I wrote in an earlier piece that Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone is most likely to be positioned against laptops as a convergence device that eliminates the need to have to carry around multiple devices. Frank Levinson had talked about the iPhone as a convergence device as well, a few months back.
Let�s take a look at the laptop market. HP (HPQ) is No. 1 with 20% market share, Dell (DELL) is No. 2 with 15%. At No. 3, breathing down Dell�s neck, is an unexpected Taiwanese company: Acer. They�re followed by Toshiba (TOSBF.PK), Lenovo (LNVGY.PK), Fujitsu-Siemens (FJTSY.PK), SONY (SNE), Asus, and at an unglorious No. 9, Apple.
So far, Apple�s strategy has been to sell really expensive notebooks. But with the entry of the iPhone, this could change dramatically! We get all the Apple magic, for a low price-point for laptops, although a very high price-point for a phone.
The branding of this Laptop replacement as a Phone is a clever marketing move. �Here, look, we have a phone that can replace your laptop �� Never mind that it is a very expensive phone.
I wonder how these rankings would look in 2010, if the iPhone was counted under laptops, instead of under Phones? Who could come up with a full scale Windows based covergence device? Is it even possible, given how heavy an OS Vista is? What would happen to Palm (PALM) and Research in Motion (RIMM)? Neither is a full-scale OS. Nor is Symbian. Nor, for that matter, is Windows Mobile, although it has the advantage of being integrated well into the rest of the enterprise eco-system.
Only Linux can meaningfully compete in the OS arena. Who is building the Linux-based covergence device?
Remember, the key decision that Apple has made, is to put the Mac OS on the iPhone, opening up a vast range of possibilities. The competition also needs to think OS!