Microsoft. Apple is making huge strides in OS market share, music, movies, home networking, and now communications. Microsoft, on the other hand, is sweeping up the spilled blood of Zune and watching how the masses are busily not installing Vista. With every iPhone the understanding of Apple’s quality and innovation takes a leap – and with every Zune and Vista Microsoft’s mediocrity shines through.

  4. Palm has been slowly bleeding to death for quite some time. Self-Inflicted Wounds, I’d say.

    While not cheap, the iPhone’s price isn’t insanely high. iPhone isn’t targeting the “free” phone market. It targets the top 1% of the market. The same people who spent $900 on a Sony Ericsson or Nokia “smartphone” a few years ago.

    The weak spot for the iPhone, IMHO, are Apple’s own iCal and Address Book apps. While functional, they lack myriad features that would get me to actually use them. Both suffer from (QuickTime and OS X aside) Apple’s historic neglect of released software. Get it out the door, release some bug fixes occasionally and ignore.

    Nein danke!

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

    I don’t recall its features being “tied” to one platform or another, unless you wanted to use it with Linux.

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

    How do you know access to the iTunes Store w/o computer is not one of its unannounced features? If not upon release, such a feature will surely become available at a later date. Becoming the first digital media player that does not require a computer will be a major feature. And such customers will be purchasing ALL of their media from the iTunes Store. If you don’t think this is in the works, you are being foolish.

  6. M@c

    Do you have anything to backup the statement “iPhone requires an updated, fast computer”? If you browse the Apple.com site it only states that you can sync your content to either a PC or Mac.

  7. Mr. Reeee:
    “The weak spot for the iPhone, IMHO, are Apple’s own iCal and Address Book apps.”

    You’re aware that they are reworking iCal and the whole system calandaring set up in Leapard (10.5) with system wide calandar and “to do” services, and a hook into the new Leapard server which will handle calandaring info.

    Lets see what Apple comes up with.

  8. When I walked into a Apple Reseller in 2001, and saw an iPod ad board, I thought, hmm…is that…a..PDA?

    In the next instant I thought: it’s gonna be.

    Palm was on it’s way ever since to being on it’s way out. I still use a Palm V, and it is great for now. Someday it will die, and I may get an iPhone before it does.

  9. The biggest looser will be Apple’s iPod.

    This device is basically an iPod with little more in the way of true smartphone features.

    It will mostly appeal to people who would have otherwise brought an iPod. People who want a functional smartphone will buy something else.

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