Tuesday, January 09, 2007

iPhone: The cell phone killer

MacWorld is going on in San Francisco today (on Mac Rumors Live.com for those not in the Bay), with most investors wondering how Apple is going to recapture the growth that the iPod had. Sure, sales are steady, but it's all about growth on the Street.

Enter the iPhone. This, to me, is the "cell phone" killer. Know how everyone refers to mp3 players as iPods? iPhone will be next.

So how can something like this happen?

For starters, most cell phone companies treat the industry like it's 1999: provide lame, branded content, partner with a company here or there to feed it in, call it good. Maybe incorporate an mp3 playing capability or the ability to browse the internet. Whoopie. No offense, but behind the scenes with Shaq isn't really how I want to spend my minutes.

Then there's the concept of taking a function and slapping it onto your existing phone, whereas Apple had the luxury of building from the ground up using a solid platform - OS X. Specifically:

The iPhone integrates with the iPod. There goes your phone's low grade mp3 feature.

The iPhone integrates with internet communicator so you can get IMAP email and access the web. Buh bye Blackberry and Helio.

There are tons of other features, and I don't want this to read like an ad for Apple.. but COME ON. Bluetooth, multitouch screen, desktop-class apps, widgets, over 200 patents in it... so the list goes on and on. And you can get it from the Apple Store or Cingular, answering how Apple plans to achieve same store growth.

Cingular is the exclusive provider and the initial pricing is a 4GB model for $499 and the 8 GB model for $599 - both with 2 year contracts. Sure the price is a little steep however when compared to the other "smart phones" out there it's comparable.

Want to know how Apple's going to sustain growth? I think your question has been answered.

Added bonus: I've used this quote while coaching, it's a quote from Wayne Gretzky that Steve Jobs just used changed. I think it exemplifies the Apple, Inc. (no longer Apple Computer, Inc., btw) "way":

"I skate to where the puck is going not to where the puck has been."

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