iClones Will Debut at CES ’08
The Apple iPhone has revolutionized the portable handheld market. Ever since the introduction of iPhone and then iPod Touch model, manufacturers have been ramping up the production of touch-screens and device makers are looking to somehow integrate them in their designs. It’s been a tough 11 months of analyzing, copying, and readying prototypes after the revealing of iPhone back in January. Handset makers as well as portable media player manufacturers feel that they have to answer the challenge of the touch-screened iPhone/iPod or risk losing market share to Apple.
So it came as no surprise when I heard the Chinese device manufacturer Meizu will debut its iClone at the 2008 Consumer Electronics Show ( CES ) in Las Vegas. HTC ( Voyager ) and LG ( Venus ) already have a touch-screen model out and Nokia, Samsung, and Motorola will likely debut prototypes with more manufacturers to come later.
In the portable media player space, Samsung already has its P2 model out and I expect touch-screen prototypes from SanDisk, Creative, Cowon, iRiver, and perhaps even Microsoft. That’s not to mention a bevy of Chinese knock-offs that have already been introduced. Two things they’ll be hard pressed to replicate though, is Apple’s hardware quality and the 100+ patents used in the making of Apple models. Try using one of these iClones and you’ll see, for example, how much you miss the multi-touch feature of the iPhone that makes device interactions so fluid and responsive.
So come January ’08, the iClones will attack but will they succeed in making a dent in Apple’s lead? Stay tuned as I hope to bring you news and analysis about the competition from CES ’08.