The iPhone debuted in mid-2007, almost a decade ago, and completely rewrote the smartphone industry. Gone are leaders and iconic brand names such as Palm, BlackBerry, Microsoft, Motorola, HTC, Sony, and many others which have faded into near obscurity.
Yet, over the past decade, every year introduced a couple of new iPhone killers which themselves were either killed off or faded from memory while the iPhone continues to sell at record levels. One reason for Apple’s success is that the company hasn’t stood still, continues to innovated, and has built a powerful ecosystem around all of its products. Yet, here’s another iPhone killer.
We Hardly Knew Ye
Word on the proverbial streets is that Snap, the company behind Snapchat and Spectacles– fresh off a successful IPO that filled the company’s coffers with plenty of cash– is working on iPhone killer. Now, remember, Snap calls itself a camera company now, despite the Snapchat base, but then Apple was synonymous with the Mac when the iPod came along. Now Apple is mostly an iPhone company, right?
What could Snap do differently with a smartphone that would set it apart from Apple’s iPhone and the gazillion Android brands floating around the planet?
Think 360-degree camera. Nobody else has one, so why not? There’s even a mockup online. Doesn’t this look familiar?
That’s only a concept, but about all Snap can do is rejigger the Android landscape and sprinkle some hype over the top, otherwise, every Android-based smartphone does the exact same thing. Look like an iPhone. Wow. A smartphone which grabs 360-degree images or videos or pixels or whatever and uploads them to Snapchat.
Do you know anyone who uses Snapchat? Me, neither. And I understand that Snapchat has been genetically engineered so that only teenagers and twenty-somethings can use the interface.
I don’t want to sound cocky, arrogant, and self assured that Apple will be able to withstand an assault by an obviously hubris-laden tech company with more ideas and promise than reality, but, well, you never know, right?
Here’s a list of former iPhone killers.
- BlackBerry Torch 9800
- Google Nexus One
- Galaxy S II
- Palm Pre
- Else Phone
- Motorola Droid
- Windows Phone 7
- HTC Evo 4G
- BlackBerry Storm
- HTC HD2
- Sony Xperia X10
- LK Viewty KU990
- LG Voyager
- HTC Touch
See the problem? Too little, too late. Even in 2017 Google’s Android hasn’t created the tight, secure, private, and comfortable ecosystem that makes up Apple’s walled garden where iPhone, iPad, and Mac reside. The math is simple. An iPhone competitor must make a product that is just as good in every important aspect, and at a much lower price (difficult to do since price begets gross margins which beget profits). The other approach is to make a better product; one that is so good and so much better than the iPhone that it repeats what the iPhone did to the smartphone industry in 2007.
Snap and 360-degree videos won’t topple the iPhone from the top. Most everything you read about a new iPhone killer is hype. Only Apple can kill Apple.