After a few years of armisitice camera are back at the heart of the fight in mobile devices. Since 2009, mobile makers have focused on processing power, 4G and both size and resolution of screens. Now the battle gets nasty with comparative advertising on the camera quality.
Nokia Comparative ad
According to this ad, Lumia 925 gets some pretty good imaging compared to iPhone 5 and Galaxy S4.
It is even trickier because of the very restrictive laws in Europe on comparative advertising. Nokia seems to get some advance on its device imaging capabilities. Let’s see if they can get some market share out of it. After all, camera is the second most used feature on a mobile after the phone.
Apple iPhone has lost 10% market share last quarter in France. iPhone’s share of the French market fell below 20 per cent. The reason is the success of SIM only offers from all the 4 operators.
With no subsidy an iPhone 4S 16GB at 629€ is very expensive and few people can spend so much in a mobile.
Apple has crushed the competitions the last years because consumers had to pay only 50€ for an iPhone with a contract. At the same time, other smartphones where at 20€ so for 30€ difference people used to go for the Apple iconic device. There was no space for devices between a ZTE competitively priced device pushed by operator at 1€ and an iPhone at 50€.
Now with the iPhone so expensive for SIM only users, there is some room again for 400€ smartphones. Nokia Lumia 800 is at 449€ in France and it should be able to breathe and find some audience.
As SIM Only offers are available on the Internet only, IT retailers are starting to offer credit for the acquisition of a smartphone.
Instead of getting involved in endless lawsuit with Apple, other smartphone manufacturers should go to the European Commission to have mobile subsidy by operators banned in Europe.
Mobile subsidies are already illegal in Belgium .Banning subsidies would be the best way to confine Apple in the very high segment and get some space for their products. In that case Apple may have the same market share it has in the PC area: around 6% and not its current 20%.
I was making a BCG matrix for a client of mine the other day. And I just wondered what it could reveal on Apple’s product portfolio and its future decisions.
As a reminder a BCG matrix a strategic tool to identify the growth and profit potential of each product or business unit.
You first determine the growth of the market and the market share of the product. You end up with 4 categories of product:
- Stars: Profitable and growing product. Usually companies pour more money in it to push them further. In Apple’s case, the star products are the iPhone and iPad
- Cash cows: extremely profitable product, no extra effort or investment is needed to maintain them. Here one finds the iPod, where Apple enjoys a huge market share in a stable market.
- Question marks: These products have an uncertain future. No apple product fits in this category.
- Dogs: These products should be stopped if unprofitable. If profitable, no investment should be made. This may mean selling the product operations. In Apple’s case, the MAC operations.
Apple BCG matrix
Will Apple sell its MAC operations? I don’t think so, but surely Apple won’t invest much in the development of the next Mac generation. Bur will surely focus on its iPads and iPhone star products.
Steve Jobs mentioned in one of its famous key notes that we were entering the post PC era. Nice talk. But when you had to set up for the first time any iOS device out of the box, you had to plug it into a PC/MAC USB port and sync the device with iTunes. Meaning that you actually couldn’t use an iPhone or an iPad if you hadn’t a PC !
This is now over with iOS5 the new release of iPhone and iPad operating system. And I believe this feature is the most innovative compared to the iCloud, iMessage and iWhatever.
Apple presents it, this way:
With iOS 5, you no longer need a computer to own an iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch. Activate and set up your device wirelessly, right out of the box. Download free iOS software updates directly on your device. Do more with your apps — like editing your photos or adding new email folders — on your device, without the need for a Mac or PC. And back up and restore your device automatically using iCloud.
iOS going PC Free
This feature was available from the start on Android and other mobile operating systems. But the signal here is that Apple is shifting smoothly form a PC (MAC) centric company to a Mobile computing company. Macs are no longer at the core of Apple strategy.
Apple and Gemalto are said to be working on a SIM card that will enable Apple to sell its subscription bypassing operators.This SIM card will be able to connect to any network in any country. The SIM card will reconfigure itself according to the local settings.
Apple would buy at a wholesale price data and communications and resell it to its customers. The role of the operators would be to provide a network to Apple. Operators won’t have any longer a direct relationship with the customers.
The losers will be the operators and … Gemalto. You can imagine that operators will make Gemalto pay a high price for this treachery.If you have any Gemalto stocks, sell quickly!
Apple will find always an operator to sell them connectivity in every market. What is sure, is that operators will put a lot of money on the table to promote their own Open OS or at least less threatening Open OS lilke Symbian, Android or Windows Phone…