Apple needs to launch new iPhone before summer 2008, says Gartner

  • Stamford (CT) - In a recent report, industry analyst firm Gartner suggests that Apple needs to continuously expand the services offered on the iPhone, which should lead to a new model of the device within the next nine months.

    In its report, Gartner says that brand recognition and the user interface are what will drive long-term excitement for the phone.  The lack of GPS, video recording, and support for the 3G industry standard make the iPhone an otherwise modest offering.  This means Apple needs to turn on the same marketing machine that made the less-than-spectacular iPod overpower other, more advanced MP3 players.

    The report says that for Apple to find a level of success in the phone market, it will need to update its offering in less than a year.  Apple has a history of short product cycles, and it's Gartner's opinion that "Apple needs to launch a second, lower-priced handset within nine months to keep the line fresh."

    Gartner emphasizes the obvious point that media-related applications are essential to the success of the iPhone, and praises Apple for the inclusion of a full-fledged Safari Web browser and specially encoded YouTube videos.

    The research firm also calls for content companies to focus on Web-based extensions of existing media services that are compatible with Safari, in order to appeal to the initial wave of iPhone users.  According to the company's analysis, the iPhone will singlehandedly re-invigorate the smartphone market across all manufacturers and network operators.

    Hype is already at a fervent level for the iPhone, which does not even go on sale until tomorrow at 6:00 PM.  It's similar to the frenzy that surrounded the Playstation 3 last year, which is now in last place in the video game console wars.  Apple's brand is also not a free pass to success, as the company's Apple TV released earlier this year saw lackluster sales.  It's the devotion to product support and advancements that will fuel the fire for the iPhone.