There's an amusing video doing the rounds on YouTube. It has a fictional user going into a fictional phone store to buy an iPhone 4, the store, having none, suggests a HTC EVO, there ensues much hilarity with the iPhone user wanting to have nothing but an iPhone, even if, as the store person suggests, the HTC can grant you every wish you'll ever have including an iPhone 4?
We come across this a lot and part of that is a dirty secret of ours, which is, at the moment, we still haven't finished our iPhone port. There's a reason for that, we're doing better business on other, non-iPhone platforms, and there are elements of the iPhone App Store process that concern me. For a start, I'm not convinced that I could get the pentagram and goat's blood out of the office floor while we get our test certificates for development devices.
iPhone is a fantastically successful consumer device, but just as Oranges are not the only fruit, Apples are not the only smartphone and as I've said before, consumer electronic trends can be very fickle.
We're just delivering our first work on the new Samsung Bada platform. It's not been terribly widely publicized, especially in the US, but Bada is the core operating system that Samsung have developed to replace their Real Time Operating System Smartphones. The Wave, the first Bada device, is a slick handset, nice form factor, 8MB camera, SD card slot music, a nice OLED display which also runs applications which you can buy on the phone.
They went on sale in June in the UK on Vodafone, and Italy on TIM - since then they've sold over 1 Million units.
Yes, that's right, in their first month they sold a million units in two markets. Ultimately Samsung state they want half their phone shipments to be Bada phones - that's something in the region of 80M units a year, or twice the number of iPhones and iPod Touch units sold SO FAR.
They're also cheap. In the UK, the Wave is free on a contract.
So who is going to get these phones? Well, teenagers, less phone savvy people who don't want to spring $200 for a new phone and so on. But they're almost certainly going to be buying and using apps, especially Brand Related ones. So my question always becomes, after I've been asked about the iPhone, who are you actually targeting with your application? Because if you're building one because you think you need one, you're doing it for the wrong reasons.
At the TechCafe2.0 lunch yesterday, the Ben Huh made a great point about not really caring about their market size, because it was so enormous it really didn't make a lot of sense to measure it in a dollars or users way. I'd make the same argument about the Mobile Market - how big is it?
Well, there's now 5 billion mobile phone users in the world, and thanks to stuff like Bada, in a few years, it'll be the main way that most of them access the internet, especially outside of the US and Western Europe. So, if you want to think about what the market for your mobile service should be - look at the web, think about web enabled TVs, add in those 5 billion mobile users and think to yourself - why am I so focused on a few million users of the iPhone?