Category Archives: Cloud computing

VMworld 2011: Day 1

VMWORLD 2011: Day 1

Three days of breakouts, super sessions, keynotes, meetups, tweet-ups, solution exposition, and parties.

A victim of its own success

I’ve been attending VMworld since 2004, when they were acquired by EMC. Now, VMworld has grown to have almost 20,000 attendees, 6,700 of which are Partners. It has outgrown a single venue in Las Vegas, and is spread across the Venetian and Winn hotels as well as the adjoining Sands Expo and Conference Center. Next year it will be back at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. Can you imagine a venue with  20,000 attendees each carrying at least 2 WiFi devices, sometimes 3: smartphone (mostly iPhones), laptop, and tablet (usually iPads)? It was like a ’60s telephone party line. The WiFi network was saturated early and often. It was hard to connect reliably, even before the event began.

This year all talks required pre-registration. If you didn’t register before you arrived, over half the talks were “sold out” for attendees. People “signed in” at the room of each talk with a bar code scanner. Well organized.

Cloud, cloud, cloud

VMworld evolves each year and seems to be in front of the curve of the latest wave of computing fashion. It has moved beyond its initial focus on Server Virtualization. This year it’s Cloud, as it has been at the last couple of years. Last year the motto was “Virtual Roads, Actual Clouds,” but this year the motto is “Your Cloud. Own It.” As we moved from Compute to Virtualization to Automation to Cloud, Las Vegas was the place to be. There are more network data centers there — due largely to the nearby availability of power from the hydroelectric operations of the Hoover Dam on  Lake Mead.

For VMworld 2009, they build a Private Cloud, in 2010 it was a Hybrid Cloud, for VMworld 2011 it is a Public Cloud using three different providers:

  • Switch Supernap in Las Vegas
  • Colt in Amsterdam
  • Terremark in Miami

This represents 200,000 virtual machines!

 

Thanks for coming along,

BillPetro.com

VMworld 2011: Las Vegas

VMWORLD 2011: LAS VEGAS

This year’s event kicks off in the Venetian in Las Vegas. Is it like Venice in Italy? Yes, but somewhat more hermetic.

The venue is huge and more extensive than in years past with expanded conference facilities and enlarged Hang Space and the Blogger’s Lounge.

Initial registration featured about 45 minutes in line though the check-in process was efficient — there are that many people here. And for those standing in line VMware employees were supplying beverages.

I look forward to seeing old friends, making new ones and reporting the latest trends from the breakouts, keynotes and exhibition floor. This year it kicks off in the morning not with the usual keynotes but with break out sessions and hands-on labs with topics across the board. Then the late afternoon begins the general session keynote followed by the Solutions Exchange Welcome Reception.

Keep you web dial tuned right here for all the news about the cloud. Also, you can follow my latest tweets @billpetro, or twitter.com/billpetro

Thanks for coming along,

BillPetro.com

VMworld 2010: Partner Super Session

VMware PartnersVMWORLD 2010 PARTNER SUPER SESSION

Each year, the Partners of VMware are treated to a sneak peak at some of the announcements coming this week. Below I will not share anything that hasn’t already been since announced or is not already publicly available.

First speaker was:

Carl Eschenbach, EVP VMware

He spoke on the theme of this years show:

Cloud computing is real, but you have to go down virtual roads.

1) Industry is changing

2) Transform

3) Leverage

Year in review:

– Launched new products. VMware vSphere 4.1
– Updated Systems and Tools – Partner University 2.0 in 9 languages
– Enhanced Partner Network

Jeff Casale, SVP GM Americas

Jeff is a recent acquisition for VMware from EMC, where he was for 16 years. He’s been at VMware only 45 days. His first impressions:

  • Major land shift in cloud computing.
  • The “Foundation” is virtualization.
  • 3k partners here.

What he’s heard so far:

– He’s hearing clear alignment and that VMware listens.
– Sees great speed and velocity.
– Customers say VMware under-promises and over-delivers.

Results:

3,500 Partner Competencies in 2010, 111k Certifications in last year
85% of VMware’s revenues through Partners

$20k license sale = $300k solution sale for Partner.

Next up was

Paul Maritz, CEO VMware

During 30 years in the industry, he’s seen two major transformations:

– Started at Intel with microprocessors
– 1996 Microsoft client server
— What’s the 3rd transformation?

While Paul can be forgiven by being a decade anachronous about client server happening at Microsoft in 1996 — we saw it at Sun in the mid ’80s — his approach is compelling.

He describes the work at VMware:

New technologies and business processes. Half a $B in research. New functionality and taking capabilities down the price curve as competition increases.

Next up:

Rick Jackson, CMO

The trend is: IT as a Service (ITaaS will be discussed in the 2nd day’s VMware keynote)

IDC reports that we’re past the tipping point: 2009 now more applications deployed on virtual servers than physical

IT production (cost efficiency) -> Business production (Quality of Service) -> ITaaS (Business agility) via Cloud Computing Infrastructure.

With open standards and freedom of choice, ITaaS = Optimizing IT production, for business consumption.

This means: existing apps, new enterprise apps, SaaS apps

The New Stack:

Cloud Infrastructure and Mgt, Cloud App platform, End user Computing (not desktop-centric)

Examples:

– VSphere, vCenter, vCloud Director, vShield — 27% CAGR

– Spring, vFabric, Hyperic — 39% CAGR

– View, Thin App, Zimbra, Horizon — 40% CAGR

IT market : 3.1% growth
SW : 3.8% growth

Next is:

Vittorio Viarengo, VP End User Services

View 4.5 is shipping this month with offline, follow me, and mobile mode.

Desktop -> interaction going to devices, computing is going to DC (VDI), computing/apps going to the cloud.

Indeed, 75% of computing is moving to cloud.

VMware intends to Modernize Desktop:

Better experience: beyond PC, simplicity, instant gratification, multiple devices

Project Horizon will be a new approach to end user computing: what user gets, where, with how much security.

Next:

Peter Castaldi, Principal – Kovarus

Customer testimonial

Then,

Doug Smith, Global Channel Chief

Talked about Lighthouse Projects – beta competencies for Partners. 3,500 Partners achieved Competency. Solution Enablement Toolkit (SET) provides Sales and Marketing tools, Infrastructure tools, lab tools, Solution tools.

Example: MS Exchange on VMware Competency in the Infrastructure Virtualization area.

All in all, a great kick-off to the week in San Francisco for VMworld.

Thanks for coming along.

BillPetro.com

VMworld 2010: Day 1 – Virtual Roads. Actual Clouds

VMworld 2010: Day 1 – Virtual Roads. Actual Clouds

Although the opening reception was not until 4 pm, the excitement was already building here at Moscone Center in San Francisco at 8 am. There were hundreds in line at that time, though it was pretty efficient: step up to a computer, type in your first and last name, step over to pick up your badge, then down the hall for The “Swag Loading Zone” and bag collection.

John Troyer, VMware

As in years before, VMworld is very “social media friendly” and there is a “Social Media & Blogger Lounge.” My old friend from VMware, John Troyer is setting up his list of experts. VMware will be streaming 6 hours of video a day.

The earliest sessions are around Partners. The Partner Super Session was huge, I’ll tell you about it in my next blog article.

The facilities at the Moscone Center in San Francisco are well organized and there is free WiFi connection for all. However, the reality is another thing. Virtually everyone (no pun intended) here is carrying at least one and probably two WiFi devices, so the router access points were soon saturated.

The handhelds on hand (pun intended) this year look like this: BlackBerry, iPhone, Android devices. Auxiliary devices: iPad (which I’m writing this article on), laptops and kiosk Wyse terminals around the venue.

The Solutions Exhibition is huge. Cisco is front and center, flanked on either side by EMC and NetApp. In the center are several VMware booths with lots of other companies both large and small surrounding.

This is the second largest convention of it’s kind, only Oracle OpenWorld is larger. This week the number of attendees at VMworld:

17,021

This is my 4th VMworld, the show has been running since 2004 when there were only 1,400 attendees. Last year there were 12,500. This year, there are 85 countries represented.

Stay with me, I’ll be here all week. You can follow my Twitter stream here.

Thanks for coming along,

BillPetro.com

VMworld 2008: Day 1 Keynote

Paul MaritzVMWORLD 2008: DAY 1 KEYNOTE

Following yesterday’s opening event, both the Technology Exchange and Partner Day, the conference started in earnest today with a keynote by Paul Maritz, VMware President and CEO.

Paul is quite an articulate speaker, sounding both like a savvy businessman and an erudite professor. For many, his accent is difficult to place, is it Australian, South African? Turns out he was born in Zimbabwe, next door to South Africa, but he went to school in Cape Town, South Africa. Someone remarked that he pronounces some words like Sean Connery. Paul did work at University of St. Andrews in Scotland. Sean Connery grew up in nearby Edinburgh, Scotland.

Back to the keynote, Paul amplified many of the concepts introduced and announced yesterday, specifically by drawing on the past to explain where VMware is going in the future. I found the history a good review of many of the events I’d witnessed in my own long career with computing, and a fascinating basis for describing where he sees the company going, as well as a foundation for the many announcements this week. How did he do this?

Two Models

He went back to the ’60s and ’70s (mainframes) and outlined the contrast between the Centralized vs. De-centralized models of computing. While he did not say so, the industry has swung between them several times over the last 30 years. He pointed out that we initially saw mainframes in the early days, and the proliferation of PCs in the ’80s. The early ’90s saw the rise of x86 Servers as well as the rise of the Client/Server model.

A Third Alternative

He quipped that it’s ironic that he is now profiting from his previous sins in promoting the Client/Server model, which got us into a world of hurt so that we now seek another path, the best of both the Centralized and the De-centralized models. The advent of the Web in the mid-’90s offered the promise of this. He paid tribute to the founders of VMware, who started the company ten years ago back in 1998.

VMware’s Initial Offerings

He described VMware’s early efforts with both VMware Workstation (on the client, or De-centralized side in 1999) as well as the early VMware Server (GSX, on the Centralized side in 2000.) He pointed out that many other companies are currently virtualizing on the Centralized (server) side, but reminded us that VMware has done both sides, but raised the bar in 2004 with the introduction of VMware Infrastructure, a higher level of abstraction than either Server or Client side virtualization.

Paul pointed out that the “Best of Both” on the Web is now more promising with a variety of new (Web 2.0) technologies like AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript And XML), Ruby on Rails, and Python. 2007 saw the launch of VMware’s Fusion, virtualization of Windows on the Macintosh and the popularity of Cloud computing.

It’s The Platform

At this point, I reflected that during my career I’d seen software engineers write to whatever the leading “platform” was at the time. In the ’80s it was Unix, and particularly SunOS (Solaris). The virtuous cycle had the platform supporting applications that led to more volume… which made the platform more viable. With the rise in popularity of Windows, it became the platform of choice. In the mid-’90s it was Java, with the promise of “Write Once, Run Anywhere” across a variety of devices. But last year, it became clear to me, especially following VMworld 2007 in San Francisco, that VMware was becoming the “platform”. Both the Press and the Analysts “got it,” and Wall Street saw a huge jump in VMware’s stock price following the ESXi announcement and others.

The New Platform

VDC-OS So, what’s the new “platform”? Paul explained the Virtual Datacenter OS, or VDC-OS. It is a way to support a variety of current popular “platforms” line .Net, Windows, Linux, Java, Software As A Service… with Application vServices that provide Availability, Security, and Scalability. This rests upon Infrastructure vServices called vCompute, vStorage, and vNetwork… as well as Cloud vServices. These in turn live on either the On-premise cloud, or an Off-premise Cloud (for additional resources.) Meanwhile, all of this can be managed by vCenter (the rebranded Virtual Center management framework) which handles both Application Management at the top end and Infrastructure Management at the backend.

To this end, many announcements fit into this new, higher level of abstraction. Once again, VMware raises the bar.

Thanks for coming along,

BillPetro.com

iPhone 3G: 2 months on, post-hype

iPHONE 3.0: 2 MONTHS ON, POST-HYPE

I recently bought my son a new iPhone 3G, a month after they first went on sale, and buying it then was a bit less painful than buying it the first day. The first day was like attending the premier of Batman: The Dark Knight. And as the Dark Knight has made $500M as of this writing, Apple is still selling a lot of iPhones.

So, what is the experience of the iPhone 3G, now 8 weeks later, after the initial thrill of excitement, post-hype, after the reality distortion sphere has dissipated?

Here is the good, the bad, and the ugly

The Good

This launch has been very good for Apple in terms of revenue and market share growth. “iPhone 3G had a stunning opening weekend,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s chief executive, in a statement.

  • iPhone sales statistics:

1M first weekend

3M in the first month

8M iPhones? At this time, Apple had manufactured at least 5,649,000 iPhone 3Gs. Added to the 2.4 million first-generation iPhones the company reported it had sold in the first six months of 2008, that means that Apple has manufactured more than 8 million iPhones this year. In 2007, Apple sold 3.71 million iPhones.

Overall, the experience of buying an iPhone 3G, while in high demand initially, was pleasant and made easier by Apple’s convenient iPhone availability widget.

  • AppStore:

There were 60 million downloads in the first 30 days, admittedly mostly for free apps, but with about $30 million in revenue, and a runway of 3 million more new iPhones out there to run them on.

The iPhone is a small part of Apple’s business — only 5% of its overall sales in the latest quarter. Macintosh computers and iPods typically generate 75% of Apple’s revenue. But iPhones are hugely profitable. By some estimates, Apple stands to make between $100 and $400 on each new iPhone sold, depending on the model (8 or 16GB) and wireless carrier.

Although Apple has less than 1 percent of the overall cell phone market, it has 19.2 percent share in U.S. smart phones, which pack more functions. That put it ahead of Palm, which had 13.4 percent, but far behind RIM’s 44.5 percent, according to research firm IDC. And the less than successful launch of Apple’s MobileMe “cloud” offering has made predictions of the demise of RIM’s BlackBerry seem rather premature.

iPhone 3G imageThe Bad

  • iPhone 2.0 software

While there are many new features in the long awaited 2.0 firmware update, available on the first generation iPhone as well, there seem to be a number of steps backward as well. Some of the iPhone core applications are less stable, with the Mobile Safari crashing regularly when it didn’t do that with the 1.0 software. There are still some persistent and vexing features missing: copy and paste within and across applications or global search — it’s available only in Phone/Contacts.

Additionally, core applications have shown sluggish performance, slow typing, as well as clunky scrolling and Safari rotation. The 2.0.2 version update of software has addressed some problems, but not all.

  • 1.0 Apps

While there are many fine 3rd party applications available in the AppStore, they are by definition 1.0 versions. Because there is no Apple-supported universal beta or try-and-by program in the AppStore, these apps don’t have the testing that most usual applications enjoy. Some are quite immature. Many of them are unstable and crash regularly. And when they do, they can lock up the entire iPhone. Steve Jobs said he’s look into it.

  • Where are the AppStore “killer apps?”

Applications that one would expect, that are common on other platforms like Palm’s Treo or Windows Mobile phones are still missing in action on the iPhone. Here are the two most obvious:

Office documents: while you can view Microsoft Office and Mac iWork documents, you can neither edit nor create them on the iPhone.

Turn-by-turn navigation: the GPS feature on the iPhone 3G is very nice — though a battery killer — and on the iPhone’s native Google Maps is wonderful to behold. But Google Maps directions are not known for their accuracy. And while it works in a pinch, it is not the same as turn-by-turn navigation. While a number of popular vendors have mentioned intentions or successful porting to the iPhone, there have been no release announcements or available products at this time.

  • Suggested Apps

Here are a couple of potential Apps that I know would be immensely popular:

Typing shortcuts: the iPhone keyboard does not allow one to type as fast as on a physical keyboard like the “thumb boards” on the Treo, BlackBerry, or other smartphones. And while it does have an auto-correction feature called “keyboard dictionary”, I’d like to see the availability of an app that does either predictive typing (T9) or “macro” shortcuts — think “.sig” for your signature.

Speed navigation: moving around the iPhones apps mean a trip through the “Home” button before moving to the next app. And drilling through menus even within an application can take a lot of time. Changing email accounts takes 4 “clicks”, toggling BlueTooth or 3G on/off also takes 4, email account modifications take more. Either a gesturing system or an imaginative use of the “hard buttons” would be greatly welcomed.

The Ugly

Here are a couple of things that detracted from the huge media event of 8 weeks ago, both of which persist.

  • MobileMe

This long awaited enhancement to the dusty .Mac service got off to a rocky start the first day, lifted off, crashed, was rumored to be fixed, but alas, no. Apple has as much as admitted it wasn’t ready, and no longer promotes it as it was originally stated “Exchange for the rest of us.”

Steve Jobs said in an Apple internal memo in August:

It was a mistake to launch MobileMe at the same time as iPhone 3G, iPhone 2.0 software and the App Store. We all had more than enough to do, and MobileMe could have been delayed without consequence.

This appeared to be a back-end infrastructure problem, at least on the first day during what has been called the iPocalypse. Why Apple did not take advantage of VMware Fusion technology to avoid the server meltdown earlier, is hard to understand. But MobileMe still isn’t performing as expected. iPhone updates “to the cloud” is occasionally near instantaneous, if you have “Push” turned on in Settings — another real battery killer — but synchronization with iCal/Address Book is at best 15 minutes out.

To that end, Apple has twice offered extensions to users’ annual contract, first one month, the second time two months.

  • Battery Life

My personal biggest complaint is the battery life. While Steve Job’s launch said the battery in the 3G is superior to the 1st generation, that has not been my experience, nor that of most of the people I know and correspond with. While it may be the case that the battery is better than the 1st Gen when both devices are in standby mode, the new iPhone 3G has capabilities that the 1st doesn’t, and one or more of those may be the culprit. Here are some examples:

GPS radio: I’ve seen this feature run a device dry, even when plugged into a car lighter charger. I now usually leave “Location Services” off.

3G radio: AT&T’s coverage maps is, shall we say, wildly optimistic. I live in the coverage area, but only get one 1 bar. Not all locations in the country get coverage, I usually leave this off.

“Push” email: Microsoft Exchange, and even MobileMe support pushing email to the iPhone, but this can run down the battery faster. I only push Exchange.

3rd party apps: some of these are location-aware — which turns on the GPS to find your location — others apps connect to Web servers. I suspect some buggy versions are a battery culprit.

Bottom line: is it a keeper? Sure. I trust that upcoming firmware upgrades address some of these issues, more stable apps are less sloppy in their use of memory and battery, and that some killer apps do come over the horizon.

Thanks for coming along.

BillPetro.com

iPhone in the Clouds with Diamonds

iPhone and Cloud Computing

iPhone represents a phenomenal growth in user-generated data, as Joe Tucci alluded to in his EMC World 2008 keynote, when he said that by 2010:

  • 70% will come from individual creation
  • 85% will become the responsibility of organizations: YouTube, Flickr, Twitter, Google

We know that since the advent of the iPhone just over a year ago, Google has experienced a HUGE jump in mobile access to its site, primarily via this device with it’s image-rich Safari Mobile web browser. As Google mobile product manager Matt Waddell said back in March,

“We have very much hit a watershed moment in terms of mobile Internet usage. We are seeing that mobile Internet use is in fact accelerating… as many as 50 times more Web searches” vs. standard, so-called feature phones.

According to data released by M:Metrics, roughly 85% of iPhone users access the mobile Internet and almost 60% perform mobile web search. These numbers are dramatic and outstrip usage on other smart phones as well.

While the iPhone 2.0 firmware upgrade release will increase the appetite for end-user device consumption, including over-the-air downloads, the iPhone 3G will double or triple the data download speed over the first generation iPhone. Greater speed will likely mean greater consumption.

Cellphone tower triangulation has been a feature on the old iPhone as well as other mobile devices, but the new GPS capabilities of the iPhone 3G will mean even greater online data consumption.

mobileme.png

The implications on data consumption, and on cloud computing with MobileMe can be significant. Apple used the term “cloud computing” at their announcement at the WWDC in San Francisco. The idea is that any item you change in your Calendar, Contacts, or Email will be near-instantly be changed in the cloud and be updated on your Macintosh (if you have one) or on a web-based tool on your Windows PC.

The service will be MobileMe, the rebranding of Apple’s .Mac service. It will be beefed up in space to 20GB of space and will cost $99/year. For those who already have .Mac, they’ll be automatically upgraded. This secure online server holds the information and pushes the updates to the other locations in seconds. On the Mac it will work with the native applications: iCal, Address Book, and Mail. On the PC it will work with Windows XP or Vista. On the handheld, it will work with the iPhone or iPod Touch. As Apple calls it, “Exchange for the rest of us.

The PC web-based applications will be available from MobileMe at me.com. There will be mail, contacts, calendar, photo gallery, and iDisk, the online file storage. This is not the first time we’ve seen cloud computing, but it’s the first time we’ve heard Apple discussing it in a product launch. Cloud computing is the popular name for a number of different trends and technologies that involve online computing, data manipulation and storage.

One of the more popular consumer applications of cloud computing is Mozy Backup, which I’ve mentioned before. For about $5 a month, a user can backup an unlimited amount of PC or Mac data “into the cloud” over the Internet. The initial full backup can take some time, but thereafter, it backups just incremental changes at a block level. For those who want “off site” backup, this is ideal… and at much capacity than .Mac/MobileMe offers.

I’ve been asked about the implications of cloud computing.

Question:

Isn’t my data on someone else’s server?

Answer:

Yes, just like your email is at your ISP before you download it (via POP) and as it always is if you use IMAP email.

The trade-off here is the sense of insecurity in having your private data somewhere else (though Mozy encrypts it) compared to the flexibility of being able to access it anywhere that you can connect over the Internet. I gave up POP email years ago for the convenience of being able to collect it on the road, at work, at home, or from a hand held device, using server-side spam filtering and sorting. Another concern is:

Question:

If I can’t get online, won’t I be without  access to my information?

Answer:

Yes, unless it’s synced locally to your hand held (like an iPhone), or unless you have an offline copy. Technologies like Google Gears are making browser based information more persistent when disconnected.

Who knows what the future holds for other more powerful technologies.

Thanks for coming along.

BillPetro.com

iPhone 3G: the Second Coming

iPhone 3G: the Second Coming

Last week, after an eagerly waited and much speculated upon announcement from Steve Jobs at the World Wide Developer Conference, we finally got the story on the 2.0 version of the iPhone, known as iPhone 3G. While it’s really iPhone 2.0, we get the appearance of a 3.0 product with the new name. The event was a combination of Woodstock love fest, fan boy rally, and reality distortion field generation par excellence. But Steve Jobs announced what most people were expecting, and then some.

In the past, when people have asked me what I have thought about the first generation iPhone, I told them “Excellent as a media device: music, movies, YouTube, email/web browsing are all seamless.” But the flip side was this: as a data device is was sorely lacking. Specifically:

  • No 3rd party applications could be (safely) installed
  • No data, including Office files, could be transferred to the iPhone for editing
  • The PIM (Personal Information Management) tools were immature: Address Book had no searching, Calendar had no colors for sub-calendars, Mail was weak

These will change with the iPhone 3G and the updated iPhone 2.0 software expected on July 11. Here are the highlights:

  • Apple’s App Store will permit and distribute 3rd party applications for the phone, in some cases over-the-air
  • Integration of Microsoft Office and Apple iWorks documents. (Though we don’t know yet about “editability”)
  • PIM upgrades: Address Book will allow searching (though not any “cut & paste” yet?), Calendar will support different  sub-calendars with different colors, Mail will allow push technology from Exchange via ActiveSync.

Game Changers

There are several things both explicit and implicit in the announcement that could change the way people use mobile devices like smart phones. While 3G and GPS are not a new item in cell phones, the combination of a number of elements in the iPhone ecosystem could change the game.

  • Location Based Services: while there are other phones with both 3G and GPS, the iPhone holds out the promise of an easy-to-use, high resolution mobile device that can support services that rely on knowing where you are. One was demoed at the announcement, Loopt is a social networking tool that would tell you where your friends are and vice-versa. Adaptive GPS (A-GPS) will take advantage of the closest satellite as well as WiFi and cellphone tower triangulation to identify a users location. Will this serve as the communicator locator from Star Trek: The Next Generation, or introduce a privacy concern?
  • 3rd party applications: The Macintosh has some of the most innovative developers, several apps previewed at the announcement could have a profound impact on productivity, enterprise connectivity and gaming. 250,000 iPhone software development kits have been downloaded and an analysts at Piper Jaffray believes it could be the start of a billion dollar ecosystem. The previously existing Web-based-only applications are trivially easy to “install” (use), but can be slow to start up and don’t work without a connection to the Web.
  • Enterprise connectivity: Access to the corporate Exchange server, previously only available for  the BlackBerry with the BlackBerry Enterprise Server, could have an impact on how corporate users access their email, calendar and contacts. Could they turn their BlackBerry back in?
  • Wide availability: Presently, the iPhone is only (legitimately) available in 6 countries. Of course, unlocked versions have appeared everywhere, not tied to the official carrier of the country. When I was in Hong Kong last December, I saw iPhones available many places for sale, despite the fact there is no carrier there. By July 11 this year, it will be available in 22 countries, and 70 are expected by some time next year. Notably missing on the map are China and Russia, but confirmed contracts with carriers there seem to have simply missed the announcement date, work continues apace.
  • Cloud computing: Apple plans their own over-the-air updating system, “Exchange for the rest of us” as it were. The rebranded .Mac, aka MobileMe will allow near real time synchronization of email, calendar and contacts between the iPhone, Macintosh, and web-based PCs. More on this in a subsequent article.

TCO vs. ROI?

Although the new iPhone 3G will have a lower initial purchase price of $199 vs. the previous $399 for the 8GB device, the Total Cost of Ownership is measured by the initial cost plus the ongoing monthly service fees over the 2 year commitment to the carrier. Announced by AT&T on the same day as the iPhone 3G, but not as part of the Apple announcement, was the new pricing service for the device. The monthly data plan and SMS plans will cost more, making the device more expensive to own over 2 years by as much as $160. But perhaps the more valuable analysis would be the Return On Investment. The incremental value of being able to pull data down faster over a 3G connection, or the added value of GPS functionality… all add up over a 2 year period and may be compelling enough for a new purchase, or upgrade.

Thanks for coming along.

BillPetro.com