Pre-Sales Show IPhone Hasn't Lost Its Groove

iphone4

If there was any question of whether the iPhone had lost its hold on the imagination of affluent consumers, it appears to have been answered by the flood of pre-orders for the latest version of Apple's signature device.

The 600,000 advance orders for the iPhone 4 were 10 times that for the iPhone 3GS, and caused well-publicized difficulties for Apple in handling the record demand that quickly outpaced inventory.

Before Steve Jobs, Apple's salesman-in-chief, had unveiled the new iPhone model June 7, the buzz in the smartphone space seemed to be around Sprint's release of the HTC Evo 4G and the spread of Android phones.

Sales of Android-based devices eclipsed the iPhone in the first quarter for the first time, indicating the Google mobile platform would continue to trump the iPhone as more and more handset makers built Android into their phones.

And with the first 4G phone in the U.S., Sprint would be able to offer a competing Android device that was faster and more reliable than the notoriously spotty coverage for the iPhone supplied by AT&T. There was also the torrent of unfavorable attention AT&T attracted last week for a security hole in its Web site that allowed 114,000 email addresses of iPad customers to be compromised.

Come to think of it, the launch of the iPad itself in April had upstaged its smaller cousin, impressing reviewers with its 10-inch screen, iBook e-book reader and 10-hour battery life. Suddenly the iPhone didn't seem so sexy.

But with Job's showcasing the more angular glass and stainless steel iPhone 4, equipped with video calling capability, a high-def camera and even gyroscope for better game play, the familiar pre-release frenzy around the device began building again last week. Keeping the 16GB version of the new iPhone at the $199 price level and bumping down the 3 GS-- instead of trying to jack up the cost because of the phone's new features -- was another smart move by Apple.

Those factors, plus strong early reviews, combined to send pre-orders through the roof and lay to rest doubts about whether Apple could maintain the iPhone's cachet in an increasingly competitive smartphone market. And when the iPhone 4 hits stores on June 24, expect to see the usual lines wrapping around the block -- and surrounding media coverage befitting a big summer movie opening.

Another thing to watch in the coming weeks and months is whether the iPhone 4 has a halo effect on the 3GS, especially with the older model now carrying a lower price tag. And if there's anything to the latest report that Verizon will get the iPhone 4 in the fourth quarter, sales could get a further jolt. But even if a Verizon iPhone doesn't materialize, the product line looks like it's still got legs.

Tags: apple, mobile
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2 comments about "Pre-Sales Show IPhone Hasn't Lost Its Groove ".
  1. Mark Simmons from marCis interactive , June 17, 2010 at 9:13 p.m.

    It's going to remain the standard despite the AT&T issues. Not that it's a bad thing. Ultimately, Apple [iPhone] innovates and sets the tone for other devices. As marketers and developers, we need to take note in order to stay fresh for our clients.

  2. Timothy Black from Smoking Hot Cigar Chick , June 18, 2010 at 3:12 p.m.

    It set the tone 3 years ago and changed the market. No more. Apple is chasing Google now, like it or not. Are people gong to jump ship and pay to break their contracts to get it like they did in 2007 and 2008, now that there are comparable Android devices on the other 3 carriers? 90% of the iphone 4 sales are to repeat customers.

    And the specs are still not what the Evo is. iphone still only has a 3.5" display and the cameras are 5mp and VGA, respectively. Evo, has a 4.3" display (a noticeably huge difference I can assure you) and 8mp and 1.3mp cameras. Granted the new retina display is a beauty, but when that glass shatters, it's going to be a much bigger deal because of the way the display attached to the glass. And there's the whole 4G thing and not being stuck on ATT.

    Understand that this is it until July of 2011 for iphone. The shine will wear off in 6 months Just think about what Android has done in only 18 months, from the clunky G1 to the Evo. And now Moto is releasing a 2ghz processor phone in Q4...wow.