The iPhone reminds me of Paris Hilton

The headline of this post is straight up from John Strand of Strand Consulting, a company that is regarded as one of the leading authorities on mobile technologies, business and revenue models and distribution strategies.

The iPhone reminds me of Paris Hilton 1John Strand, very much like myself, has chosen to face reality and tell it as it is than swim in the waves of euphoria and hysteria. He starts off a very informative article with the following paragraphs:

A lot has been said and written about the iPhone and there is no doubt that Apple has created a beautiful phone that has many fans and that has received a great deal of media coverage. In fact, Apple has an army of devoted and almost religious supporters among journalists and other good people that really impresses me.

But the truth of the matter is that the iPhone only has a little over 1% of the total global mobile telephone market. In other words, there are more people with Polish passports in the world than iPhone users!

When Apple originally launched the iPhone in January 2007 many people asked me for my opinion. My answer was the same back then as it is today; it is a beautiful phone targeted at a niche segment and that it will be unlikely to have any great influence on a mobile operator’s total business case.

In this write-up, John mentions a Danish company contacting him about a new app they had developed for the iPhone – and how they were very angry when he told them that they would probably have a better business case selling coffee to Turkey than selling apps for the iPhone.

Also read:  How to freak out your family with the LG G2

It is the same absurdity that we see with web designers creating iPhone-specific sites – that is they are targetting a mobile phone that only has around 1% of world sales. That is foolishness – the same foolishness that Dennis Bournique pointed out when he wrote iPhone Only Web Sites Are Bad Business.

It is also the same absurdity that I addressed in my article, iPhone myths propagated by US bloggers – and no, I am not anti-American, anti-Apple or anti-iPhone either. I just cannot bear to see facts twisted.

But my favourite line from John Strand’s article is the one that reads: “The iPhone reminds me of Paris Hilton – I really don’t understand why she gets so much attention either!

Read the full report, John Strand: “No I do not hate the iPhone”. Enjoy!

Mister Mobility

I started blogging about mobile in 2004 as a fun way to share my passion for gadgets and mobile services. My other interests include digital media, speaking and teaching, photography, travelling, and dancing.

26 thoughts on “The iPhone reminds me of Paris Hilton

  • June 3, 2010 at 5:22 pm
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    Hmmm! A similar trend is building up around the ‘whats-the-point-in-that’ iPad. Twitter is filled with rants about the iPad; iPad this, iPad that (the Chinese, trust them, have even come with a clone of the iPad, the iPed).

    I think it’s the product of Apple’s well orchestrated marketing propaganda. And, bloggers are using the opportunity to drive traffic to their sites.

    People who became Apple fanboys because of the iPhone, are people who had never experienced a real smartphone prior to iPhone’s launch. Look at the recent craze about Blackberries in Nigeria; too many people just don’t get it when it comes to choosing a good smartphone. Only time will tell who the Real King is when it comes to Smartphones.

  • June 3, 2010 at 5:22 pm
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    So what is the tumultous noise about mobile iProducts? [iPhone/ipad]

    maybe some pertinent questions to ask are:

    why would voluminous sales of a product be concentrated in certain parts, and not some others?
    pricing, easy availability, what?

    hypothetically, would the iphone sell far more if it was sold for half the price it is being sold?

    pricing may be the greatest factor working against three iphone snapping up far greater global market share.

    for the average non-techie, it is doubtful if there is much to complain about – about the iPhone.

    sometimes, all that an object needs to be termed ‘GOLD’ is for it to GLITTER BRILLIANTLY enough. and the iphone really does glitter. not many people can recognise, or even need, GOLD! bluetooth, multitaskng, irremovable battery, paah, who cares? this thing is SLEEK, SMOOTH, POLISHED, REFINED {have run out of superlatives!}

    conclusively. a greater ubiquity – is THAT a WORD? [global market presence] and friendlier product pricing may be all that is needed by apple to gain far more market share globally.

    we may even be wrongly assuming that ‘more is better’. too much circulation makes value DIMINISH! Apple’s strategy probably is, make it scarce, elitist and let then scramble for it!

    Go, Apple !!!!!!!

  • June 3, 2010 at 9:33 pm
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    Afewgoodmen,

    It amazes me that you really did throw the accusation that I “conveniently disabled posting of comments” on this article, and that without any proof. Is that how it works?

    Of what benefit is it to me that I disable comments on a day-old article with just two comments so far and neither of those comments being a flame? Your accusation – in particular your choice of words – is distasteful, to say the least.

    For the records, I did not disable posting of comments. The site is setup to disable comments after 14 days. Perhaps a glitch or a bug resulted in this. But I was not aware that anything was wrong until you submitted your comment above.

    I have now re-enabled comments. Do have your say about the article – it is of no consequence to me, though your Apple-fanboyism is already on display – calling the article “too lopsided”, when all it has presented are facts.

    Whatever it is, you Apple fanboys need to learn not to throw accusations around when facts are thrown against your beloved toys. I don’t play that game.

    Cheers.

  • June 4, 2010 at 12:16 am
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    @EyeBeeKay
    So true…. So true…
    You really hit the nail on the head.

    @Yomi
    I can’t see any post from Afewgoodmen that you are responding to under this topic.

  • June 4, 2010 at 5:29 am
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    deoladoctor,

    Afewgoodmen posted it under another topic, as he was unable to post a comment here then. There is a link in that comment of mine. Follow the link.

  • June 4, 2010 at 8:01 am
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    Whats all the noise about the iphone. It isnt the best smart phone. Period.

  • June 4, 2010 at 8:12 am
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    @Yomi, I also wasnt able to post comments under this topic yesterday.

  • June 4, 2010 at 8:25 am
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    @Yomi, I also wasnt able to post comments under this topic yesterday.

    Well, whatever the problem was, its solved. Happy posting!

  • June 4, 2010 at 11:07 am
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    @Yomi Adegboye. I am delighted that this article has now been opened for discussion. By the way, I wonder why you regard me as an APPLE fanboy. I appreciate that you like Nokia phones very well, but I haven’t said you were a Nokia fanboy. It is so strange you regard me as that when I just started using the Apple iphone, and I use a Nokia Smart phone too. I also indicated interest in buying a Nokia N8 when it comes out. Does it make me a fanboy? Well, let’s leave it for others to decide.

    Back to the meat of the matter. The fact of the matter is opinions of John Strand has been overly critical of the iphone over the years. He conveniently claims that the iphone makes about 1% of global phones sales while ignoring the fact that the iphone is a smartphone and the second or third smartphone manufacturer (depending on how you look at it) in the US. And the third highest sales in smartphone worldwide. It took the iphone less than 3 years to achieve this. It is still growing exponentially. It is every smart phone apps developers dream with more than 200,000 apps in its apps store when last counting. It has also recorded more than 2billion apps download. Can you beat that? Which smartphone’s manufacturer’s mouth will not water at this tremendous growth and apps store? He also regards application developers and the media as sorts of “Ventriloquist”, that is a puppet to Apple. If an individual is crying foul when all his contemporaries and fellow journalists are reporting the news, then there may really be something wrong. Everyone cannot be reporting a “false” News! Maybe he has an axe to grind with Apple or Steve Jobs… or even … the iphone. Whatever, When it comes to the iphone. I think he is a conspiracy theory propagandist.

    If a premise is wrong so is the conclusion. If you based the inference of your article on Strand’s surmise, perhaps then, I believe it is quite lopsided. The opinion does not carefully considered, seeing the fact that the iphone is a smartphone.

  • June 4, 2010 at 12:39 pm
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    I wonder why you regard me as an APPLE fanboy. I appreciate that you like Nokia phones very well, but I haven’t said you were a Nokia fanboy. It is so strange you regard me as that when I just started using the Apple iphone, and I use a Nokia Smart phone too. I also indicated interest in buying a Nokia N8 when it comes out. Does it make me a fanboy?

    Maybe I was wrong to have called you an Apple fanboy. My head mixed Apple and iPhone together.

    Everyone who has read anything you have to say about the iPhone knows for a fact that as good as fanboys come, you are one. Here’s the difference between you and I – I like Nokia phones, but I have not hesitated to criticise Nokia or any of their phones or policies that have merited criticism. Same goes for Sony Ericsson, Samsung and other manufacturers.

    You, on the other hand, are all over the iPhone like it is God’s gift to humanity.

    No criticism of the iPhone, regardless of how factual, sound, or intelligent, has ever proceeded from you. And when it comes from others, you always find an excuse to cover it up, or gun it down.

    Liking a product is as far away from being a fanboy as the east is from the west. You, dear sir, are an iPhone fanboy.

    The fact of the matter is opinions of John Strand has been overly critical of the iphone over the years.

    It does not matter for how long John has been critical of the iPhone. What matters is whether or not he has his facts and reasoning correct.

    He conveniently claims that the iphone makes about 1% of global phones sales

    Fanboy Alert: Fanboys attempt to present facts as personal opinions or fancies.
    John Strand does not conveniently claim anything. He stated a fact. A verifiable fact. A proven fact.

    ignoring the fact that the iphone is a smartphone and the second or third smartphone manufacturer (depending on how you look at it) in the US. And the third highest sales in smartphone worldwide.

    It does not matter whether or not it is a smartphone. It is not only smartphones that have apps developed for them. It is not only smartphones that use the mobile web. As a matter of fact, Strand stated in his report that smartphones constitute less than 10% of an operator’s total data traffic. See how really insignificant the iPhone is?

    I’m betting that you still don’t see it.

    It is every smart phone apps developers dream with more than 200,000 apps in its apps store when last counting. It has also recorded more than 2billion apps download.

    Most of those apps are duplicates/triplicates/quadruplicates of one another and many of them are useless things like the fart app. Many of them are also eBooks. Since when did eBooks start counting as apps? Only in Apple’s books.

    A developer’s dream is an over-saturated appstore on a range of devices that make up 1% of global phone sales? You stand a better chance of earning good money developing for Symbian, Android, BlackBerry or even Maemo than you do the iPhone appstore where your app gets lost in the mass that exists there. The vast majority of iPhone apps developers have not made anything significant. That’s another fact.

    He also regards application developers and the media as sorts of “Ventriloquist”, that is a puppet to Apple.

    Fanboy Alert: Fanboys look at facts and simply ignore them.

    If certain developers and sections of the media are devoting an unreasonable portion of their resources to a device that is 1% of global sales, they are ventriloquists and puppets of that device’s manufacturer. I must add too that you fit that picture as well.

    If an individual is crying foul when all his contemporaries and fellow journalists are reporting the news, then there may really be something wrong. Everyone cannot be reporting a “false” News! Maybe he has an axe to grind with Apple or Steve Jobs… or even … the iphone.

    Fanboy Alert: In the face of compelling evidence, fanboys resort to conspiracy theories and want to reduce intelligent and factual criticism to personal grudges.

    Not Everyone is reporting a “false” news. I presented links to others like Strand and myself who have pointed out the oddity of this religious devotion to the iPhone. Strand pointed out how Apple stifles press criticism of the iPhone. You ignored that too.

    If a premise is wrong so is the conclusion

    Attaboy! Now sit back and re-read your comment and my response. Perhaps you will see that your standing has no sound premise.

    Lastly, two issues:

    1. I didn’t think you would have the balls to apologise for the false accusation that you threw at me. I was right, sadly.

    2. If you are going to respond to this comment of mine, make sure that you put down your stethoscope, sit back, and think through what you have to post. It better be an objective and intelligent appraisal of the whole thing, because if it isn’t I’ll borrow a leaf from your beloved Apple and muzzle you. In the past, I have made the mistake of letting things like this go on and on. I learn from my mistakes.

    Toodles!

  • June 4, 2010 at 1:43 pm
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    yeepa, for chrisaaakes !!!!!

    Yomi, you are doing humanity a disservice by NOT being a Lawyer!

  • June 5, 2010 at 8:32 am
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    honestly…. Yomi should consider a profession in law… from all said.. i dont still think anyone actually dissed the iphone here.. just trying to be factual and put the records straight. i have always said i admire the iphone for its boldness to challenge industry standard. however, when the records needs to be straightened up..we’ll call a spade a spade. Afewgoodmen shouldn’t bad about this. i infact look forward to him helping me out on a few info about the iphone before getting it for my wife.

  • June 5, 2010 at 9:38 pm
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    I initially refrained from responding to certain comments made on this article because of certain precedents on this site, but since the ball is already rolling, why not?

    The sad thing about iPhone apologists is that the very things that they have stood up against and criticised when others implemented, they hail when Apple implements it.

    While any manufacturer is free to pursue any strategy that catches their fancy, the very idea that “too much circulation makes value DIMINISH!” is odd. Let’s see:

    1. Sagem handsets have very little circulation. Therefore they must be very valuable, right? Yeah, sure.

    2. Mtel Nigeria mobile lines are scarce. Therefore they must be highly valuable; right? Yeah, right.

    What sort of reasoning is that? The rest of us attach value to the benefits that a product delivers to us, not to its availability or otherwise.

    Apple’s strategy probably is, make it scarce, elitist and let then scramble for it!

    No problem with that. But does anyone here remember the early days of mobile in Nigeria? Was this idea of making products and services scarce and elitist what we all (including the iPhone apologists who commend this strategy) complained about?

    Do we still remember when it cost hundreds of thousands of Naira to pickup a mobile subscription? Remember how subscribers fought the elitist tendencies of the GSM operators in Nigeria back then?

    But it is okay for Apple to be elitist. Apple always gets away with whatever else others have been condemned for.

    But as I have said earlier, I do not have any issues with whatever strategy that a business chooses to pursue, but for crying out loud, to now attempt to sweep away the consequences of that strategy is just distasteful and shows that people are not thinking things through.

    Apple has chosen to be elitist with the iPhone. That is exactly why the iPhone will remain a niche product with a tiny percentage of the world’s mobile sales. That is exactly why it is odd that certain media and individuals put in so much energy to promote a product that constitutes a minute proportion of global sales.

    In their zeal to defend the iPhone, the apologists actually corroborate Strand’s position.

    Scarce = Niche = Tiny percentage

    Inordinately expensive = Niche = Tiny percentage

    End of story. You iPhone defenders are not even trying.

    When I get a well thought out response to John Strand’s article, I will publish it.

    Toodles!

  • June 5, 2010 at 11:14 pm
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    @Yomi. Perhaps should I say you are very correct so that you would allow me to post comments? For God’s sake they are just comments and may differ from your viewpoint. I apologize for the third time for suggesting that you deliberately disabled post. I did not know it was a computer glitch at the time. Please just let it go. No vex sir. This topic you posted is thought provoking. Please let’s have both sides of the coin.

    @EyeBeeKay. I still agree with you. “So what is the tumultous noise about mobile iProducts? [iPhone/ipad]”. Perhaps there is a factor here that makes all the difference!

  • June 5, 2010 at 11:23 pm
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    @Afewgoodmen and Yomi Adegboye. The article is okay because it quotes some cold and hard facts. if a product has only 1% of market share worldwide, then it would be foolhardy to waste your time to develop for it. Developing apps costs money and every developer would want to get return for their money. Why not stick to Nokia or Blacberry with a vast majority of the world’s smartphone market. Or Nokia, Samsung and LG with a vast majority of the total mobile phones market worldwide?

    At the same time, one should mot ignore the upcoming Android OS and iphone platform because their growth from nothing to 3rd and 4th smartphone OS in sales in less than 3 years have been phenomenon. Especially the Android platform, they may be the future of things to come!

    Business sense means good forecast and to be preemptive and proactive.

  • June 5, 2010 at 11:33 pm
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    Afewgoodmen,

    When I get a well thought out response to John Strand’s article, I will publish it.

    That’s why I deleted your comments.

    Again, when I see a well thought out response to the article from you (and any other iPhone apologist), I will publish it. I won’t budge on that resolution.

    It is useless devoting so much resources to going round and round about a phone that is less than 1% of global sales and probably less than 0.01% of Nigerian sales 😀

  • June 5, 2010 at 11:48 pm
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    One man’s meat is another’s man’s poison. There is foolishness if one develops apps for the iphone just because it is the reigning thing. Symbian ovi store is not a bad bet if I was a developer! A more open vetting and approval system to accept applications to the ovi store. Better than the myopic and closed system of Apple’s itune store.

  • June 6, 2010 at 12:07 am
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    @Yomi. Perhaps you do me wrong to call me an iPhone apologist. Like you, I like the iPhone just like you do Nokia, and I can also criticize the iphone as you can Nokia phones. The present iPhone doesn’t multi-task which I resent but I have learnt to ignore this because of its other useful features. I have been looking for another phone to match it but have found none until this year. I believe now that the N8 is out that it is a better phone. The N8’s UI appears swift and equally intuitive. Although, Until one has a hands-on experience on an actual N8, one cannot be absolutely sure of things from the prototype reviewed by Eldar muzain giving it a bad review of which I refuse to accept. Other early reviews has been fair!

    I believe the next iphone will not be aggressively priced. On Monday 7th, at the WWDC, many things shall become clearer. But I doubt if the next iphone would ever have as much killer features as the Nokia N8. The USB on the go actually blows away my MIND!

  • June 6, 2010 at 4:09 am
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    Bayoabu,

    Honestly, I didn’t have you in mind wshen I used that term. I didn’t even have anyone in mind. It was an open taunt to those who were certain to jump in in defense of their beloved toy (they always do).

    Forgive me if I gave the impression that you were included. it is refreshing to have someone around who likes the iPhone (like I do too) but who is not blinded by the bling.

    Cheers.

  • June 6, 2010 at 10:41 am
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    “It was an open taunt to those who were certain to jump in in defense of their beloved toy (they always do).”

    Forgive me for loving my toy very much. I hope you do the same for yours; your N900. I’ve used other phones but this one meets many of my needs well. Not “Most”. There is still room for improvement which I’d surely get in the next iteration of the iphone by next week! I can make do with the present features till then! But I insist I am not an iphone apologist or fanboy. Like BAyoabu, I may likely jump to the Nokia N8 ship when it sails.

  • June 6, 2010 at 4:31 pm
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    I think what the article says is true. I like the iPhone but I don’t feel offended by the statistics. I am not Steve Jobs, I only like one of his products, the iPhone. I do not like his Mac OS X despite all it’s elegance.

    In term of sales, I think the iPhone is no different from other Apple products, the MacBook, iMac etc. may be pacesetters in many aspects but they aren’t market leaders. But they bring in good money for Apple and the users are happy with what they buy.

    Apple may have either made the mistake of being No. 2 from the beginning which stuck on or they may just have a business model of targeting niches.

    Whatever the case, it’s the product that matters to me and not the company.

  • June 7, 2010 at 7:42 pm
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    @Yomi. “A developer’s dream is an over-saturated appstore on a range of devices that make up 1% of global phone sales? You stand a better chance of earning good money developing for Symbian, Android, BlackBerry or even Maemo than you do the iPhone appstore where your app gets lost in the mass that exists there…..”

    I just got some latest stats on apps sales on the web.

    “Developers have received $1 billion to date from sales of iphone App in the Apple itunes apps store. The ratio for a developers app is 70% for the app developer and 30% for Apple!

    I also under-quoted the actual stats, because, “5 billion apps have been downloaded from the app store to date!”

    by Peter Ha at 6/7/2010 5:27:16 PM at Time magazine online Techland site!

    With these Statistics, I do not think apps developers stuck with the Apple apps store are doing any badly!

  • June 7, 2010 at 8:01 pm
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    Afewgoodmen,

    Impressive stats. But permit me to present certain vital information that you did not see or that you left out:

    During it, he gave some key stats about three key pillars of Apple’s recent strategy: the iPad, the App Store, and the new iBooks store.

    Source

    In other words, the $1 billion payout is not iPhone-restricted, but includes iPad apps and iBooks sales as well. Remember that I mentioned how Apple lumps ebooks under apps? There you go; Apple just gave you a hint of how they do their math.

    Suddenly, it doesn’t look so impressive. Apple loves to lump info together – iPod with iPhone with iPad and then wow the crowd with the net sum.

    You have to be hiding something when you do that as a habit. Impressive figures, but it doesn’t tell us anything about developer revenue from iPhone apps sales, especially when you consider that the average iPhone app costs about $0.99.

    Oh, Apple also failed to mention how much developers had to pay to them in the first place. Plus, how many of those developers really sell. It is an industry fact that only a few iPhone developers (especially of games) have made good money from iPhone apps.

    The impressive stats simply shrink further and further the closer we look. Sorry, I’m just too analytic to be fooled by Apple’s media machinery. If Apple would distill all the facts and dispense with the hype, they wouldn’t look so intimidating.

    But I’m not holding my breath waiting for Apple to do that. They play their PR game pretty sleek.

  • June 7, 2010 at 8:09 pm
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    I’m reading a liveblog of the WWDC from Engadget. i am enthralled at the new iOS4 operating system for the new iphone 4.

    “Apple’s iTunes and Appstore have over 15 million accounts (w/ credit cards). Most of any store on the entire world wide Web”.

    Can any internet/web store beat this?!

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