Of Androids and iPhones
The iphone has taken Asia by the proverbial storm- in Singapore , in India and is still sustaining the hype in China inspite of unofficial iphones by hundreds of thousands (along with duplicate “Hi phone” versions ) but something’s in the air that hints- there might soon be audience fatigue around the product.
The iphone 3.5G has launched across many countries by now, but unlike the ipod which almost created a new product line and with its different versions still retains the cool factor, the iphone might become a victim of its own hype. The slashing of prices making it more commonly available for everyone- kind of kills the cool factor. To add, since hype preceded availability, the less obvious shortcomings- camera, message forwarding, software glitches etc are fast eroding the almost mythical sexiness around the product. The differentiation between different models seems to be limited around space, which unlike the mobile mp3 player market, seems a bit shallow.
In some Asian countries where it was launched only recently, I have seen people using these phones prior to their legal availability. Cracked versions galore, those who wanted to be perceived uber cool and be seen with one, had one already- making people who buy legally now, after it has been launched legally look passe! Easy availability, no first mover coolness and some shortcomings that the market has taken for granted- not a potent mix. So much so that some retailers are PAYING actors to stand in a fake queue to generate hype!
So whats next- phone models Omnia, xperia and Diamonds apart- the next real hype is a platform- Google Android. Google’s every move being watched (so what’s new!) and Google seems to be releasing these media tidbids in its true fashion- like it has always done.
A latest report by Cnet shows the announcement of Google Android marketplace (hinted at in May 08 by Google already) Just like the iphone App Store. A still from Google depicting the kind of apps that might be there- from barcode scanner to ‘text-to-speech’!
These new platforms will certainly open up a hotbed of new apps- Make the life of marketers a bit more complex and might give birth to a new breed of developers. Watch this space.
Meanwhile a comparision of the latest touchscreens (iphone killers as media dubs them) here and a video (not in english but the sex appeal is the products) – with the comparision: