Welcome to my off topic, technology rant Tuesday.
Looks like both companies are putting on the giant, inflatable boxing gloves. The mobile casual computing/entertainment space is real now. And the future of watching entertainment is going to be brand based. Not channel, not time, not network, not cable company.
The one thing I never hear analysts talk about when they discuss the upcoming war between the Google phones and the Apple phones is the power of the iPod Touch. Apple is the only player with a non-phone device that shares the platform. It greatly expands the platform, and allows for people to own a phone and an iPod Touch. It’s a super cool, portable computing iPod. No phone contract needed. The phone and the particular network the phone is on isn’t what matters in the long run.
It’s the width and depth of the platform. By looking at the Touch market along with iPhones you have an attack on this segment that Google will never have until they step out of just making phones. Of course they don’t have the iPod and iTunes integration to offer a product with compelling multimedia wings.
Soon Apple will release a tablet/reader that will attempt to be the portable casual computing machine of the future. The platform will grow again. Add calling over wi-fi and the Touch could grow in a different way. Add video conferencing to the tablet and it grows out again. And they share a common development platform.
Too many companies haven’t cast a wide enough net to understand what portable, casual computing is. The phone isn’t the centerpiece. It’s just a feeder. And look at the money and resources the mobile phone companies have wasted on horrible technology through the years. Phones were difficult to maintain, they offered no good content, and the hardware was bottom of the barrel in design and interaction. These mobile phone companies had no vision other than getting people to sign onto contracts for phone service. They limited technology development because it wasn’t in their interest or abilities to expand it. They were mostly fat, happy cats. Every once in a while they would buy one another, or fight over dropped calls or who signed more people, but they never looked beyond the end of their noses which were mostly stuffed with dollars.
One company changed that. But already the phone IS the MacGuffin. Everyone is now chasing the wrong thing.
Apple has made everyone take their eye off the ball, to use a horrible sports analogy. The phone companies still have no idea. So they create lots of phones with ‘touch screens’. Because that’s what’s good about the iPhone right? Touch screens. And making sure you can slide stuff around, we need that, right? It’s like adding rubber wheels to a horse drawn cart and calling it a Mercedes.
Useful devices are the key. A common, robust platform that supports casual, multimedia enabled devices is the promised land.
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