Why Google Glass Will Not Be Another iPhone-PriceAngels
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Group title: Why Google Glass Will Not Be Another iPhone-PriceAngels
Will Google GOOG -0.41% Glass be another iPhone? Will Google grow the wearable displays market at the same level of success achieved by cheap iphone 4 cases AAPL +0.02% in smartphones? Forrester think so and claim that 12% of the adult American population would buy Glass if it were available now.

That shows some lack of understanding of why, and how, the iPhone succeeded, and the challenges involved in evolving the mobile innovation platform away from the slab form factor. Forrester has a breathless take on it. But let’s stop right there. Here are three major reasons why Glass has something different going for it, rather than enjoying the iPhone’s success, and also why Glass will accelerate the uptake of existing some mobile technologies – particularly augmented reality.

1. The iPhone was a substitute product in a vast market. Sales of mobile phones were already huge and maturing by 2007, when the iPhone was launched. The industry began gravitating towards smartphones in 2002 with the launch of the Nokia S60 series but it was still early days – not least because mobile phone companies were driven by engineering issues not usability. The “app” economy of the time was owned by the wireless carriers and that meant plenty of ripoff ring tones and “free” wallpaper that could easily draw you unsuspectedly into a monthly subscription that you didn’t notice until you got your phone bill. It was an exciting industry but shoddy too.

When Apple began work on a smartphone in 2002 the industry was looking very interesting.Japan and Korea were the leading markets. By the time Apple launched the iPhone, the market had grown to over 30 million units per quarter. Apple lay third in the global market but with a tiny market share- 5%. Nokia has 45% of the apple accessories market, just as it did of the overall mobile phone market, selling, at its peak, 450 million units in one year. Steve Jobs was attracted by a market 10 times the size of the computer market – and it has become a golden rule of new corporate adjacencies – go where there is scale and growth.DSsSed2ed

The important point is that smartphones were an overdue substitute for existing mobile phones (which by then had a global market of 1 billion units annually).Apple was, in effect, a substitute for mobile phones that were difficult to use and even difficult to see properly, and a better substitute than its competitors. A lot of its success must go to the App Store and the developer community, which created a huge tide of advocacy, and a new innovation model.

But it is hard to argue convincingly that the market conditions are there for rapid market uptake along the same trajectory as the iPhone unless Google becomes another best iphone 4s accessories, capable of seamlessly bundling hardware, software, apps and services at extraordinary scale. The iPhone went from 1.3 million units in (fiscal) year 1 to 125 million units in year 6. Glass is more likely, I believe, to find a place in the market alongside a proliferation of form factors all with the appeal, and supply chain experience, that Apple, Samsung and the smaller smartphone players bring to the market everyday.
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