Every iPhone 5 device has the potential to contribute 15GB of traffic to the corporate network, estimates Blue Coat.
“The iPhone has really put businesses on the defensive. It’s a case where consumer IT is driving business, and businesses are trying to figure out what to do,” says Blue Coat Senior Director of Product Marketing, Mark Urban. “Leading companies are utilizing iPads and iPhones to be more mobile, more flexible, but the majority of businesses are in reaction mode.”
Some estimates predict Apple will sell 10 million iPhone 5s in the weeks following the announcement. The traffic contributed by each iPhone “hits the bottom line for businesses and in some cases can mean a doubling of telecom service budgets and disruption to business processes.”
Urban says that businesses need to balance the demand for access to the corporate network against the impact those devices have on the network. “By being able to differentiate business applications and prioritize them, businesses have the breathing room to embrace personal devices without breaking the bank,” notes Urban.
iPhone5 Strikes a Compromise
The newly launched iPhone5 (actually the sixth version of its ever popular smartphone) is on the surface very similar to leaked images that have surfaced in recent months.
“The device highlights the inherent risks involved in Apple’s strategy of only releasing one device at a time, in that it always has to strike a compromise that is most likely to appeal to a wide base of users,” says Jan Dawson, chief telecoms analyst at Ovum. “The new device strikes that compromise most dramatically in the increased vertical height.”
With many Android and Windows Phone devices now significantly larger than the iPhone 4S and gaining popularity, the pressure has grown on Apple to release a larger device. By only increasing the vertical height, it’s created a device that’s notably taller and thinner in aspect ratio than most of those Android devices, and as a result it will stand out, which may not be a good thing. While keeping the device small enough for some hands is important, many customers would have wanted something bigger, and they’ll be disappointed.
“On the other hand, the addition of LTE, the improvements in battery life, performance and the camera and so on will help the device appeal to existing iPhone users, and either close the gap or broaden its lead against competing devices,” says Dawson.
More Room for Improvements
Apple needs to do much more than the widely expected hardware revamp of the iPhone to lead in the smartphone market. This is according to Ovum’s new measure of success in the consumer technology industry – the Smart-Vendor Scorecard – which accompanies a 360-degree assessment of the major technology vendors’ capabilities and their influence over consumers and developers.
The global analyst firm expects that the new iPhone will be Apple’s most successful smartphone to-date. However, without a redesign of the iOS user experience and underlying software platform in the next two years, Apple will find itself in a position similar to Nokia and RIM, which found themselves with outdated smartphone platforms that needed replacing.
The analysis behind Ovum’s Smart-Vendor Scorecard suggests that if Apple miss-times this transition, it could lose large numbers of consumers along the way. The question for Apple is: will Tim Cook be brave enough to call time on the iPhone cash-cow in-time for a successful transition?
“Apple has successfully built the iPhone from a radical new entrant to the must-have smartphone. Whilst the company is still reaping the rewards of the brand equity of the iPhone, consumers are notoriously fickle when it comes to buying handsets,” says Adam Leach, leader of Ovum’s Devices and Platforms practice.
Leach adds that without the continued innovation which the market is accustomed to with Apple, the company risks losing consumer appeal. “The iPhone re-defined the smartphone category in 2007 but it can’t rely on past success to guarantee its future or rely on litigation to keep its competitors at bay,” he says.