Investors Bullish on the iPhone

According to InformationWeek:

Apple Inc. has not yet sold a single iPhone, but investors are driving up the company’s shares to record highs as they bank that the combined telephone and media player will be a major hit.

Under promise and over deliver.

For many, words to live by when dealing with customers – or even market segments.

In the case of the Apple iPhone, the opportunity to under promise and over deliver has passed – it vanished after Jobs’ Macworld keynote.

In its wake, a still amplifying tsunami of expectation.

As the June 29, 2007 release dates draws ever nearer, everyone is captivated by Apple’s brilliant execution – a textbook example in the making!

Teens: A Surprising Market Segment for the iPhone

In Wikinomics (pg. 133), Tapscott and Williams state:

Of the hundreds of customer-inspired hacks that have emerged, the most powerful is a program called Podzilla – essentially a bare-bones version of Linux with a graphical user interface that runs on the iPod’s tiny screens.

On the following page, these same authors state:

Analysts speculate that Apple may use upcoming generations of the iPod to move into the mobile phone market as well.

Not surprisingly then, the Mac OS X based iPhone bears a lot in common with the Podzilla-based iPod.

As the following schematic illustrates, both are attempts to extend the features/functionalities of the iPod in, particularly, the application domain.

ipod_iphone1.png

In addition to technical mutations, contextualizing the iPod as progenitor of the iPhone is likely to be useful in business contexts as well.

Take market segments for example. By understanding the well-established market segments for the iPod, it’s possible to predict market segments for the iPhone.

And if there’s any merit in that speculation, then one of the surprising demographics for the iPhone will be teens.

Teens have been practically weaned on the iPod. The iPod plus various transportable and mobile gaming platforms like the PS2, Xbox, etc. Many teens already have cell phones, or will soon.

Because the iPhone has the potential to be their platform for their music, games, communication and other applications, they’re anticipating its arrival as much as any other demographic group. Although the iPhone’s USD 500 price tag is steep, the value becomes evident when you consider its triple-play-plus possibilities for teens.

iphone_triple_play.png

There’s no question that those of us hooked on our CrackBerries will be interested in tempting ourselves with the iPhone.

However, it’ll be much more interesting to monitor uptake by teens.

My Next-Gen Mobile Platform: A Plain Old Cell Phone plus Jott?

Will I be trading in my BlackBerry for a Plain-Old Cell Phone (POCP) plus Jott?

Will I just say “No thank you” to the iPhone?

These aren’t entirely ridiculous considerations.

Even for the highly mobile tech-set, the POCP plus Jott is surprisingly enabling.

Why?

The Jott-enabled POCP provides an impressive bridge between your analog-and-digital selves. A divide otherwise narrowed via high-end handhelds such as BlackBerrys, iPhones, etc.

Not to devalue Jott’s substantial accomplishments to date, but this really is just the beginning.

For example, services like Jott’s might be teamed with ChaCha to involve people directly in high-value search offerings.

Why Doesn’t My Handheld Have a USB Port?

My Palm didn’t have one. Neither does my BlackBerry. And it doesn’t look like the highly anticipated iPhone will either.

What don’t these handhelds have?

A USB port.

In fact, I don’t know of any handheld that has a USB port. (Of course, I’d be delighted to be proven wrong.)

Why do I care?

Well, sometimes, I have an real (air) or perceived (too-much-effort-required) gap between my laptop and some way of getting Internet connectivity.

For example, I may be at my cottage where my only option for Internet access is a 28.8 kb/s modem connection. Or, I may be at an airport, with only a few minutes before my flight departs, and my only option for Internet connectivity is a daily pass to some wireless service.

In these and other situations, I wish my BlackBerry had a USB connection. If it did, I’d have a painless way of moving data between my laptop and BlackBerry. In my cottage scenario I want to use my laptop to review, create or edit documents and my BlackBerry to transport them via email.

To some extent, I could achieve the desired outcome for the cottage scenario using the Bluetooth capabilities of my laptop and BlackBerry.

In addition to transferring data, I could use a USB-enabled BlackBerry to:

  • Back up to the USB drive my data from my BlackBerry
  • Update the O/S and/or applications on my BlackBerry

And this is just scraping the surface of possibilities …

So again, I ask: Why doesn’t my handheld have a USB port?

BlackBerry vs. iPhone: RIM Has First-Mover Advantage

I recently tied success in the imminent BlackBerry vs. iPhone struggle to market segmentation.

Of course, there’s also first-mover advantage.

Kudos to RIM for timing the release of the “Pearl White” version of the BlackBerry Pearl on the heels of a week’s worth of iPhone buzz.

I wonder how long it will be before someone makes the iPhone skin available on the “Pearl White” BlackBerry Pearl.

RIM has significant first-mover advantage and also the potential to capitalize on the iPhone marketing buzz.

Apple needs to move quickly and deliver a very solid 1.0 version of the iPhone, as they’re already in catch-up mode.

BlackBerry vs. iPhone: It’s All About Market Segments

The BlackBerry vs. iPhone buzz is getting louder.

Nadir Mohamed (COO for Rogers Canada) had this to say in a recent Globe and Mail interview:

Is RIM’s BlackBerry in trouble?

Their strength has been in push e-mail and their devices are very intuitive.

So from that perspective I don’t think the iPhone hits the core of their market.

When you have these multiple applications, whether camera, music, video, voice, data or e-mail, I think generally most devices have strength in a few of them and may have the others available. What RIM’s Pearl will be known for is probably different than what the iPhone will be known for. But we’re talking about a product that hasn’t been produced yet.

Translation: Success is contingent upon market segmentation.