Apple Has "2 or 3 Year Lead" in Mobile Internet Computing with iPhone and iPod touch

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According to Mary Meeker and analysts from Morgan Stanley, Apple has a two to three year lead over its competitors in the mobile Internet space. Even though Apple's iPhone and iPod touch represent just a small piece of of the global smartphone pie with 17 percent, the two devices are responsible for a astounding 65 percent of all mobile internet use.

The iPhone and iPod touch have significantly surpassed the likes of Netscape, AOL, and NTT's DoCoMo in the first nine quarters of being on the market with an install base of 57 million users. That's most impressive if you consider that in the same time frame DoCoMo achieved 25 million users, Netscape 11 million, with AOL coming in last with 7 million.

We can't say Apple is slaughtering the competition, not with Android coming on strong and other platforms just rebooting (or about to). And we are not likely to see this trend die anytime soon as Apple continues to gain more and more market share in the smartphone world.

Jeremy

Community editor. Tech enthusiast. All-around geek.

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There are 20 comments. Add yours.

sting7k says:

Apple must be a little peeved that Google scooped Admob right from under them. All that traffic and they could have had a killer ad revenue stream from Safari and apps.

CJ Millisock says:

lol "2 or 3 year lead", fat chance. :-)

a1by says:

There's no such thing as 2 or 3 year lead in the mobile space anymore, given that people upgrade their phones on now a seemingly annual or biannual basis

Taco50 says:

I think apples lead is in marketing because they have already created a name and the iPhone is the it phone. The android phones seem to be catching up pretty quick. I'm hoping for something really good when the next iPhone comes out.

pk de cville says:

"Apple must be a little peeved that Google scooped Admob right from under them."
If Apple thinks this is strategic, they'll kick Admob off their platform replacing it with something they control.

John says:

It could well be a 2-3 year lead. Apple has basically been merely refining a three year old phone and only now have competitors been catching up in earnest. If Apple releases a completely revamped and revolutionary phone this year, it might take another 2 years for competitors to catch up.

Diordon22 says:

The next Iphone better have a wow factor or I'm gone.

hand me the gun and ask me again says:

@Diordon22
agreed .. after googles' effort this week, the next iphone has got to be pretty spectacular to keep the lead. I think android and iphone will be neck and neck if they don't.

Tom says:

How about a Task button that syncs with Outlook since iPhone is so hot. How about a radio that doesn't drop calls.

icebike says:

But, we are not likely to see this trend die anytime soon as Apple continues to gain more and more market share in the smartphone world.

Apple's share is not likely to decline soon, but the rapid growth phase is OVER. There are too many compelling smart phones hitting the market, and several of them are bound to attract a following.
As @Diordon and @Hand-Me say above, Apple has 8 months to deliver a TOTALLY revised interface, and DRAMATICALLY improved performance, New Radios including LTE, and MultiTasking.
They have to hit a Grand Slam. A bunt single is not going to cut it this time around.
As much as Rene and Chad like to diss the droid, you can't hang around the mall very long with out hearing DROOOIIID ring out from somewhere.

Kaiks says:

I think the iPhone uses the web in a clunk-free and fun way. Browsing on Safari is surprisingly easy, the double-tap and pinch zoom are key elements. Most Apps use the web seamlessly.
Time will tell if iPhone really is 2-3 years ahead of competitors in regards to mobile internet use. I tend to use the iPhone for quick browsing much more than my PC now, the iPhone is always ready to go and I can't be bothered waiting for the PC to boot up.

Mav says:

Don't forget that when talking about iPhone competitors "coming close" it's by and large about competing in features. As far as usability, integration of hardware, software and services is concerned, there is NO competition (or at least there is a big gap). The whole generation of kids is growing with Mom's/Dad's iPods and iPhones in their hands. If Apple will keep pushing the envelope iPhone will dominate the mainstream mobile market for years to come.

dloveprod says:

With apple opening up services like live video streaming for the 3g and 3gs, I think something really good is coming in 4.0, they are gonna blow everyones socks off

Federico says:

Java (aka ANDROID) vs. natives OSX.
You guys must be delusional.

Steve says:

@ Mav
Competitors are already way ahead in "features", not "coming close" - it's the interface and usability they are catching up with, rapidly.
I've just made the switch to iPhone, but only after the 3GS "caught up" with some basic features i've had on other phones for years. I'm not sure I could live without jailbreak either, because of some of the basic stuff it adds!
IF apple keep pushing the envelope you may be right; but that really does mean a big upgrade next year (the 3GS didn't push any envelopes)... There are some that will but the iPhone regardless because they are apple fans - but it's people like me who made the switch from Nokia that apple have to keep to really dominate the market ;)

Federico says:

Already GOOG had to resort to rumors to get the focus off iPhone. If DROID was such a success they would notplay these games. Bet you Ina month they will deny that they had a google phone and explain that they were doing a field test for the next version of software which will be hailed as the iPhone killer. Their hacks would proclaim the genius of google. Instead of producing their own phone, they produced a killer software that every phone maker can use.

Schrute farms says:

@ John
You are completely right sir!

Joe McG says:

Before making absurd comments like "2 or 3 year lead" one should consider that we were all still dialing up to AOL and Prodigy just 10 years ago. The droid is already here and is at least comparable to the iPhone, no matter what your argument is for or against.
I really hope that 3 years from now I'm not running out of battery at dinner time.

Tim says:

In order to be 2 or 3 years ahead, Apple would need a browser that supports Flash. I, for one, am sick of navigating to sites I can't see cause it's got Flash content and I'm using an iPhone.

Ruffin says:

The more I hear and read the word "iPhone" the more it sounds like something a Neanderthal might say. "Phone home" sounds more evolved.