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What the iPhone means to the mobile phone industry

Ian Fogg of Jupiter Research makes some perceptive comments on the iPhone in "iPhone is an Astonishing v1.0":

"What matters to the industry is whether the iPhone will take on the role of a Netscape for mobile phones: Will the iPhone make the Internet interesting and usable to the mass market? And, if so, will increased mobile Internet usage deliver improved revenues for mobile operators?"

Apple has created something which, as Ian points out, may well force the other mobile phone companies to change they way they look at their products:

"How Apple differentiates from the competition is not through a long
list of features as loved by other handset makers, but instead through
the way in which the iPhone does the things it can do. It’s not what
the iPhone does but how it does them that is revolutionary. Other handset makers must learn that ‘the end’ feature cannot justify an ugly arcane interface ‘means’ to get there."

What Apple has done is ignore the notion of "features" as a checklist for superiority, in favour of exposing a move limited set of features in ways which encourage the user to actual use them. That’s what makes the iPhone a "win" for the company – the user interface ensures that no feature is buried a long way from the surface.

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