iPhone terror: Apple's rivals holding back for fear of comparison?

iPhone terror: Apple's rivals holding back for fear of comparison?Between all those market share pies and charts, and Apple's latest gazillion-dollar earnings figures, you probably don't need it spelled out that the iPhone 4S has done rather well for itself since its belated launch towards the end of last year.

But here's a notion we haven't heard before: Apple's smartphone rivals are apparently so mesmerised by the iPhone 4S' success that they're deliberately holding back on new releases until after the end of the first quarter.

To clarify, by “apparently” we mean “according to DigiTimes”, the Taiwanese component/supplier-focused news service that has its finger on the electronics industry's supply chain pulse.

The justification for the theory is the fact that based on past evidence the iPhone 4S will keep its market dominance throughout the first quarter, and then start to soften after that. And so Samsung, Nokia, HTC, LG and co will hold back on bringing new hardware to market until that starts to happen.

But we're not sure we buy the logic, to be honest. At the very least there's surely a chicken-and-egg question here, as if there's one thing sure to guarantee the iPhone's continued dominance, it's the lack of any decent rivals being launched. Not only that, but it's nothing new to see kit announced at MWC only hitting the market in April/May – is DigiTimes really suggesting that the iPhone has been the reason why for years now?

And one other thing: what does it say about the quality of a product when its maker holds back on launching it till a more convenient time because it's scared of the competition?

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6 comments

bettsy  Jan. 31, 2012 at 19:49

It's a load of rubbish to be honest, i don't think in the smart phone history has there really been any big device launches in the first quarter of any year? It's a bad tactic to as no one will be purchasing so soon after Christmas.

It's taking one story in strong iPhone 4S and putting it with another of a traditionally quiet release period for manufacturers and then trying to link the two.

JanSt / MOD  Jan. 31, 2012 at 20:17

You got a point, Bettsy.

And look how some makers even fight themselves - HTC destroyed the excellent Legend by releasing the Desire. They could've milked the Legend some more...

matt101101 / MOD  Jan. 31, 2012 at 21:06

Bettsy, you're right. Q1 is the slowest time of year for consumer tech. launches, as companies know full well that people have little disposable income after the expense of xmas, that's why phone manufacturers wait until April-time to release their new flagship devices.

As for the iPhone being the reason other manufacturers don't release their phones until April every other year, every other iPhone has been released in June, not October. Meaning the Q1 rush would not have existed for the past four years as iPhone sales would already have slowed...

blizzard7  Feb. 1, 2012 at 11:29

You got a point, Bettsy.

And look how some makers even fight themselves - HTC destroyed the excellent Legend by releasing the Desire. They could've milked the Legend some more...


They're completely different devices, the Legend is 3.2 inches with 600 MHz processor, the Desire is 3.7 inches with a 1 GHz processor. I don't see any cannabalisation there.

JanSt / MOD  Feb. 1, 2012 at 11:41

Oh, but I do. The Legend was a high quality device. Possibly among the best hardware HTC made. And it would have sold much better had they waited a tad longer with the Desire.
Or maybe you're right... Then I'm screwed.

JanSt / MOD  Feb. 1, 2012 at 12:05

Oh. And Blizz: the different form-argument would then apply to any 4in + Android phone versus the 3.5in iPhone, wouldn't it? (Though, whose point I'm making I can't say :D )

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