Right before its June 2007 release, many reviewers sensationalized the iPhone by calling it a "game changing" device -- one that would rewrite the rules of how companies competed in the wireless space. And it appears that Apple's
The iPhone's biggest impact has been on device makers such as Nokia
The iPhone has also dramatically changed the playing field for wireless service providers. AT&T
Top-line sales and customer acquisition is not the only story here. The balance of power between device manufacturers and operators is at stake in the new iPhone world. With Apple's slice of recurring revenue demanded from its exclusive carrier partners, industry watchers have been waiting to see whether any shift of leverage goes the way of hardware manufacturers.
Now that hundreds of thousands of unlocked iPhones reportedly are showing up on networks such as China Mobile
Despite all the debate about the iPhone's impact, however, I have yet to see any company suffering at the hands of iconic media phone. Any bankruptcies blamed on Steve Jobs? Nope. How about sales slowdowns or bloating inventories at Research In Motion
Whether they admit it or not, I'd suggest that just about everyone in the industry was happy to see the iPhone come along. Game-changing devices not only rewrite the rules, they redefine boundaries as well. Apple has opened up the playing field, and competitors are finding more space to play in. It looks like everybody is winning after all.
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Fool contributor Dave Mock loves happy endings. He owns shares of Motorola and is the author of The Qualcomm Equation. Sprint Nextel is an Inside Value pick. The Fool's disclosure policy seizes the moment, seizes the day, and never looks back.