The world’s largest retailer will end free shipping for online orders under $50 Canadian starting April 2.
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“The real market battle is among ecosystem/platform providers Apple, Google, Microsoft and Amazon,” he says. “These companies are fighting for customers’ loyalty by maximizing the dividend they pay on customers’ investment of dollars in devices, apps, music, movies, books, etc. The iPhone 5 further reinforces Apple’s leadership in this battle.”
It is the sum of all of its parts that sets the iPhone apart from the pack, says Weston Henderek, principal analyst, wireless services, at mobile and wireless research and consulting firm Current Analysis.
“Apple just keeps making incremental improvements to all aspects of the iPhone from a hardware and feature perspective and does not let market trends dictate which direction it will take,” Henderek says. “For example, one of the biggest trends in the smartphone space is the emergence of larger screens. Most of the leading-edge devices today—think Samsung Galaxy SIII—have huge 4.5-inch screens and up. Although Apple did increase the size of the iPhone screen, it did so without increasing the width of the display and while making the overall device thinner and lighter. As a result, the iPhone5 will be easier to hold and likely more comfortable to use than competing devices with much larger screens.”
Another reason why the iPhone will continue to be the smartphone to beat is Apple’s traditional pricing strategy on the device, Henderek adds.
“As soon as the iPhone 5 was announced at $199, $299 and $399, the iPhone 4 and 4S were dropped to free and $99 with service contracts,” he says. “Having those devices at those price points will put additional pressure on the entire smartphone value chain.”
During its announcement of the iPhone 5 this morning, the normally tight-lipped Apple revealed some interesting figures. It says through June 2012 it has sold 400 million devices running iOS, 84 million of which are iPads. It adds there are 700,000 iOS apps in the App Store, 250,000 for the iPad. And Apple says there are 435 million iTunes accounts, all set up with one-click purchasing.