The iPhone Challenge

No sooner had I hit the publish key on my Brand Engagement – Apple Store post, did I see this challenge from Seth Godin:

Steve Ballmer says, “There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance.” Predicting the future of the iPhone is perfect bait for marketing pundits everywhere. How about a pool and we’ll see who’s as smart as they pretend to be? So, I invite you to make a prediction, trackback it here and a year from now, we’ll take a look.

I agree with Seth; the iPhone will be big this year and even bigger next year.  Here’s why:

  1. People, especially young teens, are totally engaged with the Apple brand.
  2. The cell phone and the iPod are probably the most important possessions a young teenager has.
  3. It will be the ultimate aspirational gadget for young teens.  Having the coolest iPod and phone are status symbols for them; they get you attention.  If someone else has a RAZR, you will drive your parents crazy begging for one, even if you have a perfectly good phone (voice of experience talking)

What do you think?

4 comments so far

  1. Ann Handley on

    Your post reminds me of Andy Borowitz’s recent bit in the Huffingon Post, where he predicts “Next Week’s News”: “The Apple Corporation will recall the entire production run of the Apple iPhone after discovering that it had forgotten to include a ‘phone’ feature in the much-hyped device. CEO Steve Jobs will offer this advice to consumers who somehow wound up with the phoneless iPhone: ‘Just hold it up to your head and pretend to be talking into it.'”

    I totally agree with your teen angle, btw.

  2. Doug Meacham on

    Ann, I’ll check out Andy’s bit. Sounds like a fun read. Thanks for the comment!

  3. Matt Haverkamp on

    Not quite sold on the teen angle yet Doug.

    At $400 plus dollars – this is going to one expensive product. I don’t have kids yet so I am speaking only from past experience of being a teenager (almost 20 years ago). My parents would have never bought this for me. Even today, they would not buy this for me – maybe a nano, maybe a shuffle, but not this.

    I can see it as an aspirtational product for them.

    On second thought I always bet wrong. Maybe I should buy Apple stock.

  4. Doug Meacham on

    Matt, I wish I had bought Apple stock. The big question is whether Apple is going to protect the price point. When the Motorola RAZR first came out, it was a $300 phone with a camera; that’s it. It’s now given away for free by the service providers. Cingular won’t be discounting it this year; the demand will be too high. Next year might be different. I know plenty of kids who have video iPods ($230-$260) and a cellphone, which is sometimes free, but often costs up to $150. We just got our daughter an LG Chocolate ($129 but free after rebate).
    Bottom line for me is that some of them will get one, but most of them will want one.


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