Innovation Productivity Technology

iPhone… wow!

I quickly discounted the new Apple iPhone launched this week as the latest fad; clearly I was wrong. After seeing Mr. Showman’s keynote there is little doubt that iPhone’s technological innovation, product innovation and business model innovation has great potential. However there are few not-so-impressive things: slow web traffic, limited choice of service providers, no third party apps and $499 price tag. (Btw, AAPL stock is all-time high at $94.62 today, up from $86.37 before the keynote!). iPhone – it’s everything 🙂

Macworld San Francisco 2007 Keynote Address

4 replies on “iPhone… wow!”

I agree with the business model innovation, although arguably it was an obvious direction for them to go in, but I’m less convinced about the technical and product innovation.

Technically, the actual hardware is relatively poor – although it is nice to see a high-resolution screen on a mobile device. But there is very little that the iPhone can do that sets it aside from a typical mobile phone – and as you point out, the lack of 3G or HSDPA support is a surprising omission.

The real genius of Apple is, as it has been for some time, their aesthetic design and the ease of use of their software, and while this is carried over into the iPhone, there really isn’t any good reason why the more established mobile phone providers couldn’t have done this already.

The lack of third-party application support is also surprising. Being as the two largest markets for third-party software on a mobile phone are games and satellite navigation, it will be interesting to see what Apple intends to do about this. Are they going to provide an emulator for another format of games, or are they going to attempt to push their own, proprietory API? And is any Sat-nav implementation they come up with really going to challenge the more established names such as TomTom and Navman?

Incidentally, there is, in my opinion, a more significant point for other large businesses to focus on. Having seen a number of patents go through IBM, there is a tendency for inventions in areas which we don’t currently specialise in to be published rather than filed. Ask yourself this – 10 years ago, do you think there was a single person at Apple who thought that they’d ever launch a mobile phone?

> Ask yourself this – 10 years ago, do you think there was a single person at Apple who thought that they’d ever launch a mobile phone?

There’s lots of postive feeling in that line — it shows that a company can reinvent itself beyond what anyone might initially expect and create success — several times.

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