Cringely: Apple’s iPhone sales unlikely to be hurt by Google’s Nexus One

“Apple is very happy with its iPhone sales, thanks, and those are unlikely to be hurt much, if at all, by the Nexus One. Not that the Nexus One can’t be a huge success for Google,” Bob Cringely writes for I, Cringely. “But here are the points everyone seems to be missing: 1) there is plenty of room in the mobile market for both Apple and Google, and; 2) this product introduction really marks the ultimate decline and fall of so-called ‘feature phones’ and the rise to dominance of smart phones. Within two years there will be no more feature phones, at least not in the U.S.”

MacDailyNews Take: We agree on both points.

Cringely continues, “This does mark the beginning of the smart phone shakeout, when the industry matures and inevitably drops to no more than three viably competitive smart phone platforms. So just as you have Windows, Mac, and some form of ‘nix fighting it out for desktops and notebooks, so too we’ll shortly have three major mobile platforms to choose from.”

Cringely writes, “iPhone and Android will be here for the long haul with the question being which of Symbian, Palm, Windows Mobile, or Blackberry will die?”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Without a buyer, beleaguered Palm will be the first to go. And, oh by the way, Gogole didn’t unveil a phone yesterday, HTC did. Google slapped their name on the back and claimed to have helped “design” the thing (which certainly seems to be the case, just look at its default wallpaper). What Google really did yesterday, causing the usual suspects to swoon (as they have with LG Voyager, HTC Touch, BlackBerry Bold, Samsung Omnia, BlackBerry Storm, Palm Pre, and Motorola Droid), was open an online store to sell phones. Just like the ones Apple and AT&T have had open for business for years.


  1. Symbian and Windows for sure. Palm will be bought by (pick your handset maker). RIMM isn’t going to die in the next 2 years, and that may give it time enough to modernize its OS.

    Bottom line though, iPhone will be the industry leader in two years.

  2. Sorry but I just do not see the little mini-feature phone dying. Declining sure… but too many teenage girls like the “free” cute little phone that fits into small places/purses.

    Just a thought,

  3. One thing the iPhone OS needs badly is shared Document folder that all apps can save and open docs from. It could be restricted to non executing docs and have whatever security features, but also should accessable thru WebDAV wifi.

    That would open up the productivity for so many apps. What is the risk here?

  4. I disagree: Blackberries are bought by corporates who live on email alone and don’t care much about features, Nokia will survive (though diminished) based on their excellent support outside the US and MS will survive through lots of cash infusions. Only Palm is in quicksand without a branch.

    Android popularity will diminish when people transfer their iPhone expectations to that platform and the US gets a second carrier.

  5. nokia is dying a slow death.

    Their margins are paper thin, and have dominated the markets outside because of their low cost and greater variety. That has obviously changed.

    The only reason a person would change phones is:
    1. It was stolen
    2. It broke down
    3. Hoping that the newer model would have a better, usable UI

    Theives don’t steal Nokias anymore, they’re worth literally nothing. If a Nokia broke down, the user would rejoice, cause now they have a valid excuse without the guilt to buy an iPhone. And 3 they know the iPhone is the better phone with the best UI.

  6. The Nexus One isn’t about beating the iPhone or even changing the cell phone game.
    It’s about one thing and one thing only!
    Collecting valid verified personal user data!
    As you can only buy the Nexus One from Google and to do so you have to have a Google Account with valid data and then sign-up for Google check-out. Then you can enter all your personal data into the Google store and buy the Nexus One. Google by the way is running your credit of Sprint and doing all of the approvals according to information I got from a friend that works at Sprint.

  7. Feature phones are not about to die out. Not everyone is willing or able to afford the mandatory data plans that come with these smartphones. As much as I love my iPhone, I’ve gotten tired of paying so much for a plan that I just don’t get much use out of. If I could ditch the data plan and stick to wi-fi, then I’d be happy with it all. As it is, I’m just waiting for the “feature phones” to catch up to the iPhone’s UI to the point that I would consider using them. It’s just not worth spending $720/year between myself and my wife for the data plans and what we get out of it.

  8. There are iphones and phones, people who has used a iphone or are happey with apple’s high quality and service, won’t change that easily. Those look alike phones are made form the rest of the people, those who only look at the exterior and spects and don’t take a momento to “experience’ a device. They just own it, but never use all its features.
    So I agree, Nexus can hurt nokia, Lg, Microsoft, but not apple.

  9. It looks like the person behind the Cringely nome du plume is different than before. Most recent articles signed by this name seem to be significantly different, in that they actually make common sense.

  10. @HolyMackerel:

    You’re wrong about Blackberries: They are not just bought by corporate types who only care about email. Many consumers are buying them now as well, and small business owners, especially because RIM has added/improved features like web browsing.

    However, Blackberry is no iPhone, not even close. It is usually the choice for those who can’t get good ATT coverage where they live but can get good coverage from another provider.

    For example, my brother-in-law (a doctor) in Wisconsin bought an iPhone but had to return it 3 weeks later due to poor coverage (he can’t be without coverage in his home due to being on call). They use US Cellular because it’s the best coverage, and they have Blackberries b/c they can’t get an iPhone through US Cellular.

    They don’t use Verizon b/c their coverage isn’t much better, either.

    Ironically enough, my sister-in-law was showing us a photo on her Blackberry but couldn’t figure out how to move back to a previous photo. It still amazes me that product makers don’t test the simple things like that and make it easy.

    But I guess that’s why Apple is Apple and why Apple is kicking tail.

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