Take that to the bank.
There has been a lot of news and a lot of “advice” to Apple that they should be aggressively lowering their prices and partnering with Verizon to maximize distribution of their iPhone platform and achieve “vendor lock-in”. To those people, I say this:
It is the first out of the first inning of the game. Just because Apple is winning, doesn’t mean it is a sure thing. Despite the pure awesome of the iPhone, this technology is still in its infancy.
While everyone talks about the application market as a key to vendor lock-in in the smartphone market, I don’t think there has been a single application that is so insanely differentiated and “must have” (Flight Control?) that people are buying an iPhone for it. In fact, I suspect that what we are seeing is the long-tail at work and no single application will have some mass market dominance (Facebook?)
Furthermore, the industry is still set to experience massive change. And I am not just talking about Verizon’s 4G network. Technology like WiMax could completely devastate the cellular market.
Finally, I think from an application perspective, application vendors are more cognizant of vendor lock-in and making applications available across a range of platforms. Also, customers remember their Microsoft experience and are pushing open standards.