Does the iPhone really have any competition?
Apple puts out a good product, no question about it. While it may never be the low-cost champion, the company does incredible things with design. But one of the things that most distinguishes Apple the most from its competitors is its ability to market itself. Recently, however, the competition has spawned some smart marketing campaigns of their own.
Microsoft has it’s "shopper" ads, and now the Palm Pre seems to be entering the arena. Palm seems to be adapting Microsoft’s tactic of mentioning the weaknesses of Apple products (focusing on price). In Palm’s case, they are targeting price along with the iPhone’s inability to simultaneously run mutliple processes. Apple struck back at Microsoft with their Mac vs. PC ads. I wonder how Apple will react to Palm’s marketing campaign, if at all.
It seems to me that Palm is entering the game a little too late. In my opinion, the biggest appeal of the iPhone is the App Store and it’s choice of myriad applications. Unless Palm can create one of its own (or use Apple’s … sh’yeah right), then they won’t be able to get that (high) percentage of users who prefer functionality over cost. Sprint has plans that are cheaper than AT&T’s, but that’s not Apple’s problem.
The only company that could possibly make a viable competitor to the iPhone is Microsoft. They’re already trying to create their own version of the App Store. At the very least, if such a thing should come to fruition, it will allow for more fodder in the Mac vs. PC ads.