A fascinating post over on Wired suggesting that the is of net benefit to the other smartphone/PDA manufacturers as it fills the role of raising the tide (and as we all know, a rising tide lifts all boats – well apart from those too tightly moored!).
Key quote from the article follows;
What the iPhone did was make it cool to use smartphones, before, you had the BlackBerry, which mostly just resonated with enterprise users or business people. Now, there’s a whole new market of smartphone consumers. Before the phone came out, I actually asked guys from companies like Nokia and RIM how they were going to respond, and the answer was unanimous — it was, “Welcome to the party, hop in the pool, the water’s fine”
The article draws parallels to the iPod which popularised the previously minimally succesful MP3 players.
And this I guess is the genius of Steve Jobs and the Apple design team – finding promising but unsuccessful product niches and packaging them together in a well thought out, well designed and easy to understand format.