While Apple continues to dominate high-end laptop market, their strategy with the iPhone has been to be as competitive as possible by selling the iPhone 3G for $99 (with AT&T contract) and the 3GS for $199 & $299.
This pricing has screwed up everyone else in the smart/touchphone market. It’s no longer a matter of deciding if you want to invest $300+ on an iPhone or one of a myriad of $99 touchscreen phones that look like an iPhone, but have none of the gaming, video, music, application, mapping or full web browsing capabilities.
Case-in-point as noted in this Palm Pixi review at Engadget:
As some commenters have pointed out, the Pixi is showing up for $29.99 (after an instant discount) at Walmart online right now. Let’s be very clear here — one of our major issues with this phone was that it doesn’t offer enough differentiation from the Pre, a point which is particularly important when there is only a $50 difference between the two. Without question, this phone for $30 is an incredible value and without compare in the world of smartphones. If that kind of price becomes the norm with this device, it would be hard not to recommend it to buyers.
So when I say Apple is ‘screwing everyone else up’ what I mean is other mobile phone producers used to create and exaggerate price tiers for the different versions of their phone – price tiers that don’t have the additional features to warrant them. The main difference between a Palm Treo and a Pixi is that one has a touchscreen keyboard and the other has a touchscreen keyboard and a full QWERTY. Come again?
So while I’ve heard the critics say that Apple needs a ‘nano’ version of the iPhone and they need to expand the range of models, we’re seeing how having one iPhone (the 3G and the 3GS run the same OS, have the same dimensions) gives Apple a huge advantage against competitors who love to offer dozens of different models with negligible differences.