Apple’s iPhone 4 will support quad-band 3G, which is good news for Australia according to analyst firm Ovum.
“It means the iPhone 4 will be able to access the larger 900MHz 3G network footprints of Optus and Vodafone, where previous generations weren’t,” said Ovum senior analyst Nathan Burley. “The gap to Telstra in terms of network user experience when using the iPhone 4 compared to previous versions will be narrowed.”
According to Ovum, the iPhone has become the industry benchmark for high-end smartphones since it was launched three years ago. And, since it faces constant competition from other platforms, such as Android, Apple will need to continue to innovate to stay on top.
“The success of the iPhone is down to a number of interrelated factors,” said Ovum principle analyst Adam Leach. “First, Apple created a device with a genuinely unique user experience, one that consumers still find engaging and easy to use. Second, Apple wrapped this user experience into a well designed and sleek form factor. Third, the company created an end-to-end platform that integrates Apple's own services as well as third party services onto the device, through the hugely successful App Store.”
And it has a large and active developer community that produces applications.
“This ecosystem of developers and the value they bring to the platform, as well as to consumers, is the hardest aspect of the iPhone proposition for other companies to replicate, especially given the reluctance of developers to support multiple software platforms,” Leach said. “It is also the reason Apple is so keen to protect this community from disintermediation by the open Web and hence its rather tough stance with Adobe over Flash.”
Leach said the iPhone 4 faces much stiffer competition than its predecessors.
“The rise of Google Android over the last two years has been phenomenal and is allowing manufacturers to create appealing alternatives to the iPhone; critically at cheaper prices.”
A device that offers the right user experience and greater freedom of content — unlike Apple’s approval process for iPhone content, could pose a risk to future iPhone growth, he said.
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