In a class by itself: Apple’s iPhone has created its own category of handset

“The iPhone may have recently been awarded Time’s Invention of the Year, but are consumers still interested? Recent Compete analysis showed that the iPhone launch generated more online interest at than any other wireless handset launched in the last few years. The iPhone saw 10x the online interest of the Samsung Blackjack launch, which had the most online interest of any device at last year (and that launch was during the holiday season). Comparing this to other industries, the iPhone generated even more online demand than the Nintendo Wii when it launched, or even TMX Elmo,” Elaine Warner reports for Compete.

“At its launch the iPhone behaved quite differently than other mobile phones in AT&T’s portfolio. Over 500K unique visitors to AT&T’s website researched the iPhone during the week beginning June 24,” Warner reports. “During the same week, 12% of iPhone viewers also viewed another handset on AT&T’s site. In comparison, 30% of online shoppers for AT&T’s most-popular phone (iPhone excluded) view the next most popular AT&T handset. This is a significant contrast to typical wireless shopping behavior, and suggests that consumers do not view the iPhone as comparable to any currently available handset.”

iPhone “curiosity may have subsided but demand remains healthy. Regarding cross-shop, only 6% of iPhone shoppers also viewed another AT&T handset during the week beginning October 21,” Warner reports.

“The fact that consumers are not increasingly considering other AT&T handsets while considering the iPhone suggests that, whether due to marketing or other factors, the iPhone has created its own category of handset,” Warner reports.

Full article, with charts documenting the researchers’ findings, here.

MacDailyNews Take: Brilliantphone.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Mike in Helsinki” for the heads up.]


  1. Have any of you heard any rumors about the next generation…version 2 of the iphone yet? I’m sorely tempted to buy one now…but I think I want to wait until January and MacWorld to get the next model….and till then struggle along with my old LG flip phone….

    Any “reliable” rumors out there?

  2. @ Niche Marketing

    “not quite a smartphone”? My iPhone is better than any Blackberry or Treo I’ve ever used. I couldn’t imagine going back to one of those.

    iPhone is in a class all by itself – above the rest.

  3. @drz

    The iPhone can be configured with Corporate Push eMail now. I did it for a client who has more than 300 of them and replaced all blackberry’s with senior execs. Setting it up is no more difficult than configuring a proper corporate blackberry server installation. Security is better, co-operation with corporate firewalls is better, usability with corporate Intranet and web based applications make it a no brainer.

    Support costs for my client for just this one area are down about 15% and expected to go lower.

  4. can’t provide a link because i can’t find the online article, but in a scatter chart about classes of phones and prices, a harvard business review this month puts iphones in their own category (above smartphones). if someone plotted units sold against price, another unexpected pattern would probably appear.

  5. “iPhone is in a class all by itself – above the rest.”

    Not really if you want fast 3g data, corporate email/calendaring/contacts synchronized wirelessly over the the air, GPS and turn by turn mapping and solid 3rd party app support.

    It’s great if you want a wireless web browsing iPod with basic mail and phone capability.

    It’s not as good a corporate email/calendaring/contacts device as a Blackberry or Windows mobile device.
    It doesn’t have the sophisticated local applications available that these devices do.
    It is not as sophisticated phone as many cheaper handsets.

    It IS a better mp3 player and web browser than most phones.

    Hence it’s in a class of it’s own, a phone which prioritizes the iPod and web browsing part and deprioritizes almost all other features.

    Above feature phones in some areas. Below true smartphones.

  6. What is the big hairy deal about “push” email? Are there really that many people for whom it is vital to receive email the second it hits your server? I can understand it if you have a big sales deal ongoing, but come on. My iPhone checks every five minutes, which seems pretty often to me. What am I missing?

  7. Having played with a Blackberry Curve (RIM is still a very minor player in Asia), I thought that the Blackberry’s interface was not a significant advancement over that of Windows Mobile 6 (WM6 is itself is a less elegant mobile/PDA OS than a Palm OS).

    I would place using a Blackberry about on par with a Palm Treo running Palm OS. I wouldn’t touch any Windows Mobile device with a 100 foot bargepole. Having had extensive experience using WM5/6 “stupidphones” wherein I had a raft of problems with constant reboots, loss of information on the SD card, lack of synchronisation with Outlook (you better believe that ActiveSync is a broken application – worse than useless) and other headaches, I would put the iPhone GUI heads and shoulders above that of any competing device.

    The iPhone truly is a device in its own category. Having said that, the current lack of third party software cripples the iPhone’s usability somewhat. There are hacked iPhones for sale here in Asia and they are gaining in popularity, if nothing else for what Apple is famous for – ease of use on a level that leaves Microsoft in the dust.

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