The Finger Touch Arms Race

This is going to be a big summer for the mobile device industry; and by inference, a big step forward for how a growing band of people really start to embrace everything that the mobile device can do for them. 

Every year for the past 5 has been ‘the year that mobile takes off’, but maybe (just maybe) this is actually that year… so, who’s going to be the big winner?

First up, there’s the Palm Pre, a device on which the once sector-leading Palm have pretty much staked the farm:


It’s due in the US on the 6th June apparently; not only a full month and a half before the rumoured launch date of the 3rd Generation of iPhone, but a cunning two days before there will actually be an announcement by Apple (from WIRED).

4 days before that, acording to CNET, we’ll see the Nokia N97.


Both devices offer something the previous iPhones haven’t – full qwerty keypads.  That’s still a major demand for devices for the time being.

Then through the summer we’ll see all sorts of runners and riders jostling for positioning; Sony Ericsson, Samsung, HTC, LG and on and on… everyone’s trying to create something that can steal share of the iPhone’s success.

Crucially, it’s not just a share of the iPhone sales they are after (as of course it’s nowhere near being the most popular handset in the world); they would probably be happy being mentioned in the same breath, having a device that’s consider a true rival.

But here’s where Apple’s first-mover advantage may well come into play.

They’ve had the iPhone out there for two years.  Last summer’s update to 3G was, let’s face it, pretty much the same phone.

So whilst everyone’s chasing around trying to (consciously or unconsciously) imitate a phone that’s two years old, Apple have been refining, learning, developing.

The rumours are rife; better camera, more battery life, more memory, smaller device, a range of devices (like an ‘iPhone Nano’).  But what’s certainly true is that if you based everything on Google Insights, there’s probably only going to be one winner this summer…