Apple iPhone Already Doomed?

Dennis Faas's picture

Hype for the Apple iPhone has been increasing in anticipation for its expected January release. But, if you think that any Apple product with an "i" prefix is destined for success, think again. Many industry experts are forecasting that the iPhone will crash and burn. Below are some of the reasons why they may be right.

No Gap for Apple to Fill

The iPod's success wasn't a fluke; the MP3 players flew off the shelves because Apple created a device that solved a problem: space. The iPod differentiated itself from its competitors because it enabled users to carry their entire music library with them. In contrast, there doesn't seem to be any pressing issues in the cellular phone industry. How will Apple win over customers if it is not filling any gaps? (Source:

Simplifying the Unsimplifiable?

Another reason the iPod became a hit is because Apple gave it a user-friendly interface. But creating a simple design for a single-function device is very different than creating one for a mobile phone.

Unlike MP3 players, cellular phones are not complex due to bad design practices; they are complex because they are intricate, multi-function devices. Interface design is not neglected in the mobile phone industry, so Apple is unlikely to woo users in this area. (Source:

It's a Dog-Eat-Dog Industry

The mobile phone industry is extremely competitive, and new entrants typically do not fare well. Furthermore, the nature of the industry causes additional hurdles; for example: in addition to competing on the basis of technology and design, making deals with carriers is also necessary for success. (Source:

Trade-Ins Galore

Unlike MP3 players, cell phone users trade in their phones rather frequently, sometimes up to two to three times per year. This characteristic is a double-edged sword. While it means a higher volume of sales in the industry, it also means that Apple must race to market new phones with new features while still staying price-competitive with the competition. (Source:

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