iPhone 5 not enough to get Apple ahead of Android


Research firm claims Apple's iPhone 5 will not knock Google off the top spot in the consumer technology war

Apple has to provide consumers with a more radical step forward in its forthcoming iPhone releases if it wants to remain competitive and not end up just another RIM or Nokia, claimed analyst firm, Ovum.

Ovum stated that Apple should be concentrating on software rather than just hardware and the odd software tweak if it wants to lead the smartphone market. This is according to Ovum's new measure of success in the consumer technology industry, the Smart-Vendor Scorecard.

eMarketer's estimates that Apple trails Android in terms of marketshare. This year, about 43% of US smartphone users will use an Android device monthly, while Apple holds a 33% share of the market, according to eMarketer. Both Apple and Android's shares are expected to grow next year to 35% and 46%, respectively.

The new iPhone will be Apple's most successful smartphone to date, said Adam Leach, leader of Ovum's Devices and Platforms practice. However, he added that without a redesign of the iOS user experience and underlying software platform in the next two years, Apple will find itself in a position similar to Nokia and RIM, which found themselves with outdated smartphone platforms that needed replacing.

The analysis behind Ovum's Smart-Vendor Scorecard suggests that if Apple mistimes this transition it could lose large numbers of consumers along the way. Leach noted:   'Without the continued innovation which we are accustomed to with Apple, the company risks losing consumer appeal. The iPhone redefined the smartphone category in 2007 but it can't rely on past success to guarantee its future or rely on litigation to keep its competitors at bay. Whilst the company is still reaping the rewards of the brand equity of the iPhone, consumers are notoriously fickle when it comes to buying handsets.

 'It has become clear that technology companies need to do more than just announce new versions and updates to existing offerings if they are set on owning every aspect of the consumer's digital existence. It is therefore imperative for these companies to move outside their traditional areas of expertise; hardware companies have to build up their software and service expertise and vice-versa, or risk leaving the door open to their competitors,' concludes Leach.


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