Now that some of us have woken up after a full day of product lust drunkenness (very understandable)—Bruce Nussbaum makes some excellent points asking if the iPhone is an "ecosystem" or an ultra cool, innovative product. The observations are based off of the business reality of how the telecom business functions in the US, among other things.
From the post:
"OK, by now most of us have product lust for the new Apple iPhone and many folks will buy it but the real impact of the iPhone will be in its transformative power to create--finally--a unified ecosystem among the cell phone carriers that delivers a great experience to people. Just like MP3 players before the iPod, the cell phone market is fractured among different carriers who thrive on delivering their own bad service. This is why innovation in cell phones has shifted to Asia and Europe.
The cell phone experience in Korea and Japan, and much of China, is simply superior to that in the US thanks to the dastardly deeds of the carriers.The iPhone is perhaps the best shot at changing all that and bringing innovation back to the US. But that will happen only if Steve Jobs can pull off in telephony what he's pulled off in music. He needs to go beyond just one carrier, Cingular, to bring Verizon and others into a partnership. The iPhone is a cool product. But it can be revolutionary if it becomes a cool ecosystem."
Can Apple pull it off? Will the iPhone repeat the success of the iPod in the MP3 player arena or does it even need to? What about fragmented carrier considerations, such as not all carriers supporting the same technologies? I think Bruce makes a good distinction between "cool product" and "revolutionary product". The iPod changed the face of how we enjoy music. The iPhone seems to at first glance posses the same potential—if it can overcome some key barriers.
Note: the visual included some input from Bruce Nussbaum
Oh, and this just in from the WSJ (and Roger von Oech)--Cisco has sued Apple for trademark infringement over the iPhone name. Well, like I said, it's more of a "digital lifestyle accessory" than it is a phone, so maybe Apple should just change the name. ;)