Categories
News

Julian Cooling: The iPhone 2.0 – platform as a service?

SMS Text News reader Julian sent me this thoughtful viewpoint on the iPhone and platform-as-a-service. Have a read…

– – – – –

I am blown away by the vision of the platform. People keep harping on about ‘software as service’ and ‘the cloud’. The network operators want to be service providers, Nokia is trying everything to be a service provider. HP has just bought EDS for a large number of billions to be a service’s company. The magic about the Apple iPhone2? I will give you a hint. It’s not about the hardware or the ticket price.

I was sitting following the keynote listening to the well informed tech heads around me complaining that the keynote is the strategic statement for the next 12 months and that Jobs was wasting precious minutes of his 2 hours. He was talking about software deployment, types of applications, easy distribution deals. Where were the toys? One person had the Apple stock traker up to watch the worm heading down. I agreed that it was a keynote, but I don’t think Jobs wasted a minute.

What Jobs was announcing to a developer conference is something that Microsoft hasn’t begun to do with Windows Mobile and Nokia’s Ovi is fumbling in bandname darkness. Jobs has monitorised the developer community so that they win and the mobile user wins. Yes its a toll gate but most people only buy their software through a single shop and a trusted brand anyway. It is a platform that gives the full experience of the open network, with the single proviso that you place a dollar in the hand at the gate going in and going out.

Apple has is making services money at every link in the chain and they have made the idea of paying for everything attractive and exciting: MobileMe, iTunes for professional content, the software store, the hardware. These are just the cash streams I know about – what a strategic vision for the next 12 months! The new hardware toys, when they arrive will line up like ducks in the pond.

They appear to have lost their slice of the monthly network revenue, but I don’t think they care.

– – – – –

Nice one Julian — thanks!

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

19 replies on “Julian Cooling: The iPhone 2.0 – platform as a service?”

Exactly! At the moment, Nokia only makes money on the hardware. Maybe a few quid from maps, but their revenue is based around shifting SKUs – 700 million of them a year.

Apple want to create a world where people buy services. Music, software, applications, SyncML servers.

Imagine that, next year Apple announce iPhone OS v3. It'll add video recording and all that other fancy stuff to your Gen I iPhone. And it'll only cost you

I love the thing so much it hurts, but the it it more consumer than it is producer… the keyboard is OK but only in short bursts (for text / blogging), the camera's OK but can't cope in low light (others cope better, only the N82 performs well AFAIK) and it doesn't do videos at all.

Not a disaster – most want to consume primarily anyway – but I'll be carrying a S60 device too for Qik, a QWERTY pad etc etc…. the E71 you were so excited about in the podcast 🙂

Voice recording (podacsts), video, high(er) res images, documents, spreadsheets, printing (via bluetooth printers), image and video editing.

Not to mention that you can write your own programs – and run any you like – without getting the approval of Apple.

The key thing Julian has hit on here is that Apple have now got a way of making money across the whole iPhone eco system. They have built the iPhone into a platform that creates value for the user – and therefore makes money for Apple – in multiple ways –

1. At point of sale (consumer gets the hardware, Apple get paid for the device sale).
2. At network connection (consumers get a usable phone, Apple get paid by the network – and potentialy get a lifetime customer revenue share as well if you belive some reports).
3. Consumer buys iTunes content (consumers get music, video etc, Apple get a share of these transactions).
4. Consumer buys software, games etc from AppStore (consumers get added utility from upgrading their device, Apple get 30% of software purchase price).

It is very, very clever stuff. IMHO, Nokia are the only device manufactuer that have spotted the same oppoutunity, they just don't seem to be able to pul it off with Apple's style/spin at the moment. ALL the networks would love to be able to do the same thing. All the more remakable that Apple have entered the market and done all this in under a year!

I agree. Yesterday’s keynote was all in the boring stuff at the beginning and the price announcement at the end. The hardware improvements were just playing catch-up and were all very predictable. The SDK is going to widen the playing field in the long run so much more than the hardware upgrades.

Mobileme sounds brilliant but I have a real issue in paying for email – I wouldn’t mind it it was a few quid but £59 seems quite a commitment. I am such a cheapskate.

By the way, the iPhone does have a video application for jailbreaked phones – I haven’t tried it but I know it exists. Also, the camera would be OKish if only there was a flash.

I remember in the 1990’s everyone was talking about convergence – something that in practice has appeared to be quite elusive. However, occasionally I get a glimpse and yesterday was one of those days.

I agree. Yesterday’s keynote was all in the boring stuff at the beginning and the price announcement at the end. The hardware improvements were just playing catch-up and were all very predictable. The SDK is going to widen the playing field in the long run so much more than the hardware upgrades.

Mobileme sounds brilliant but I have a real issue in paying for email – I wouldn’t mind it it was a few quid but £59 seems quite a commitment. I am such a cheapskate.

By the way, the iPhone does have a video application for jailbreaked phones – I haven’t tried it but I know it exists. Also, the camera would be OKish if only there was a flash.

I remember in the 1990’s everyone was talking about convergence – something that in practice has appeared to be quite elusive. However, occasionally I get a glimpse and yesterday was one of those days.

I think there are three things:
1. Apple has traditionally supported careful contents creation – even their free tools on the Mac are not point and shoot. MacMe provides a gallary for happy snaps
2. This is a platform – the pretty toys with higher spec cameras or tiny form factors will come out over the next year but the fundamentals of the platform are now announced to the developers (i.e. hardware target and cash flows)
3. The iPhone is (I have asserted lots of times) truely a consumer device for professional people who want their personal phone to be as good as their work Blackberry but, well, personal. Apple have historically had 'Pro' lines and 'Consumer' lines (even the iPod). So the pro-line may well be very content creation oriented. The Apple Communicator maybe?
The announcement was about setting expectations of the great unwashed that the iPhone world costs money to play in and, for the first time in my memory, garage developers sell their programs for NOT FREE. That is why I think Steve had the music player guy on stage. You too can sell your cool idea for $10 – this is not Symbian or the Web or the PC where freeware is the only thing that will sell.

I think there are three things:
1. Apple has traditionally supported careful contents creation – even their free tools on the Mac are not point and shoot. MacMe provides a gallary for happy snaps
2. This is a platform – the pretty toys with higher spec cameras or tiny form factors will come out over the next year but the fundamentals of the platform are now announced to the developers (i.e. hardware target and cash flows)
3. The iPhone is (I have asserted lots of times) truely a consumer device for professional people who want their personal phone to be as good as their work Blackberry but, well, personal. Apple have historically had 'Pro' lines and 'Consumer' lines (even the iPod). So the pro-line may well be very content creation oriented. The Apple Communicator maybe?
The announcement was about setting expectations of the great unwashed that the iPhone world costs money to play in and, for the first time in my memory, garage developers sell their programs for NOT FREE. That is why I think Steve had the music player guy on stage. You too can sell your cool idea for $10 – this is not Symbian or the Web or the PC where freeware is the only thing that will sell.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.