Competition in smartphones will be intense next year, now that the giants of the business have finally recovered from the shock of being outpaced by Apple and responded with iPhone-wannabes of their own. So how can Apple capitalise on its 18-month head-start?
Part of the answer lies in today’s confirmation that Wal-Mart will start selling the iPhone this weekend. To go mass-market with the device in 2009 Apple needs much wider distribution, and they don’t come with any wider reach than Wal-Mart. Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray, an iPhone bull, is anticipating sales of 45m units next year, up from 15.7m in 2008: by winning over Wal-Mart, Apple has moved a big step closer to that number. Read more