Motorola and Google are out for blood with the Droid campaign, let there be no doubt. The direct, between the teeth knocks at the iPhone have definitely upped the ante in the battle of the smartphones. But will the Droid really be be an ‘iPhone killer?’ Here are the top 3 reasons why I don’t believe so, and why this is a good thing for marketers and consumers.
1. iTunes. iPhone integrates with iTunes seamlessly and easily, and with the largest catalog of music online, you can bet that this will keep Apple on solid ground with the iPhone for some time to come. Matt Rosoff at CNET sums this up nicely in this article. I remember back when the LG Chocolate came out and how cool I thought it was. That is, until I tried to get my music into the phone. It was a nightmare. It all sounded great in the ads and on the website, but when I got the phone home and actually started using it, my delusions of utopia quickly faded. I’m one of the millions of people that like the fact that Apple makes it easy to catalog my music and take it with me wherever I go. Is iTunes perfect? No. But it does what I need without a great deal of fuss. The ease of use and direct integration to iPhone cannot be underscored enough.
2. App Store. Technically part of iTunes, sure, but this deserves its own point. Apple is WAY ahead of the competition with apps, and now has over 100,000 apps available in the app store. For many users, this is the ballgame. Apps take the iPhone to a new level and allow unprecedented customization of the user experience. This opens up all kinds of doors for reaching on-the-go consumers. The opportunities are substantial for developers and forward-thinking marketers, and with so much momentum behind it, it’s highly unlikely that many successful developers or marketers are going to abandon the app store for greener pastures. Rather, those same developers and marketers will likely look at the Android Market as a new opportunity to reach even more customers, not a replacement for Apple’s App Store.
3. Innovation at Apple. Like them or hate them, Apple knows how to innovate. You don’t have to look hard to appreciate the truly innovative spirit of the company. They obviously put a lot of emphasis on the user experience, not just functionality. They already have a great product that people love, but I’d be willing to bet that they are hard at work on the next iteration of the iPhone (probably even harder now that Droid is about to hit the scene). This is the beauty of competition – it propels the market forward.
As the competition heats up, the opportunities for everyone will expand exponentially. This is a great thing for consumers, regardless if they own an iPhone, a Droid, or neither, as developers and marketers will look for ways to win over customers with new features, competitive pricing, sexier phones, etc. This is also great for Marketers, because with all the emphasis on the battle for new smartphone customers, many more doors are opening for connecting with consumers on-the-go. We are only limited by our imagination for what experiences we can enable and the value we can provide to our constituents. That should be music to all of our ears.
What do you think is going to happen with the launch of Droid? Should Apple be scared?