iPhone 5 may rain on Australia’s Android parade


blog Pretend for a moment that you’re a handset manufacturer like HTC, Samsung, Motorola, LG or Sony Ericsson. After months of negotiating with local carriers like Telstra, Optus and Vodafone, building up the case for a massive marketing launch, briefing journalists over expensive lunches and working with head office in the US or Asia to get stock for Australia, you finally launch your high-end Android smartphone in Australia.

Then just a month or so later, Apple comes out of nowhere and releases the iPhone 5.

That’s the situation that such companies are currently facing in Australia, with strong reports coming out of the US that the iPhone 5 will launch in August. The Boy Genius Report writes:

“The consensus is that Apple is going to announce the next-generation iPhone at the company’s annual September event, traditionally focused on iPods, but we have heard it’s quite possible Apple will break tradition. According to our source, Apple may hold an event in the beginning or middle of August to announce the new iPhone, with availability to follow in the last week of August.”

In the US and Europe, this will be more or less business as usual for Apple’s major handset rivals. However, in Australia, where a delaying factor means we usually get handsets up to six months after the rest of the world, an iPhone 5 launch any time soon (or even the rumour of one) will absolutely kill launch sales in mid-2011 for any of the other manufacturers.

After the iPhone 4 was released in mid-2010, companies like Samsung, Sony Ericsson and Motorola knew they had only a brief window of opportunity to get handsets like the Galaxy S II, the Atrix and the Xperia Arc into Australia. However, frankly, they blew that opportunity — six months after many of the devices were revealed globally at CES and Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, most of the devices have only just landed Down Under.

The difference between Apple and its rivals right now? Apple has worked out how to ship things globally on time. Perhaps the only rival smartphone manufacturer who won’t be caught out by Apple’s launch is HTC, which has already launched a series of updated handsets in Australia (for example, the HTC Desire HD) while Apple was working on the iPhone 5 and while its other rivals were sleeping.

The worst thing is for Apple’s rivals, now that the iPhone 5 rumours have begun in earnest, Australian consumers will already put off their handset renewal plans until they know what Steve Jobs and crew are planning and when. All those big Android launches in mid-2011 may just be for naught.

Image credit: Mike Gaines, Creative Commons


    • So your going to wait and see what the iPhone 5 is like, if not your going to buy what? Android or iPhone 4?

  1. S-E kind of mucked up their launches for this year, and not just in Australia. Delays a-plenty on the Arc, and there’s still no certainty about the Neo’s availability. And now the XPERIA Duo is starting to leak…

    At least the SGS-II has been available for a while now, both internationally and on Optus. Samsung did fairly well with the SGS-II launch.

    Even if you’re not looking to pick up a new Apple device later this year, there’s some sense in waiting to see what they do. If they come up with anything particularly special (rather than just the small improvements that are expected) then the major Android handset makers are all going to be scrambling to put out new models ASAP.

    • SE although are known for their slow shipments, the floods and earthquakes in Japan certainly didn’t do them any favours. So only limited stock was available and most of that went elsewhere.

  2. I’m not sure I buy the whole “Apple comes out of nowhere to reveal the iPhone 5” statement … Apple have been nothing but consistent in their releases over the last few years, and save for the retina display on the 4, they have all been pretty much iterative evolutions of the original. If Samsung/SE/et al fail to take that into account, then that is their failure – I think a bigger shock would be Apple *not* releasing an iPhone 5 this year.

    • Consistent? Consistent? If you mean “tell nobody about any iPhone updates until a week before it goes on sale”, yes, they have been consistent.

      And sure, they launch a new one every year — except for this year, when they skipped their normal early in the year reveal, and have said nothing about a new model since. I wouldn’t precisely call that consistent ;)

  3. Renai – have you been sent a review model of the new Nokia N9? I’m a self admitted Apple fanboi, but this might lure me back to the good old reliable Nokia brand. Looks very schmick. I won’t link to a rival site, but there is a review on zdnet.

    • The N9 looks lovely, but as MeeGo is essentially now a “hobby” platform for Nokia it’ll be surprising if it makes a big splash.

      What I find interesting though is that it gives us a glimpse at possible hardware design for the eventual WP7 devices. Looking at the specs, all you’d really need to add is a camera shutter key and some soft-keys at the bottom and blammo, you’ve got a rather nice device which conforms to the WP7 spec.

    • Nope, I didn’t go to the launch as they had said there would be no pricing and availability info yet.

      And are you really that interested? Doesn’t the software platform turn you off? I would have thought most ppl were standardizing on iOS or Android right now ;)

      • Flashback to 1999:
        “Hey, I hear Microsoft are going to launch a new gaming console called the xbox!”
        “Are you really that interested? Doesn’t the software platform turn you off?”

        The mind is like a parachute, it works best when it is open!

  4. NEWS FLASH!!!

    Why does the media play this up that its the death to other handsets. If you guys bothered to do your job well enough you would notice that in the USA were the iPhone has been out for years, that ANDROID has overtaken the market share. YES OVERTAKEN Apples mighty iPhone. Maybe people just don’t give a crap about the iPhone as much as the media makes out?

    For those that say otherwise, answer this…. 400k NEW android handsets a day, android has the largest market share in the USA and oh by the way, that new notification system jobs showed off, is a straight copy of androids!

  5. To be honest, I could quite easily see it going the other way. If you remember the supply issues with the iPhone 4 when it finally got released here, people were waiting a month just for your carrier to get stock in, and then you had to hope your phone was in that batch of deliveries. Or instead, you can just walk into pretty much any phone dealership today and walk out with an unlocked Galaxy S2.

    • I agree people will do what your saying, Which to me really makes no sense at all….. It shows there isn’t much thought into buying a phone! You just sign 2 years away of your life to a phone based on not wanting to wait. Which really means the iPhone is all hype and the current must have accessory. Push comes to shove, anything will do.

      I look at features, value and what works with me. I’m an iTunes free household, and haven’t looked back since leaving that buggy software from hell years ago!

      I’m over sites like this reporting these types of stories. If you look at the market trends, android is growing and the iphone has flatten off in market share and loosing market share in some countries. Whats that really saying to me, is the media has no idea and just reports the latest shinny thing that apple puts out in hope people will read it, cause its worked before for them. (yes I’m looking at you Renai!!)

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