Research Notes

Apple is helping the blind regain their vision – which we are grateful for..

There is no doubt that Apple and their iPhone has created an unprecedented amount of media attention. But have they actually created a technological revolution, or have they just been very good at marketing an evolution that is in fact a daily occurrence in the Telco world – and has been for many years?

Strand Consult has been analysing the mobile market for the past 17 years and our report from 2009 already documented that many areas of the iPhone market were not being described by the press. In practice our report documented that the iPhone was not giving operators that had exclusive rights to selling the iPhone any competitive advantage that could be measured in added shareholder value.

In our “iPhone Syndrome” research note from 2009 we described how Apples huge base of fans were reacting to the challenges and problems that they were sometimes experiencing when using Apple’s products. In their eyes, Apple is infallible and any lack of functionality or problem with their products are not flaws in the product – not at all! No, Apple fans believe they are “carefully considered choices” that Apple have made.

At the end of the day there is no doubt that Apple is the brightest pupil in the PR and marketing class. Apple does not have a dialogue with the press, they speak to the press and if the press asks critical questions, they have no comment. In reality, Apple is one of the few companies in the whole world that can make intelligent journalists forget all they have learnt about critical journalism – and indeed the whole function of journalists in modern society!

It is not difficult to compile a rather long and very critical list of items about Apple and the way they are doing business. On the other hand it is also important to remember some of the positive things that Apple has done for the mobile industry. In fact these things will have vital importance to how our mobile industry develops in the future.

The simplest way of explaining Apple’s importance to the mobile industry is by stating that “Apple is helping the blind regain their vision”. By this we do not mean that blind people are regaining their vision due to a new Apple product. What we mean is that many people who had very little insight into what was happening in the mobile industry, have now realised that many other mobile phones have for many years had almost exactly the same functionality as Apple’s iPhone!

Yet somehow Apple has a unique ability to reset the technological timeline every time they launch an existing product in new packaging. None of the functionality launched on the various iPhone models was new, everything has been seen before. Many Apple fans were recently extremely impressed about the “Siri” speech recognition personal assistant functionality, but this functionality has existed for many years in numerous variations on both fixed line and mobile platforms.

Despite this, Strand Consult thinks Apple should be thanked for helping opening the minds of so many people to all the advantages of using new technology and for the influence that the technological evolution is having on ordinary people.

In fact we also think that Apple’s competitors should thank Apple for showing how to get mobile operators to forget the meaning of sensible business and instead move their focus away from 98% of their customers that are generating most of their cash flow, and over to just a few percent of their customers that usually seldom become profitable during their minimum subscription period.

The Apple case shows very clearly how important it is for mobile operators to have the correct smartphone strategy – and what happens to your revenue and profit if you do not.

Strand Consult has used our research and experience to create a workshop concept where we focus on helping mobile operators structure and optimise their smartphone strategy, in order to be prepared and tackle some of the challenges that mobile operators are currently facing on the smartphone market.

If you would like to learn more about our workshop concept How to get success on the smartphone market please do not hesitate to Contact Us . We will then send you an outline that further describes how we view these upcoming challenges together with our iPhone market report from 2009 – our iPhone market report is still very relevant reading.
More information:
Strand Consults Strategic Workshops

Successful Strategies for the Mobile Broadband Market

Show me the money – The future Business models for mobile Broadband Services

How MVNO´s can get success in the Mobile Broadband market

How media companies can get success on the mobile broadband market

How to get success with Value added services on the Mobile Broadband market

How can a Wimax operator survive in a world full of WCDMA

Contact us to get a copy of the report

Request the report