Could This Be The Next Great Monopoly?
Recently, Apple launched the much anticipated iPhone. The next generation in handheld devices complete with MP3 player, Video/Movie player, Internet access, and Cell Phone. It’s obvious that the way that the launch was handled that right off the bat this new device would be a hit. But at what cost?
Reports of iPhones ranging between five hundred and six hundred dollars per device was not enough to turn away the thousands around the country that stood in line to be one of the first to put their hands on one of these. While most people wait in line for just a few hours, there were several die-hards that waited for a day or two, much like a Hollywood premiere or a once in a lifetime concert.
Once the doors opened, the excitement intensified, but this excitement was short lived by many when they found out that they were required to sign up for a service plan with AT&T. Many opted to get the iPhone anyway, and several attempted to get it to work with their regular cell phone carrier by replacing the sim card from their existing phones. All to find out that AT&T is the ONLY cell carrier that is supported by the iPhone.
If that is not enough, you need to setup through APPLE as well. You will require an iTunes account, whether you want it or not. So far, over one half million iPhones have been sold with about fifty percent of new purchasers opting to switch their service to AT&T. That’s more users for them and less for the others.
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A monopoly is defined as a market in which there are many buyers but only one seller; “when you have a monopoly you can ask any price you like. Right now, and for the foreseeable future, it appears that if you want the coolest new device on the market, Apple and AT&T have cornered the market. No other cellular service provider will work with the iPhone and at the present, there are not many other devices even similar. But that won’t last long.
Verizon isn’t sitting back. They are coming after the iPhone. They have a few new PDA smart phones coming out. The LG KE850 looks very similar to the iPhone, and has the touch screen as well; but it won’t have the built in storage. It will however, offer many of the same features that can be found in the iPhone.
Samsung has updated the i730 to the i760 and has changed the layout to a horizontal slider phone, as opposed to the vertical slider. Samsung has another PDA phone coming out this year, the Samsung F700. It will have a similar layout to the iPhone, but feature a horizontal slide out keyboard. It will have its own unique OS. I’m not sure of how functional it will be, but I doubt it will have nearly as much software support as Windows Mobile does.
So, maybe for now, Apple and AT&T might have the monopoly, but it won’t be long before the other providers and cellular device manufacturers release their next latest and greatest. What new additions can they possibly think of? We will just have to stay tuned.