I followed Apple’s ‘Let’s Talk iPhone’ keynote and have a few thoughts. First of all, the mobile market share slide was very misleading…
While I can’t find these numbers on ComScore, they are certainly showing US only which gives a very skewed version of reality.
Apple’s device strategy is very clever. It’s like someone said "What can we improve without affecting the screen size and existing (3rd party) software". The answer is obviously to make it faster, give it a better battery life (but still nowhere near industry leading RIM and Nokia) and give it a better camera.
An increasing number of Apple’s innovations are in software in the phone or on Apple’s servers. Again, they can do this without affecting 3rd party apps apart from those of course that already offer similar services. The increasing emphasis on services makes me question whether Apple have discovered the end game might be all about services. However, in order to remain competitive, there will eventually come a time when Apple will have to create new iPhone form factors and fracture compatibility.
As usual, Apple was good at putting a spin on things that are already found in competitors’ phones. For example, dual/intelligent antennas, faster HSDPA and 8MP cameras. Siri looks interesting and almost magical and inspires thoughts like "How did they do that?". However, it has a limited set of scenarios and if it’s anything like the voice control in my car (a Honda), it probably needs you to say things the right way. Voice control isn’t new and was in early Nokia Smartphones (Ummm, I wonder if there’s a Patent?). Success depends on how flexible it is. If it misinterprets just small percentage of queries then it will get annoying.
All in all, I am not sure the 4S has enough to create a step change in sales. However, the now cheaper 3GS is probably going to have a greater influence on the mobile market.
UPDATE: Looks like Siri might be powered by Nuance.