Tag Archives: iPhone

Apple’s New Ecosystem: the Implications of Apple Pay

Apple Pay

 

 

 

APPLE’S NEW ECOSYSTEM: THE IMPLICATIONS OF APPLE PAY

Today, October 20, Apple launched Apple Pay with the release of their iPhone iOS 8.1 version of the device operating system. This new payment system is scheduled to go live with 220,000 merchants today for users with iPhone 6 or 6 Plus. I wrote about these new devices here. When the Apple Watch is released in 2015, which I wrote about here, it will support Apple Pay as well. See the list of merchants at the end of this article. *

While the iPhone and Apple Watches are innovative, I believe the real excitement is in the new ecosystems Apple is creating. Ecosystems are built around devices with software and services. This is one way for customers to enjoy using a number of Apple devices in a more easily integrated environment, encouraging them to buy more Apple products and upgrade to new devices when they come along.

Who is starting with Apple Pay?

The first was the Apple Store itself, where Apple employees were recently trained to help customers use it. The first app I updated after upgrading to iOS 8.1 was the Apple Store app. Soon followed like Panera, OpenTable and Uber. Others are jumping onboard quickly, including McDonald’s. The big questions that consumers will have is: what about security and privacy?

Continue reading Apple’s New Ecosystem: the Implications of Apple Pay

Apple Watch: a New Category for Apple

Apple WatchAPPLE WATCH: A NEW CATEGORY FOR APPLE

On initial impression, some might say this seems like less of a watch and more an iPhone nano. While the iPhone 6 is an evolutionary change and larger than before, as I discussed in my last article here, the Apple Watch is a new product category for Apple with new ecosystems to go with it. I talk about the ecosystems here.

This is the dawn of a new platform for Apple, and though it’s clearly a “1.0” product shipping in early 2015, they got a lot right their first time out. Especially in functionality, this has more raw compute power and storage than any “wearable” I’ve seen. The software and controls are astounding. At two different sizes, 35mm and 44mm, there is a tension between too small that you can’t use the face, and too large to fit on the wrist. The Taptic Engine is another feedback and output system: you feel different kinds of vibrations for notifications, left and right directions, etc.  Apple provides the buyer a choice. Indeed, lots of choices: two different sizes, three different case materials or “collections” each in two different finishes, and a spectrum of different straps. Think of the permutations! Apple will create product segmentation and customization from the beginning.

Apple WatchHorologically, Apple is returning to a market it previously unintentionally de-popularized: the wristwatch. Wristwatches had replaced the older pocket watches especially during the late 19th century for military applications, but the popularity of the Apple iPhone meant people were checking the time from the device in their pocket.

Continue reading Apple Watch: a New Category for Apple

Apple’s New iPhone 6: Why you care

iPhone

Apple’s recent product launch in Cupertino was huge:

  1. iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, about which many leaks had already informed us
  2. Apple Watch, the previously rumored iWatch saw the light of day, though it cannnot be ordered until next year. Read about it in my next article here
  3. Two new ecosystems — which are the truly revolutionary part of the announcement — Apple Pay and HealthKit. I’ll tell you why these will be significant. Read about Apple Pay here

For a bit of irony…

These are the highest performing iPhones ever released. And as happens with each new iPhone announcement, a couple of days after the announcement pre-orders are available at midnight Cupertino time:

  • Both Apple and the cellular carriers anticipate greater demand than the previous release
  • They prepare their ordering systems for the increased load and staff up
  • During the midnight “ordering storm” their systems melt down faster and worse than previous years

Even Apple’s ordering site was down for almost two and a half hours. The carriers faired no better than in years past: support lines were broken and escalation was delayed or nonexistent. I’m hearing of delivery dates for iPhone 6 Plus that are 2 months out even if you ordered within the first 15 minutes.

Continue reading Apple’s New iPhone 6: Why you care

How to Raise Your Visibility on the Web, Part 2

How to Raise Your Visibility on the Web, Part 2

We’ve talked about how getting your own domain name can give you immediate exposure on the Web in my previous article, for my friend who wants to use the Internet to find a job. It’s a first step, that provides the virtual equivalent of an online resume. Now, what’s the next best way to “get your name out there?”

2. Get on the major Social Networking Sites

They’re no longer considered “greasy kid stuff” and recruiters and employers are searching some of them. I’ll mention just two, to keep down the noise level, and the activity required to get value from them.

It’s the “buttoned down” version of social networking. It’s no-nonsense, professional, and has a relatively good signal to noise ratio. It’s been reported that most executives from Fortune 500 companies network here along with over 30 million other members. It works on the premise of “6 degrees of separation” — that through six levels of connections that you have in your network, you likely know someone who knows someone else… who knows Kevin Bacon, or that hiring manager at the company you’re interested in. You create a “profile” which is essentially an online resume, which features your distinctives and job history. This profile is found at www.linkedin.com/in/YourName. See mine by clicking the link above.

So, in my case for example, I have over 500 direct, or first-level connections, that ultimately connect me through their connections, to over 6.5 million professionals. You can recommend people you are connected to, and ask the same in return. Similarly, you can connect to organizations, companies you used to work for, or your old school — as a way of networking with people you know with the intention of connecting to people you’d like to know. LinkedIn has also added your company and industry news, notifications of who your contacts have connected with, and other more popular “social media” features that include suggestions of contacts and job postings you might be interested in. The “Q&A” feature allows you to ask questions of subject matter experts, or to offer answers from your own experience.

While not as robust as Facebook, LinkedIn also features “groups” that you can associate with, if the moderator of that group approves you, that include discussion threads. These appear as “badges” on your profile. They may be associated with your company, alumni associations, your industry, or your interests.

Very recently, LinkedIn has added an “application” platform to their stable of services, not unlike MySpace and Facebook before them. Initially they offered less than a dozen, but among them is the ability to add a feed from one’s blog or Twitter feed.

TIP: Fill out your LinkedIn profile as completely as possible, listing all past companies, schools, and associations. Then you’ll be notified of new members from those organizations, as they join LinkedIn. Also, LinkedIn offers job agents that look for job openings for you, based on filters you set up. Some job listing are only offered on LinkedIn, or appear on LinkedIn first.

Check out an excellent article on Mashable called How to Get the Most Out of LinkedIn.

Sure, it started at Harvard as a virtual whiteboard for student’s dorm room door, but it has evolved, and is now the fastest growing social network with 120 million members. And not just among college students. While the largest demographic is 18-24, the next largest group is not teens, but 25-35. And many articles on Business Week have discussed how the 35-and-over crowd is flocking to Facebook as an augmentation to their business networking.

For example, many companies and brands have “Groups” on Facebook. Some have a variety of different groups around special interests, products, and issues. Groups allow association, photo sharing, discussion threads, etc. But “Networks” are a bit different. You can join your company’s network if you have an email address like YourName@company.com. Similarly, you can join your school’s network if you have an email address like YourName@school.edu. Finally, you can join a network associated with your city or geography, if it is part of your profile’s address.

Facebook offers a very rich set of “applications” that permit everything from tie-ins with other services to various “tag-you’re-it” games. While some might be considered a bit adolescent, others are very useful in connecting to job opportunities. It is said that there are some 280,000 applications in use among all Facebook members.

TIP: Not only fill out your Facebook profile completely, listing schools and professional associations, but check out some of the applications for ways to connect to more people you know, or might like to know. Be careful of privacy settings for each application however, as some of them reveal parts of your profile that you may not be aware of when you turn them on.

Caveat 1: Though social networking is popular in the US, ironically, we lag in the usage of this kind of technology worldwide. The leader in this is Asia, with South Korea being one of the top users, in much the same way as it is with SMS or “text messaging” on mobile phones.

Caveat 2: The current Social Network Sites (SNS) are growing at different rates. While Friendster was popular years ago, it was eclipsed by MySpace. Though MySpace is still quite large, Facebook, at least in the US is growing faster. But these are all, for the most part, “walled gardens”. While there is some openness to their APIs, most of the social currency that one invests in the site remains with the site and is not portable to other sites. I expect that this will evolve until social networking becomes a “feature” of most Web 2.0 experiences.

Opportunity 1: Many people use several Social Networks to build out their “social graph”, how they’re interconnected with others. The two I’ve mentioned are by no means the only two, nor are they the most popular, but in terms of raising your visibility for employment by “getting your name out there,” they are perhaps the best available… for free. Other popular Social Networking sites include Flickr, YouTube, Orkut, Bebo, Hi5, Ning, Xing, BigTent… the list goes on.

Opportunity 2: As mobile devices evolve, these Social Networks become alternatives to older Web 1.0 technologies. For example, the iPhone has applications for both LinkedIn and Facebook that are sufficiently mature enough to be useful. LinkedIn becomes the professional address book and Facebook becomes the alternative to email and instant messaging chatting.

How will this raise your brand-name awareness? Increasingly, HR professionals, recruiters, and hiring managers are scouring all possible online resources to learn about potential employees. LinkedIn and Facebook are the two most popular locations for employers to find out about people, and vice-versa. Many employment consultants recommend maintaining a current LinkedIn profile.

Beyond the personal, major US online retailers are using Social Networking Sites to promote their brands.

Thanks for coming along.

BillPetro.com

VMworld 2008: Day 2 Review – Virtually Anything is Possible

VMWORLD 2008: DAY 2 REVIEW – VIRTUALLY ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE

VMworld is not just a trade show about virtualization, it uses virtual technologies and Web 2.0 technologies in a way I’ve never seen before. Here’s an example:

Blogging:

IMG_0145Not only is blogging encouraged, but it is honored. There is a special set of tables in the keynote auditorium for bloggers to set up their laptops for blogging. Or in my case, I was Twittering about the keynote with my iPhone. Indeed, during yesterday’s keynote with with VMware CEO Paul Maritz, the announcer invited attendees to use Twitter to send in their questions. The person next to me was from Denmark and didn’t understand what I was doing. He had never heard of Twitter, so I sent him to Twitter.com. By the way, my real-time “Tweets” (noun form of Twitter) on this show can be found at this link. Note, they’ll appear in reverse chronological order, most recent at the top.

Podcasting:

IMG_0153John Troyer of VMware, blogger and podcaster extraordinaire, was doing several podcasts live from the Communities Lounge at the Solutions Exchange on the show floor. John is very involved in VMware’s blogger community and end user communities. He has lots of community management experience. Here you see John interviewing user moderators from VMware’s communities. You’ll find John at the VMTN Blog and his podcasts here.

Virtual Pavilion:

MainFloorWhile this is a show about virtualization, there is also a virtual show going on at the same time. Eric Nielsen, VMware’s Director of Web Communities showed me around the virtual, online pavilion.

You can access it directly from the VMworld.com website, or from here. It is a two dimensional virtual world that an attendee can navigate through and visit various rooms.

As an attendee navigates around the Virtual Pavilion he or she can see other attendees, participate in contests and games, gain points for answering questions on multiple choice questions, etc. This virtual navigation system is a 3rd party module for Clearspace, the social networking technology that VMworld.com uses. There are even “Expert Sessions” non-synchronous “events” — talks that you need not be present to hear — where a speaker will provide audio, video, content or a whitepaper which is then attached to a forum. The expert will visit daily for the next two weeks to answer any questions.

restroomThe Virtual Pavilion also features 15 “hidden rooms” where you can find special clues, quiz answers, and secret codes for a free t-shirt at the Communities Lounge. One of these hidden rooms is the Restroom, which itself has a portal to a hidden room.

Eric manages VMworld.com year round. It is active not just during the semi-annual shows, but throughout the year. Various Partners have “booths” here. Can you find the “hidden room” in the Dell booth?

Blogs:

And as I mentioned before, the VMworld.com website features attendee blogs as well, found here.

Thanks for coming along.

BillPetro.com

iPhone 3G Launch: a Tale of Two Cities and Two Vendors

iPHONE 3G LAUNCH: A TALE OF TWO CITIES AND TWO VENDORS

Remember the old Far Side cartoon that shows a couple thinking about each other — with the commentary “Same planet, two different worlds”? That was the sense of the first day the iPhone 3G went on sale in the US.

It seemed that the two partners — AT&T, the exclusive carrier in the US, and Apple, the creator of the new device — had no idea of what the other was doing. AT&T referred customers to Apple, and vice-versa. Most of the AT&T stores sold out of stock early the first day, Apple had stock well into the evening. This is the story of the AT&T Store in Colorado Springs and the Apple Store in Denver, Colorado.

Folks started showing up at the AT&T store in Colorado Springs around noon the day before the new iPhone 3G went on sale. Calls to the store the day ahead said they were prepared, following their experience selling the iPhone 1.0 a year earlier. However, they sold out an hour and a half after opening. Police appeared when the natives became restless after they heard that they couldn’t get a “rain check” for additional phones that would come later, but could happily order and pay for a device they’d get in 7 to 10 days. When asked, the store manager said that the Police were there for her protection. She said this out loud?

The more popular 16GB device sold out early, to a person who had been standing in line since 4:45 am that morning. A number of folks where there to get their 1st generation iPhone “unbricked” as they’d installed the pre-release version of iPhone 2.0 software the day before and their device was now unusable. Alas, no joy for them as the manager didn’t know what a “brick” was.

Some of the iPhone Phans headed north to Denver, to the main Apple store in Colorado. Their experience was very different indeed. While the line was quite long, the Apple employees made the wait fun. Indeed, while waiting and participating in the “gallows humor” associated with such a long line, the following table of comparisons between the two stores was developed:

AT&T, Colorado Springs

Apple Store, Denver

Inventory

Sold out by 9:30 AM

In stock until late at night

1st in line

12:30 PM day before

5:30 AM morning of

Number in line at 8 AM

125

275

Security

At store opening

Through the Mall

“How many in stock?”

“We don’t know”

“We have enough”

Last person to get 16GB

In line at 4:45 AM

All day

Snacks

0

Water, candy, chips, nuts

Answers

None

Lots

Can you fix my “brick“?

“What’s a brick?”

“Sure”

Workers on hand

10

100

Doors between customers

Locked

Cheers

Activations per minute

0.5

1

The Apple employees came by from time to time with a cart filled with soda, water, candy, chips, and nuts. Medical application of chocolate can be a strong palliative and it appeared with abundance. The Apple Store is located in the Cherry Hill Mall in Denver, the most high-end mall in the state and a busy mall on any day. Other provender could be obtained by foraging, including pizza and Mrs. Fields cookies.

The mood in the rather long line was high — this was a media event. Nothing like it has occurrence except a movie debut or a new music album release… or a new video game release could compare. But this was just a phone — or was it? Comments like this got mock stern looks from the Apple employees working the lines an comments like “You, out of line!” Regular nervous requests to these employees of whether they’d have the coveted 16GB model were met with “We have enough.”

As people got to the front of the line, some having waited for 7 hours, they’d be escorted into the Apple Store. These entrances were accompanied by cheers from those in line behind them knowing that their turn was coming up next. Ben was the Apple employee extraordinaire who performed this duty with good humor and grace. Inside the store there were a number of stations where numerous orange t-shirted Apple employees quickly and efficiently processed and fulfilled the order. They would ask a series of questions to understand any special circumstances. If you had a special AT&T contract though, they’d have to forward you over to the “specialists” at the Genius Bar. If, for example, you had a special company discount on your AT&T contract they could not apply the new iPhone 3G to that contract. However, they were MOST careful to make sure people left the store with a new iPhone — much more motivated than an AT&T employee — and made numerous calls to insure that. A suggestion to a customer that they could buy it more efficiently with the discount applied if they went to the AT&T store elicited a “been there, done that, they’re sold out” (see above) did not daunt them, and they found a way to address the special need. This was customer service par excellance.

Is it the iPocalypse?

The first day of the iPhone launch has been called the iPocalypse as device activation often failed, especially earlier in the day. This was caused by a “perfect storm” of several factors, all on the same day.

  • To minimize jailbreaking 3G iPhones — unlocking devices to run on other carriers, a common occurrence on an estimated 20% of the 1st generation iPhones — AT&T and Apple required that all new 3G iPhones be activated in the store before departure. And this practice was to be carried out worldwide, as the new device was being sold in countries other than the US. This put a considerable strain on Apple’s iTunes servers, which did the activation.
  • The new iTunes and iPhone 2.0 software (discussed in my previous article) were released on this day for download from Apple’s servers.
  • The Apple AppStore debuted on the same day, putting an enormous strain on Apple’s servers as people downloaded many new iPhone apps.
  • MobileMe, the new incarnation of the .Mac service, debuted on the same day putting an incredible strain on Apple’s servers.

Are you seeing the trend here?

I’ll discuss this more in my next article: the iPhone 3G experience, post-hype, some 8 weeks later.

Thanks for coming along,

BillPetro.com

iPhone 2.0 premiers

Christmas came a day early for iPhone Phans. They were expecting the iPhone 2.0 firmware update on July 11, but it became available for download (if you knew where) along with the new MobileMe software (ditto) and early adopters were updating their iTunes software to version 7.7 and examining the new AppStore (discussed below), which is already online.

I’m not talking about the new iPhone 3G device, which debuts tomorrow, rather the iPhone 2.0 firmware update — which will also run on the 3G by the way. iPhone 2.0 runs on today’s iPhone version 1.0 device.

AppStore

More than 550 applications are available at opening, 130 of them are free. The iPhone Phaithful began downloading these applications this morning.

  • Prices: $0 – $69.99
  • Free: about 25% pf apps
  • $0.99 – $9.99: about 70% of apps
  • Over $9.99: about 6% of apps

The selection of applications at the AppStore range from the sublime to the silly.

Epocrates Rx

For the sublime, Epocrates Rx is highly valued by physicians and is indespensible in their moving from the Palm, Windows Mobile, or BlackBerry platforms — to the iPhone.

On the silly side, PhoneSaber is a little application that allows you to display a lightsabre, in your choice of color — upon your iPhone screen — and when you move and rotate your iPhone, it makes the renown Star Wars lightsabre sound. But it’s cool.

Loopt on the other hand, is one of the first of many location-based social media applications. There are over half a dozen presently on the AppStore, including MySpace, Facebook, and Twitterific (for Twitter) but this one ties in friends and location in new and innovative ways — as was shown at the Steve Jobs announcement at the recent Apple WWDC.

Remote, which has become popular in the first day, is an application that allows you to control iTunes remotely via WiFi. The iPhone is becoming a universal remote, software utility belt, and information treasury.

Applications drive volume in attracting both developers and consumers to a new platform. Windows Mobile has many applications available for smartphones, the Palm platform has thousands of applications. For Apple to jump in to this market with over 500 applications on the first day is remarkable. Many have complained that it took Apple a year to open up the platform. Those who couldn’t wait would “jailbreak” their iPhone to install 3rd party apps. But now there is a remarkably easy and attractive way to select, download, and install free or inexpensive software applications for this device. In addition to syncing from iTunes, applications can be downloaded and installed over-the-air from the AppStore application on the iPhone.

Installation

Installing the iPhone 2.0 firmware update is quite straightforward. After downloading it through iTunes — which you’ll first want to update to version 7.7 — you install the firmware update to the iPhone. You have a choice of “wiping” the iPhone clean, or installing it and retaining all your settings. I elected the former, as I wanted a pristine device. However, if you want to keep your settings, note that by using this approach you may lose your Notebook data on the iPhone and all your email account settings, along with other settings and home page bookmarks.

In this scenario, I elected to restore my Calendar and Contacts — essentially overwriting the iPhone with iCal and Address Book information.

More details in my next post.

Bill Petro
www.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