Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Two Companies Hurt Most by the Verizon iPhone

According to an unofficial and certainly non-scientific poll taken by Business Journal, a full 40% are ready to jump over to Verizon for the iPhone.  Still, even at 30% (maybe the poll points to 50% because this is not scientific after all), that is quite a high number.

And maybe this is good for Apple, it certainly isn't good for a few companies with a lot to protect and, maybe, even their futures are in jeopardy.

Let me begin by saying that none of them is Google.  Android is going to be huge and nothing is gonna stop it.  Not Apple.  I'm also not saying that Google will rule the mobile realm but I am just saying that Android is here to stay.

The first company I think will be going through a lot of pain is RIM.  RIM was thrown aside when its Storm was unable to match the iPhone blow for blow.  And with the iPhone going on sale on Verizon's network starting Feb 3rd, I can see sales already coming to a screeching halt.  And it might get worse if Apple opens up the iPhone to Sprint and T-Mobile.  

Even with the Playbook, it might not be enough to stop enterprise adoption of iOS devices as workers take up Apple's mobile gears.  And if you didn't know, Playbook works okay as a standalone tablet but only shines if it is coupled with a Blackberry.  Well, if less folks are using Blackberries, what's the point of the Playbook then?

The second company I think that will get hit hard by the tsunami of iPhone sales through Verizon, though the effects will not be as immediate as it will be for RIM, is Microsoft.  Why?  Because of this pattern.

As consumers, who also happen to be workers, adopt the iPhones and iPads and take them into their workplace, they may inevitably rely less on Windows.  And the halo effect of the iOS devices are strong.  And that could be more iOS and Mac sales for Apple.

Don't believe me?  Apple just sold its best ever number of Macs at over 4 million and along the way, moved over 7 million iPads.  The number for iPad will increase in 2011 as Apple also add native support for Verizon's CDMA network.  

So far, Microsoft has not positioned Windows Phone 7 as well as I hope.  But 2011 through 2012 will determine just how much Microsoft fades in mobile or whether it can mount a Steve Jobs-like comeback.  

I seriously doubt that Apple will be able to repeat the dominance it has had on the ATT network on the Verizon network.  But even if it manages to attract 30% of mobile users to use the iPhone, this will have devastating efforts on Apple's competitors across the mobile market.

Note:  On ATT's network, the iPhone outnumber Android devices 15 to 1.

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