The 5th generation iPhone just went on sale and Apple calls the iPhone 4S the best iPhone they ever made. Back in 2007 when Steve Jobs unveiled the original iPhone, the entire mobile phone industry was taken by surprise. While some expected it to fail, many subscribed to the idea of a stylus-free full touchscreen operation. Over the past 4 years, Apple has sold over 100 million iPhones seeing a 125% YoY growth. As the iPhone 4S sells 4 million units over the launch weekend, we can be sure that the iPhone is still accelerating its growth and in all probability will continue to grow faster than the smartphone industry.
But at the same time there is a general consensus that Android is catching up fast and Apple's competitors have finally caught up with the iPhone's charm. The iPhone 4S is a healthy upgrade in technicals, but the same old design and screen size has prompted views that Apple disappointed many with the 4S. At the same time, the iPhone isn't the cheapest smartphone around and the broad range of Android and Windows Phone 7 devices might just do better eventually. Knowing Apple, we know that they are used to high rate of growth (eg Mac) and at the same time if it is a market that they created like then iPod, they like to maintain their dominance.
As competitors get traction and the differentiation between an iPhone and other offerings on the market diminishes, will Apple might end up as just another player in the smartphone race? Well, as a consumer, we would love to see multiple players compete and that seems to be happening as well. So how does Cupertino compete in 2011-2012 where the lead they had in terms of platform and hardware isn't all that significant anymore? As it turns out Apple has been playing its cards silently. And they are not just iOS upgrades or iPhone hardware, but more on the business end of things.
The 2 C's of Apple as I call them promises a great boost to Apple. They are CDMA and China.