Friday I wrote a post about why I returned the 3g iphone (it was reposted here, thanks SAI and innonate). The objective was really to outline the pitfalls of the iphone for other business oriented people considering buying it about to be pushed over the edge, but the end result was really just gathering a bunch of defensive comments from iphone fanboys (I did get a few supportive comments, and clearly there are others like RWW and Fred Wilson that feel the same). Rather than continue addressing these iphone feature specific comments, I wanted to touch on the bigger picture. What will the iphone do? No, not features, but big picture market and social transformations!
Read Write Web really nails it here, when they suggest that the iphone is going to move in on the desktop market. All those teens that used to log into AOL chat rooms, which have since moved to Facebook and Myspace are going to be able to get that experience on their phone, at anytime.....anywhere. I thought I saw some recent articles stating how popular the iphone is with kids, anyone able to track that down?
This is where the big money is, and this is where I see blackberry having some trouble. They took the enterprise market, which was the only market at the time (Dell was in the same boat when desktops and laptops were king). The iphone is creating a second major mobile market, which consists of the masses that were never going to participate using a blackberry or windows mobile phone (even though those phones could technically do it).
Similarly, I see the Kindle as having the same effect. Its forging its own market for midsized mobile data devices, albeit in a much less rapid and sexy way.
Yes, I said it, the big money. Millions and millions of CONSUMERS hooked on mobile devices more than willing to pay for apps, compulsive content purchases on the fly, or download apps powered by advertising.
So despite the fact that I don't think the iphone is for everyone (and I hope alternatives continue to develop), the potential is quite clear. Blackberry is freaking out about this, and is desperately trying to build phones that artsy hipsters will want to buy.
Whether or not thats good for us as a whole, I don't know yet. I suspect theres going to be some pretty interesting social changes as our less mobile friends and family catch up (my mom just sms'ed me for the first time last month!).