When I look at the iPhone’s success in the mobile wireless industry, it reminds of the Motorola RAZR. People that owned the RAZR always loved to show it off and felt like they had gold in their hand. I sold those phones like hot cakes but I have never owned one. Never had to sell customers on the phone which helped fatten my pockets!!
Now, let’s look at the some of the similarities with the iPhone. Starting with the hardware and manufacturing, both phones were built to appeal to the masses by making their products sexy and appealing. The RAZR was the thinnest phone ever at the time but do you know how many people came crying to me that their screen cracked when they sat on it. Who puts their phone in their back pocket anyway?!?! Apple believes they created the look of current smartphones with the iPhone and are suing everyone they can to protect themselves. Unfortunately, they did very little to do that. They owe their success to Blackberries, Treos (650 specifically) and HTC. HTC has been manufacturing phones far longer than most consumers assume. They used to let the carriers brand their phones with their own carrier name. Remember the T-Mobile MDA? There it is next to the original iPhone.
I bought the T-Mobile MDA this phone after having the Treo 650. I unlocked it and used it with the old AT&T Wireless. I loved that phone. I might be mistaken but I believe HTC created this form factor. Now let’s connect the dots. Apple made sure their hardware was appealing to the masses. How do I believe they did that? The RAZR gave the consumer the obsession with thin phones and Apple recognized that. They took the form factor of the T-Mobile MDA and removed the keyboard and used a new technology(at the time) for touchscreens with a capacitive one. That made it possible to remove the stylus(which was used w/ resistive touchscreens) and make it slimmer and sexier. Steve Jobs’ obsession to detail made sure the manufacturing process was complete with extensive testing to reach the final product.
I will spend very little time on the software. They did a great job to connect their products together with their Apple computers, iPods and iPhones. And the iTunes music service was a big selling point.Once you buy one of their products, you get sucked it to the others.
The other part of success that both the RAZR and iPhone received was the consequence of great marketing. I honestly don’t think Motorola knew how popular the RAZR was going to be but once they knew– WOW did they run with it!!! They milked that model of phone with so many variations that it wasn’t even funny in the end. But consumers were sold before entering the store and all I had to is collect my commission. They didn’t care about the carrier, the plans– They needed that phone or they would die on the spot. I’ve never sold an iPhone because I left the industry the same year it was introduced into the market. But looking now, I bet those are the same customers that need to have the iPhone. And the marketing helped with that. When you had that the first iPhone, you felt like you were part of an elite club and got your hands on the Holy Grail. And the iPhone craze began and made smartphones appealing to the regular non-business consumers.
Yes, you might believe that your iPhone is the best smartphone ever invented but there were some great ones before it. What the iPhone was able to do is up the ante and increase the competition in the smartphone industry. I will give them huge credit for that! Now, it’s 2011 and iPhone 5 is about to be the 1st real upgrade to their original iPhone with both software and hardware. And that happens because the competition is catching up with products like Windows Phone 7 OS paired with Nokia hardware and perhaps surpassed them with products like Android OS powered Samsung Galaxy S.