New iPhone launch threatens Nokia, RIM and Motorola

17 June 2008 / by Rachael Stiles
The position of iPhone's rivals and leaders in the mobile phone industry could be threatened by the launch of Apple's iPhone 2.0, which was unveiled last week.

Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple, called the iPhone a "revolutionary mobile phone" when it was launched in January 2007, and the new version boasts even better connectivity, faster speeds and more functions and applications to attract the business user as well as the tech-geek.

It is also hoped that the new price tag will broaden the market value of the Apple iPhone, having fallen from £269 when it was launched to £99, or free of charge for those who take out £45 a month contract.

The market of high-spec phones – or smartphones – which do more than make calls, including an internet connection, email access and a range of other additions, has previously been dominated by other mobile phone providers:

Nokia, which has a 45 per cent market share; and RIM's BlackBerry, which has a 13.4 per cent share. However, Apple is catching up with a 5.3 per cent share in the market.

Mobile phone industry experts believe that Nokia will have to implement a radical overhaul in order to keep up with Apple's latest gadget.

In addition to dropping the price, Mr Jobs has also announced that the iPhone 2.0 will not have the same network restrictions. The first version was exclusively available on the O2 network, but with phones being unlocked and at least six countries that haven't even signed distribution contacts using the iPhone, Mr Jobs said that this is going to change.

Previously, some analysts have seen the iPhone as an elitist gadget, attractive only to the technically minded and wealthy, but Apple hopes that the new pricing structure and extra features such as Microsoft Exchange will make it appeal to a more mainstream audience.

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