iPhone and the Killer App


:: This posting is in response to Seth Godin’s iPhone Challenge posting on April 30th, 2007.

The iPhone will end up being just another phone unless they do three things.

One, they must create another classic Apple service that is *only* available by using the iPhone.  So far, they have not done that.   In case you’re wondering, I would have put in a massive hard drive that allowed for digital video to be uploaded to an Apple server, that I could retrieve from my Apple laptop.  Strike One.

Two, they must create a user experience that is exceptional.  The Apple design folks got this product design wrong.  They focused on making the phone visually appealing but that is not how we use cell phones.  I phone without looking at my phone, usually while I’m driving.  I will occasionally use voice activation and use redial features (since I usually call the same person over and over again).

The only reasons to use a rich interface like the one on the iPhone is to inspire envy in anyone looking at my phone or to use email for business.  The iPhone is not a business machine.  It’s a fun machine but it doesn’t even feature any new video games.  Strike Two.

Three, I did an informal poll of a couple of my Management of Information Systems classes and the number one killer app for the cell phone is still the ability to complete a phone call from anywhere.  Apple is partnering with Cingular so that’s a big Strike Three.

Sorry Apple, it’s just not going to happen.  I’m not ready to trade in my iPod Nano and my Palm Treo just yet.  That’s the way it is in the big leagues, three strikes and you’re out.