Some of you may remember when video killed the radio star...but even more of us remember when Apple killed just about every flip-phone in existence with the creation of the iPhone. In fact, the iPhone is the 2nd highest selling product in history (behind the Rubik's cube) and more than 700 million iPhones in use around the world at this moment.
In the quest to get to that summit, Apple had to step all over a bunch of other competitors with well-established products to get there. The iPhone not only beat out these companies, it destroyed them.
My first work-issued phone was a REALLY old Blackberry back in 2009, but it was an electronic that was definitely on its way out. Founded in 1984, BlackBerry Ltd (BBRY) was one of the leaders in advanced phone space, releasing the BlackBerry 850 in 1999, which had email capability. In 2006, before the unveiling of the first ever iPhone, BlackBerry released its Pearl device. With camera and multimedia capabilities, investors warmed to the Pearl and shares in BlackBerry closed 2006 just shy of $50 a share, an all-time high at the time. Unfortunately, BBRY just could not recover after the Great Recession, and touch screens became all the rage when the market recovered. While some BlackBerries (is that right?) had keypads and touchscreens available, the company just couldn't keep up.
Founded in 1865, Finnish-based Nokia (NOK) began as a pulp mill but went on to become the titan of mobile communication beginning in the 1980s. As the 21st century came around, Nokia continued to thrive. Its share price traded through $50 in 2000 as it remained ahead of its rivals. In 2003 it introduced the Nokia 1100, which remains the world's best-selling phone, with over 250 million sold. It is probably best remembered for the game Snake.However, like many of the others, 2007 was the beginning of the end. If the euphoria of the iPhone wasn't enough, Nokia had to recall 46 million phones in 2007 due to faulty batteries. From here shares in the Finnish company spiraled out of control falling every consecutive year until finally bottoming out below $2 a share in 2012. The following year Nokia announced it was selling its devices division to Microsoft. Sorry, Finland.
Founded in 1928, Illinois-based Motorola Solutions Inc (MSI) pioneered the two-way radio communication used by military and other first responders. However, Motorola had its foray into the mobile device market and also became the victim of the iPhone. Motorola has also squared off against Apple in the courts with a number of cases and counter cases bought against one and other over patent infringements.Motorola remains a profitable company, reporting a Q1 net income of $77 million on sales of $1.28 billion, according to FactSet data. However, its foray into the mobile phone market was stifled by the giant that is Apple. Other updates have been made in the form of accessories, and while these will be popular for some, the company will still have quite the uphill battle competing with the iPhone.
One company that Apple has yet to demolish is Samsung, mostly because the Korean electronic company makes MANY more high-quality electronics aside from smartphones. However, the recent gaffe with the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 (you were forbidden from flying on an airplane with one for the past year while a recall was taking place), many consumers ended up flocking away to the iPhone. Samsung remains the largest competitor to the iPhone...but it's more like Jacksonville is a competitor to the New England Patriots.
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