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Why iPhone Killers Are Good For The iPhone...

SUREN on November 25, 2008

Every time the next iPhone killer is launched with much fanfare, I have a feeling Steve Jobs is raising a toast to it. While the Google Android based G1 is a fairly decent attempt, RIM's BlackBerry Storm simply misses the point. Almost every reviewer mentions that the Storm felt comfortable after they figured out how to use it. These reviewers are the geeks among geeks, and if it took them a while to figure it out, it will take the average Joe just a little bit longer.

BlackBerry Storm                  T-Mobile G1         

Much has been said about the lack of Enterprise features on the iPhone. But it is still selling like hot cakes. If it is not the enterprise user buying iPhones, who is? Say hello to the average Joe. The average Joe (or Jane for that matter) doesn't care about enterprise VPN support. What he cares about is ease of use, cool factor, and the opposite of laziness - i.e. Joe wants to chat, follow the news, play music, check email or play a game, and in the middle of it all, take a a phone call and continue playing right after - if the device puts up as much as a single stumbling block as Joe moves from this to that to this in less than two minutes, Joe gives up and picks up a magazine. The average Joe is young, impatient and can easily find other things to do. That is where the iPhone scores the heaviest.

Reviewers seem to constantly focus on why the iPhone doesn't measure up for the enterprise user. It is way too simple. It doesn't have as much controls. It is not good enough for good old enterprise Joe. Now, that piques the average Joe's interest. May be it will just work for me. If that drives Joe to a store to check it out, the cool factor wins him over and he falls hook, line and sinker for it. Steve and the nice folks in Apple know this. That is why they pay lip service to the enterprise Joe - hey, we'll accomodate you, to the extent we can - and really really focus on making that 2 mins of average Joe's time feel that much more special. Let the RIMs and Microsoft's bite off more than they can chew. Apple will continue to nibble away mouthfuls of the market from the opposite end of the pie. Wait and see who ends up with the bigger slice at the end.

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