iPhone Gives Birth to the Next Generation Device

Posted on June 9, 2008

The importance of the iPhone to next generation devices is profound and therefore the importance of this device to us at Devicescape is likewise monumental. By all accounts, the iPhone recorded sales of 5.4 million devices in its first 10 months. Some say this is equal to the number of devices Nokia sells in a week, so why all the hub-bub about iPhone and not Nokia?

The iPhone isn’t just a mobile phone. It’s in a special category of “smartphone” – and it charged out of the gate and captured 28% of the smartphone market within 6 months of launch. That’s a pretty spectacular market share for a new entrant into a fairly well established market.

And the iPhone isn’t just stealing away existing marketshare – its expanding the market for smartphones and increasing demand. This smartphone market had been largely aimed at business and enterprise users and the iPhone is really aimed at traditional Apple markets – cools and creatives. This has opened up the smartphone market to new audiences that have not previously been targets. Called the “iPhone Effect” by industry analysts, ABI Research now predicts that the smartphone market will grow from around 10 per cent of total handset sales in 2007 to 31 per cent in 2013 driven by the iPhone. At Devicescape, we’ve seen our own iPhone Effect. A member survey completed in June (just before the launch of the iPhone) showed that 5% of Devicescape members were students. In December of 2007 – this was up to 24% – driven largely by the iPhone. These same students then later helped us add hundreds of universities to our network – which further drove university and student uptake. The very fact that the iPhone is driving students into the smartphone market is pretty cool for everyone – including Nokia and RIM. These companies actually benefit by the eduction Apple is bring to the market about what a smartphone is – and who its for.

Today Steve jobs stood on a stage in San Francisco and brought out the next gen iPhone – starting at $199 – and students around the world pricked up their ears to listen. And the rest of us – as students of devices – would be wise to pay attention. Our world just got bigger and the bar just got higher.