The iPhone does, however, beg the question: What does this mean for AdMob and mobile advertising in general? It can’t be good, right? The argument goes like this: The iPhone has a full featured web browser. If people are experiencing the full featured web, they’ll be experiencing full featured web ads. Therefore specialized mobile ad networks will no longer be relevant. Even if Apple only achieves their stated goal of 1% market share, other handset manufacturers will quickly begin to include similar functionality on their devices and soon enough the need for mobile ad networks will disappear.
The internet functionality looks pretty slick, as do the widgets. But my concern in this area is how open the device will be to third-party development. That struck me as odd, since Apple and Jobs usually go to great pains to play up to developers. Pretty much all he said along these lines was that the iPhone runs OSX — what what’s that mean, particularly for external applications? I’m also concerned that the iPhone won’t fit in to the existing ecosystem, and will be essentially closed off to mobile developers.
Both the carriers and OEMs are trying to figure out how to create a device that generates the level of allegiance, enthusiasm and evangelism that Apple seems to create with every product release. When was the last time someone loved their phone so much that they insisted you hold it, try it, then get one for yourself?
Apple has the hardware, software and content down to a science. They have a proven track record for combining great hardware and software engineering, plus the critical user insight needed to get it right.
At the end of his keynote this morning, Steve Jobs summed up Apple’s mobile strategy saying, “There’s an old Wayne Gretsky quote I love — ‘I skate to where the puck is going to be, not to where it’s been.’” Which felt apropos given the product they had just announced. But, is the Apple iPhone announcement truly a “revolution of the first order?”
There are a few elements of the announcement that fell short in my mind. First, I was surprised that Steve did not mention third party development, especially while referencing OS X’s power to create a world-class application environment, and showing off Widgets. With over 2,500 Dashboard Widgets available on the OS X desktop, that’s a lot of eager developers to leave out in the cold.
Apple’s foray into mobile reminds me of Apple’s iPod launch. In 2001 they were not the first music player on the scene by any means. But when they released it they blew away the competition — the click wheel, the price point for massive 4GB storage compared to the 48MB competitors reset the pricing across the category and they nailed PC syncing.
Whether the iPhone is revolutionary, expected or somewhere in between, the discussion has focused primarily on the device’s features and interface. Much less has been said about the implications of Apple’s iPhone business strategy. Since the iPhone was announced on January 9, my thoughts have turned to the decisions that Apple has had to make in order to enter the wireless market and what may come in the wake of the iPhone’s June 2007 launch.
iPods sold at a brisk pace over the 2006 holiday season, which would seem to end the recent iPod sales slump. However, Tomi Ahonen aims to blow away any speculation that the iPod is still holding on to the music player throne. The barrage of evidence from Asian, European and UK studies he presents is pretty compelling. In a nutshell, he says that while iPod sales grew 45% that music phone growth has boomed to 243%, which means that though iPod sales are growing, the iPod market share has been long overtaken by music phones and is shrinking by comparison. (SonyEricsson alone shipped 60 million musicphones compared to Apple’s 46 million iPods).
They’d better make it splashproof and wipe-clean else there will be some disappointed fanboys in July after their initial surge of excitement when their preorder pops through the door. The case looks fairly sexy (before the fingerprints arrive). The UI looks very sexy.
Just hope it’s not Nokia 770 underpowered.
God Almighty, me too!!