Although it seems to be a little cool down compared to the atmosphere a few months ago, the iPhone syndrom is so hot.
The iPhone is the first mobile platform which has actually usable web browser and apps. You don’t need to use phone service providers’ network to transfer music, movies, and your file between your computer and your iPhone. Its calendar and other bundle programs are quite useful. Its on-screen keyboard is very usable and very easy to type on. Moreover, you can write programs for your iPhone and its programming model is not so different from Mac. Its development tool doesn’t require you to be a Unix guru.
How about games? It provides very unique controller for playing game. Instead of providing arrow keys with which you can peel off your skin, you can just tilt, tap its suface, and so on. It is very intuitive.
All of those makes the iPhone a very strong player in this economic downturn.
However, I think the most important aspect of the iPhone is not about those.
Think about it. Software business has been little attractive. There are many reasons. It is not easy to think about ground breaking new program. Most of solutions are already out there. Only a few big players dominate the market, and so on.
For individual programmers or small companies, it became very hard to advertise their product and persuade people to use their programs. Making them buy programs is even harder. People like me don’t find any reason to buy S/W programs usually. I can just look up freshmeat.net or sourceforge.com to find programs I need, and compile them for myself. There are many free programs which are quite useful. Programs like Mathematica can be an exception.
When a S/W product costs a couple hundred dollars, it is not easy to open your purse. But how about a few dollars? Price range in the Apple’s App Store is from $0.99. There are lots of $2.99 and $5.99 programs. So, people can try programs they are interested in very easily. I doubt how many programs are kept to be used. But people can easily try one by buying some.
I would like to ask jailbreak programmers. There are many good programs for jailbroken iPhone. Apple doesn’t allow those programs. So, jailbroken apps are good for users. Huh? is it true?
Well, I doubt. There are reasons Apple doesn’t allow those. Also, by making people to spend their money to buy apps, it will encourage programmers and the programmers will think about making new programs positively. If jailbreakers consider this, it will not be easy to answer like “Oh.. Jailbreaking is good.’
With the iPhone, Apple really changed how people buy programs, changed people’s mind about buying programs. iPod touch seems to be an alternative device for programmers who don’t want to stick to one wireless provider. If Apple announced the iPod touch earlier, the iPhone would not be this successful. Programmers motivated by selling iPhone programs would consider making desktop application programs also.
So, I think this is the real meaning of the iPhone.