Friday, March 21, 2008

Singapore iPhone Fans Will Get A Chance to Show How Mobile-Savvy They Are

There are two interesting news about the Apple iPhone lately. First, ChannelNewsAsia reported rumors of iPhone launch in Singapore around September 2008. If this is true, Singapore will be the first country in Asia to be the official market for iPhone (although there are 10,000 units already present in this 4.6-million people country).

The summary of the rumor is:

  • The operator will likely be SingTel. It is unknown whether the phone will be locked. It is a terrible, terrible idea to sell locked mobile phones in the South East Asia market, so Apple may arrange something like they do in France.
  • By September 2008, the iPhone to be launched is likely the newer version with 3G or HSDPA.
  • Will this coincide with the launch of iTunes Music Store in Singapore? One can dream. Meanwhile, all you can do is go to sites like

Second, there is an article at the New York Times on 18 March 2008 about the usage of iPhones:

The results, from a January survey of more than 10,000 adults, are somewhat dramatic. 84.8 percent of iPhone users report accessing news and information from the hand-held device. That compares to 13.1 percent of the overall mobile phone market and 58.2 percent of total smartphone owners – which include those poor saps with Blackberries and devices that run Windows.

iPhone Users Love That Mobile Web - Bits - Technology - New York Times Blog

It's interesting that iPhone users' activities reflect a more mobile-savvy users compared to users of other smartphone platforms. One possible reason is because users of iPhones chose to buy their phones over other phones because of its features. Users of other smartphones may get their phones solely because their employers issue them and that they could care less about the features that make their phones smart. Or they may get their smartphones for other reasons. Indonesia is the biggest market for the Nokia Communicator, mostly not because of its incredible features, but because its consumers perceive the phone as a status symbol.

But it's clear that there are simple lessons learned here for Blackberry and Windows Mobile:

  1. Consumers appreciate ease of use
  2. Consumers will browse and use internet services on their mobile devices more if the experience is good
  3. Blackberry and Windows Mobile don't provide a good experience

The truth is, Microsoft has a decade of head start in the mobile OS technology and they just have not learned fast enough. This article points out this fact really nicely: The top 10 things that are wrong with Windows Mobile. At the very least, Microsoft should get Pocket IE back to the drawing board.


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