Apple’s iPhone The Most Important Device In New Media

Oct 6th, 2008 | By | Category: Featured Story, General

A year ago, we predicted that the iPhone would soon have 1% of the browser market share, if Apple met its sales goals. 

It not only appears to be doing that, but the iPhone is an unqualified hit:

  • The iPhone’s browser share was up 58% last month.
  • 30 percent of U.S. consumers who purchased Apple’s new iPhone 3G from June through August 2008 switched from other mobile carriers to join AT&T. Nearly half (47 percent) of new AT&T iPhone customers that switched carriers switched from Verizon Wireless, another 24 percent switched from T-Mobile, and 19 percent switched from Sprint.
  • The iPhone is now the most popular phone in the “smartphone” category.
  • iPhone sales are drastically higher than expected sales.

According to NPD’s “iPhone 3G Report,” before the launch of the iPhone 3G, iPhone sales represented 11 percent of the consumer market for smartphones (January through May 2008); however, after the launch of iPhone 3G, Apple commanded 17 percent of the smartphone market (January through August 2008).

The average price of a smartphone sold between June and August 2008 was $174, down 26 percent from $236 during the same period last year. During June through August 2008, the top four best-selling smartphones based on unit-sales to consumers were as follows:

  1. Apple iPhone 3G
  2. RIM Blackberry Curve
  3. RIM Blackberry Pearl
  4. Palm Centro

More important than selling a lot of phones, though, is the fact that Apple has succeeded in defining a new hypermobile computer category. 

As a result, Apple’s iPhone is the most important device in new media:

  • It’s raised the bar for cell phones, turning them into platforms for mobile media consumption. It doubled the number of users for Pandora’s Internet radio service. 
  • It’s been the catalyst for Apple’s wildly successful App Store, leading to a huge variety of pioneering social media/new media applications.
  • It’s become an important device for mobile content publishing.  

Based on the lukewarm reception of Google’s Android platform, it looks like it will be a long time before a strong competitor for the iPhone emerges.

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