Friday, January 4, 2008

Malone Baloney

A tech reporter for ABC News. Michael Malone speculates on Apple's ability to remain competitive in the cell phone industry up against the big manufactures:

"And already, Nokia, LG, Samsung and every other cell phone maker is rushing to introduce iPhone killers, and the first wave looks pretty damn good. Can Apple really stay ahead of these guys?"

Who is raving about the new wave of iPhone killers being introduced? Tell me about one good iPhone killer.

So far, Verizon has put some icon-like stickers on the outside cover of their odd clam-shell phone with its tiny QWERTY keyboard inside, proving beyond a shadow of doubt these manufactures still think cell phone is merely a matter of trendy appearance and they still don't understand that the experience inside, when the user starts using the non-linear voice mailbox, integrated email, calendar, maps, and addressbook.

Smartphones, as much as they might be loaded with features it must be noted are pretty dumb to use. A great tool isn't complicated, it is one that gets out of the way when you want to get a particular task done quickly and efficiently.

The problem all these other phones and service providers have is software hardware integration. On the iPhone you have email, web browsing, voice mail, photo libraries (and a half decent camera), iTunes music, video and podcasting, Google maps, and YouTube and all function together with Apple operating system functioning as the glue.

Not-to-mention, the iPhone's touch screen interface that make relic keyboards, suffering with a stylus, and old deeply embedded menu and mode systems feel decades outdated after just a few days of use.

Malone goes onto write "Apple has enjoyed one of the most spectacular and innovative runs in U.S. business history. The question now is whether the company can keep going, pulling still more rabbits out of Steve Jobs' hat. The answer, I think, is probably not."

As I have posted here and read elsewhere, Apple makes great breakthrough products but also misses huge opportunities that still exist to make great strides in the future. The other guys, OEMs and software designers flounder because they can't control the ecosystem that propels new devices to a new level of functionality.

There is a ton of room for Apple to continue to pull rabbits and a huge gap for the competitors to try to make up.

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