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iPhone and the Future of Laptops

Posted on Wednesday, Apr 25th 2007

I wrote in an earlier piece, that the iPhone is most likely to be positioned against laptops, as a convergence device that eliminates the need to have to carry around multiple devices. Frank Levinson had talked about the iPhone as a convergence device as well, a few months back.

Let’s take a look at the laptop market. HP is No. 1 with 20% market share, Dell is No. 2 with 15%. At No. 3, breathing down Dell’s neck, is an unexpected Taiwanese company: Acer. They’re followed by Toshiba, Lenovo, Fujitsu-Siemens, SONY, Asus, and at an unglorious No. 9, Apple.

So far, Apple’s strategy has been to sell really expensive notebooks. But with the entry of the iPhone, this could change dramatically! We get all the Apple magic, for a low price-point for laptops, although a very high price-point for a phone.

The branding of this Laptop replacement as a Phone is a clever marketing move. “Here, look, we have a phone that can replace your laptop …” Never mind that it is a VERY EXPENSIVE PHONE.

I wonder how these rankings would look in 2010, if the iPhone was counted under laptops, instead of under Phones? Who could come up with a full scale Windows based covergence device? Is it even possible, given how heavy an OS Vista is? What would happen to Palm and RIM? Neither is a full-scale OS. Nor is Symbian. Nor, for that matter, is Windows Mobile, although it has the advantage of being integrated well into the rest of the enterprise eco-system.

Only Linux can meaningfully compete in the OS arena. Who is building the Linux-based covergence device?

Remember, the key decision that Apple has made, is to put the Mac OS on the iPhone, opening up a vast range of possibilities. The competition also needs to think OS!

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[…] We have concluded in previous posts that the iPhone is positioned, long term, against laptops, not p…, and its key strategic advantage is the presence of the full scale Mac OS on it. […]

Sramana Mitra on Strategy » Blog Archive » iPhone and the Future of Motorola Thursday, April 26, 2007 at 9:00 AM PT

[…] It’s positioning as a laptop replacement device, which I believe will force most of the other laptop and cellular handset vendors to consider […]

Sramana Mitra on Strategy » Blog Archive » iPhone and the Future : Synthesis Tuesday, May 15, 2007 at 6:11 AM PT

[…] recent Forrester report puts a number on the projections for the laptop replacement convergence device trend we have been discussing in our iPhone and the Future […]

Sramana Mitra on Strategy » Blog Archive » 2 Billion Convergence Devices by 2015 Tuesday, June 19, 2007 at 6:02 AM PT

[…] Another issue with the iPhone is its high cost. As per the report, it ranks as the No. 1 reason for deterring consumers interested in the device from buying an iPhone. When viewed as a laptop-replacement device, the iPhone’s cost justifies just fine. However, for me, the keyboard remains a problem to meet that goal. Nonetheless, there are many users who don’t need to type as much, and can effectively use the iPhone in this mode, as a laptop replacement device. […]

Apple Since Launch of the iPhone - Sramana Mitra on Strategy Tuesday, July 31, 2007 at 7:02 AM PT

[…] Let’s do a quick recap of our coverage of Apple’s iPhone, now that some of the predictions are starting to look real. In the iPhone and the Future series which was written prior to its launch, I have looked at the iPhone’s positioning as a laptop replacement device. […]

Apple of Our Eye - Sramana Mitra on Strategy Wednesday, January 2, 2008 at 2:39 PM PT

I for one am eager to purchasing MacAlly’s $100 BTKeyMin Bluetooth iPhone compatible keyboard in March as MacWorld reported it will be available.

In five years, the hip folks on the plane will be those with an iPhone sitting in front of a keyboard, tapping away.

And if the 3G phone goes Intel, then the Mac is the limit in the apps that come to the iPhone. Spreadsheets, word processing, presentations. Plugged into a monitor, don’t say bye-bye to half the notebooks purchased (we’ll all have one at home). Say bye-bye to half the notebooks on the plane.

RT Saturday, February 9, 2008 at 6:29 PM PT

[…] the hype 1.iPhone means tail wagging the dog 2.it means a completely new era in Mobile industry, 3.It is special since it’s a laptop convergence device running a full OS X All of above is true but from our point of view the biggest impact iPhone will have on mobile […]

Learning to fly » Blog Archive » iPhone, Google gears and Mobisy Wednesday, December 3, 2008 at 12:41 AM PT

[…] the hype 1.iPhone means tail wagging the dog 2.it means a completely new era in Mobile industry, 3.It is special since it’s a laptop convergence device running a full OS X All of above is true but from our point of view the biggest impact iPhone will have on mobile […]

iPhone, Google gears and Mobisy « Learning to Fly Friday, October 16, 2009 at 4:45 AM PT