As we head into the end of 2007 it's time to start thinking about all the new smartphones for 2008. Not surprisingly, DigiTimes claims that there are bunch of iPhone clones being prepared for the new year.Here is a look at the iPhone clones supposedly on the way:
Taiwan-based handset makers such as Asustek Computer, BenQ, Compal Communications and Arima Communications are developing iPhone-like products with products from Asustek to be available as soon as the first half of 2008, according to sources.
These iPhone clones are rumored to be designed for business users (unlike the iPhone) and will feature GPS and location. Many of the alleged devices in development will run on Windows Mobile. And, I am willing to bet, all of them will imitate the iPhone pretty well.
The Taiwan companies aren't the only ones preparing their iPhone clones:
Apart from Taiwan-based players, international makers such as Nokia, Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics are also likely to roll out iPhone-like handsets next year, noted the sources. Samsung's new product will adopt Microsoft or Symbian-based platforms while a Nokia product, which is set to hit the market in the first half of 2008, will be Symbian-based.
The iPhone clone market will shape up as a fight between the Windows Mobile and Symbian mobile OS platforms. While analysts have long predicted the eventual decline of Symbian against rivals like Windows Mobile and Linux, Symbian continues to do well globally, while remaining a marginal player in the U.S.
Meanwhile, one iPhone clone, the HTC Touch, has kept up with the iPhone. While the iPhone famously sold 1 million units in a few months after launch, the Touch sold 800,000 units in its first three months on the market.
Will the next-generation iPhone be able to keep up with the coming clones? Or will the clones quickly beat the original in both functionality and price? What do you think?