Wednesday, January 10, 2007

New iPhone does change everything

The new Apple iPhone isn't a phone and so it's really misnamed. And it shouldn't therefore be analyzed simply in relationship to other mobile phones. It's a touchscreen, multifunction computer that fits in your pocket and includes, among lots of other current and future applications, a phone. As Eric Schmidt from Google said, the iPhone is a device on which "a whole new generation of data services" can exist. It's a new form factor for personal computing.

At noon Eastern on Monday I had the coolest, simplest to use, newest smartphone, the Blackberry 8700. By 2:00 pm, "smartphones" were 5 years out of date.

Steve closed the keynote with the Wayne Gretsky saying, "I skate to where the puck is going to be, not to where it's been." The iPhone is really like jumping to the future, where it's going to be, not where it has been or is.

Folks at places like PCMag who make comments like those in a piece titled iPhone Analysis: Apple's Revolution for the Few haven't noticed the past, and have no vision for the future. Yes the iPhone is pricey, is locked to Cingular, and has no aps such as a word processor, but clearly this is just the beginning of a new platform. Google and Yahoo get that and understand the opportunity iPhone represents for their companies. Had this analyst been around in 1984 when the Mac was introduced, he would have displayed the same restricted vision. To suggest iPhone is merely a niche consumer product in contrast to "power-user" products like the Q, Blackjack, and Dash is simply ludicrous. In retrospect, it won't be seen as hyperbole when Steve said that the iPhone was Apple's third revolutionary product, after the Mac and the iPod.

Addendum: Doesn't really contradict what I said above, but here's a quote from SJ in the NYTimes: "
“I don’t want people to think of this as a computer. I think of it as reinventing the phone.”
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