We have all heard it before: how no phone on the market can even get close to challenging iPhone in the smart phone market. iPhone is more than just a piece of hardware. The platform that Apple has built around it and the power of the community behind it has made iPhone a tough nut to crack for Palm, Nokia, and other companies that have tried to “kill iPhone.” The problem that many of these iPhone challengers have had is they do not come up with many original, game changing ideas. That makes it extremely difficult to compete against iPhone. Add to that the fact that you are not competing just against the hardware, and you’ve got a mountain to climb. A very steep one.
Google may be the only company that is capable of coming up with a game changing solution for the mobile market, but it is not interested in developing its own phone. Microsoft has been rumored to be interested in taking another shot at Apple, but Microsoft is a follower and not such a good innovator these days. Palm Pre is certainly a capable phone and a worthy challenger, but it falls short as it does not pull everything together as well as iPhone does. So is there any hope for these companies to kill the iPhone?
There is hope, and that hope comes from a partnership that has been the only Achilles’ heel for Apple iPhone. I have always believed that the exclusive partnership with AT&T was a good short-term idea, but not working with other carriers has kept iPhone back a bit. It’s not as if AT&T provides an out-of-this-world service to its customers. And everyday we hear about yet another problem with AT&T service. AT&T has tried to make the iPhone even more tempting by lowering its wireless service prices and make it easier for folks to upgrade to iPhone, but painful shortcomings still remain. Apple may be dedicated to keep innovating, but as long as AT&T is the one and only carrier (in the U.S.), iPhone challengers can dream. It still won’t be easy to topple iPhone.