Analysts: With iPhone 4 and iOS, innovative Apple catapults the smartphone category forward

Apple’s stunning new iPhone 4 “catapults the smartphone category forward along every axis of relevance to consumers: OS sophistication, speed, battery life, display resolution, video connectivity, and camera quality,” Oppenheimer analyst Yair Reiner is quoted by Fortune’s Phillip Elmer-Dewitt. Reiner continues, “If products like the HTC Incredible demonstrate that Apple’s competitors have significantly improved their game, the iPhone 4 suggests the stronger competition has sparked an almost fierce level of innovation at Apple. The competition is taking aim, but the target keeps moving faster. Reiterate Outperform and $320 PT.”

Elmer-Dewitt reports, “BMO Capital’s Keith Bachman [wrote in a note to clients], ‘We believe FaceTime (video calling) is a game changer and must-have feature that could provide huge upgrade potential, since FaceTime only works on the new iPhone 4.’ Susquehanna’s Jeffrey Fidacaro:’ Video, video, video — Apple leaps ahead of the competition. In our view, Apple’s strategic focus on improving display, both rendering and resolution, along with video capture has been a key competitive advantage for the iPhone. Now, Apple takes another step ahead of the smartphone competition by also adding native video calling capability.'”

Elmer-Dewitt reports, “Deutsche Bank’s Chris Whitmore: ‘Apple announced iPhone customers on AT&T will be allowed to upgrade 6 months early. We do not view this as benevolence but as a calculated move to lock-in customers with two year contracts prior to losing exclusivity. In addition, we believe AT&T’s entry data plan price cut from $30 (unlimited) to $15 (restricts downloads to 200MB) will drive incremental iPhone demand (lowering the user’s TCO). In aggregate, we believe the combination of the attractive form factor / functionality of the iPhone 4 and early upgrade option will drive robust iPhone 4 unit shipments.'”

Full article, with more analysts’ opinions, here.

15 Comments

  1. I know everyone is tired of the iPhone on Verizon issue, but, it truly seems to that the day Apple puts out a CDMA version, they won’t be able to make enough phones. I believe that absolutely millions will be sold week after week. Verizon, of course sucks, like every other carrier, and when they get the iPhone, they’ll suck even more; Apple will just get to sit back and say “I told you so”. Even though CDMA is old tech and limits some people from freely roaming the world with their phone, there are plenty of people like me who don’t need that ability. Droid & Co. will collapse like a bad soufflé if the iPhone were available. Plus, when Verizon does upgrade their netwok to LTE, then Apple gets to sell a boatload more of phones as replacements. I just find it hard to accept that payments from AT&T;can make up for the lost sales and the market penetration that Droid has managed.

    Ah well, I guess I’m just on the outside looking in. It’s really a shame that I don’t “need” a smartphone.

  2. Think about it; people who haven’t yet bought an iPhone, because the plan was too d@mn flipping expensive can get this latest one with a $55 per month plan that no other carrier offers. You can’t get any of the Android or RIM devices with $55 plan (other than on AT&T). So, the best phone and the cheapest plan.

    Apple has been struggling to keep up with the demand for the past three years. It seems that they will continue to struggle for quite some time to come. This is another reason why even if there WAS no 5-year exclusivity with AT&T, or if they wanted to, and were able to renegotiate it, Apple simply doesn’t need to offer it beyond AT&T, when they can’t meet the demand as it is.

    If the demand for the iPhone ever falls below what Foxcon can produce at peak levels, Apple will have to think about opening up more markets, and ultimately, that may mean more US carriers. Right now, no need.

  3. @rePlay Hell son, nobody NEEDS a smart phone! Go on out there and get you one so you can say, “how did I live without this thing.”

    If Verizon gets the iPhone it is because Steve wants to stick it to Google, and no other reason. Then what happens is all the ones who are saying ATT sucks will go to Verizon and say Verizon sucks!

  4. When Steve said tens of millions of iOS devices would soon be using FaceTime he let the cat out of the bag.

    Look for this September’s iPod touch to be FaceTime enabled. It’ll probably be HD Movie enabled too as in 2 cameras.

  5. re: $15 plan

    As a parent, the $30 monthly data charge has been the impediment to buying iPhones for high school kids. The current pricing dictates that kids get iPods for gifts and are given dumb-phones for texting. With the new, cheaper plans, you will see boatloads of kids with Iphones: sales will EXPLODE on that basis alone. Probably at the expense of iPod Touch.

  6. Some good points, but if I may make an observation. A fierce level of innovation at Apple is standard operating procedure, not necessarily the results of competition.
    Who was on Apple’s tail when they dumped the iPod mini to debut the nano? Or the iMac?

    Fierce innovation is just what Apple does.

  7. @ macerroneous
    As long as those kids are willing to stay at the $15 limit. I know I had to go to unlimited texting and actually take the cell phone away from my high school daughter. Taking the cell phone away brought her to her knees.

  8. After trying to place my order since 6:30AM EST, I finally completed it at 6:43PM EST.

    The interesting thing is nothing went through until I updated to the latest Mac OS 10.6.4. I wonder . . .

    Now the question is:

    Will the phone actually arrive?
    Will I get an “out of stock” email?
    Will they send me 42 phones – representing the number of times I tried to pre-order – eek!

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