Daryl Plummer and I have been carrying on a conversation (with several others) about understanding what an iPhone is. First and foremost, it is not a phone.
The iPhone is the first clearly visible member of a new class of Internet-savvy populist toolkits that you can carry with you. (Insert list of newly introduced competitors to the iPhone with similar toolkit capabilities.)
It has a phone application. A music application (actually, many). A camera application (again, actually many), news applications, entertainment applications, communication apps, collaboration, hobbies, specialties, peccadilloes and “what have you” applications.
It’s not an extension of your corporate phone or the IT-designed, special PC image on your notebook or desktop. It’s your personal toolkit.
We were writing at the turn of the century (circa 2000) about the “Supranet”, how internet, wireless, mobile telephony and intelligent objects all come together. But we were writing about the business side – how businesses would take advantage of this (and how it would benefit end-user consumers) so we didn’t have the same populist, consumer oriented vision of Steve Jobs. (Too bad, eh?)
But that’s OK. We detected the coming tsunami. But we didn’t understand, at the time, how the populist part would become (and has become) far more important, at least for now, than the corporate part.
So… when I say that the iPhone is not a phone, I suggest we think of it as a Populist Electronic Toolkit (PET). You could buy the Apple version (PETA – a/k/a the iPhone) or not. You could go “business only” and buy a No-Pets-Allowed appliance…. or something in between.
Help me understand. Do I have this right? How often do you use your iPhone as a phone? How often do you use all the zillions of other apps on the device?
Is it just a phone for you, your family or your users?
Category: Uncategorized Tags: