Apple’s revolutionary user interfaces

“A few years ago, around the middle of the last decade, the mobile phone market was characterized by the rivalry between a few established vendors. These were Nokia, Samsung, LG, Motorola and Sony Ericsson. These incumbent companies had a broad portfolio of devices including smartphones and feature phones and basic phones. Many also sold networking equipment and were deeply engaged with their customers, network operators,” Horace Dediu writes for Asymco.

“There was also a set of entrants who offered only smartphones. They were quirky. HTC was a a prominent ‘ODM’ or original design manufacturer who built phones for companies who added their brands and sold and supported the product. HTC made phones and PDAs for operator brands and for some large PC companies. It also began to sell phones under its own brand,” Dediu writes. “RIM was also offering products that had evolved from pagers into email appliances with added voice capabilities. But RIM’s products were not very good as phones. Voice was so poorly integrated that many people carried both a BlackBerry and a voice phone. Then there was Palm with something called a Treo which promised many things but did not quite deliver.”

“In 2007 something happened which changed the industry. It took a few years to even realize it was happening but by the time it was obvious, it had changed to such a degree that huge companies found themselves in financial distress,” Deidu writes. “Motorola is now being absorbed by a search company. Sony Ericsson is being absorbed into a consumer electronics company. Nokia is going through a potentially existential crisis and even abandoned its platform. Acquisition talk surrounds LG’s phone efforts. Samsung is prosperous but sill at the mercy of its software suppliers. Even the entrants are starting to feel beleaguered. RIM, the oldest pure play smartphone company is trading below book value and has regressed in value to 2004 levels. Palm evaporated.”

Deidu asks, “How did large, powerful, smart companies let this happen?”

And, now, with Apple’s Siri, “it looks like things are about to change all over again,” Deidu writes.

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: And now, an iCal blast from the past:

The iPhone is nothing more than a luxury bauble that will appeal to a few gadget freaks. In terms of its impact on the industry, the iPhone is less relevant… Apple will sell a few to its fans, but the iPhone won’t make a long-term mark on the industry.Matthew Lynn, Bloomberg, January 15, 2007

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

Related articles:
Apple iPhone release will be watershed; will change pretty much everything in mobile industry – May 18, 2007
Why Apple’s iPhone is a radical, disruptive product – March 1, 2007
RealMoney: Apple just blew up the whole damn mobile-phone supply chain with its new iPhone – January 11, 2007


  1. “…and were deeply engaged with their customers, network operators,”

    Total bullshit!! They didn’t give a crap about their customers. And neither did the carriers! The phones were plastic crap. The customer service at Verizon, et al, were despicable.

    1. You missed his point- their customers ARE the carriers, not you and I. That’s why customer service was an afterthought before iPhone came along and upended the phone maker/carrier applecart – pun intended!

  2. You can tell Siri is headed for RUI-dom (“Revolutionary User Interface” in the full article)… Absolutely no doubt. There are web sites dedicated to quoting “things” Siri says. There are people auto-tuning Siri into songs. There are TV show “skits” and YouTube videos about Siri. When a technology has that kind of cultural impact, it will be something “revolutionary” because people want to know more about it and use it themselves.

    It will be very difficult for the competition to copy, because it’s not something that is completely built into the phone’s hardware and software. Samsung will not be able to give their copycat products copycat Siri. Maybe Google and/or Microsoft can make a similar capability available through Android and Windows Phone, but hardware/software integration and compatibility is ALWAYS a weakness of those who separate hardware and software development. The results will suck, and they will still throw it out there, driving even more people to Apple.

    And it’s not just software and hardware integration this time; this time, add integration of the network infrastructure into the mix. Apple can do it because Apple maintains tight control of all the critical pieces. The only other player left with “control” is RIM, and RIM is looking more and more hopeless every day.

  3. Can you imagine the FUD going on within Microsoft right now? (“Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt”, but not the kind that you would normally think of.) Here they are, well into the development of Win8, and now they have to regroup and figure out how to shoe-horn a SIRI-like imitation into their OS.

    1. Anyone here attempted to figure out the clumsy mess that is the W8 developer trial? It’s like a really irritating relative who’s lost all ability to speak and tries to communicate in gestures just came to camp out in your living room with sixteen trunks of baggage, including wild-life. I literally have no idea what direction to turn using this OS.
      And that GREEN they use…. Radioactive poisons come in more comforting colors.

  4. The other thing is that these companies made fortunes for years and years, they go through a couple of bad years and are done. Not that it’s likely to happen to Apple, but that cash reserve would come in mighty handy if things did take a downturn.

  5. “Motorola is now being absorbed by a search company.”

    on the tip of my tongue… what’s their name?… sounds like… POODLE?

    Google: He Who Must Not Be Named

  6. The last line in the article was “Deidu asks, “How did large, powerful, smart companies let this happen?” and yet it was not fully answered.

    Companies narrowed the way they operate to a set of parameters that wind up constructing a box around what they do which has a lid.

    When you do the final constraint the closing of the lid seals the companies fate.

    Avoid closing the lid.

    1. Steve Jobs said it himself….

      SJ…..When a company has a great product for too long, it forgets how to make great products and just SELLS… The salesman raises to the top of the company and just sells different versions of the same crap.

      But Microsoft is a big company….. !!!!!

      SJ. Yea,, and look who is running the company… the sales guy.

      LOL sort of like WOW but actually funny. LOL

  7. Read Matthew Lynn’s woefully inaccurate predictions regarding the iPhone in rhe 2007 Bloomberg article; it’s good for a few laughs. Another short-sighted analyst with more egotism than brains.

  8. How did this happen?

    The operative word is greed.

    When management is more concerned about bonuses and keeping the shareholders placated than in creating great products, this is what you get.

    With apologies to Wm. Shakespeare, “First we kill all the MBAs”…

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