What the hell iPhones have that other phones don’t?

April 12, 2009

While reading this post from ewan.net, I started thinking about the following issue: What iPhones have that other phones don’t?

Although I really advise you to go through the whole post, I’m gonna summarize it: He went on an event that was full of iPhone development rockstars, and they didn’t have a clue about (or at least, didn’t have plans to develop to) other mobile platforms. Yes, I’m talking about Ovi store, BlackBerry App store, and the like.

The reason they hadn’t heard about them is fairly one (as Ewan pointed out): Monetisation.

Well, back to our point: What the hell iPhones have that other phones don’t, to have that much monetisation potential?

Is it just the Apple repeating the concept of selling a complete solution (this is called Vertical Integration), like they did with iPod and iTunes? I don’t really think so. Clearly it’s nothing technical too: Ok, iPhone is sexy and cool, but wasn’t Motorola V3 sexy before it?

The reason why iPhone sells more apps than any other platform does or will (at least percentually) is because it is not ONLY a phone. I’m gonna remind you of what happend on the last few years:

  • Apple releases iPod touch, which is essencially an iPod, but the sexiest iPod they ever had, with plenty of other stuff in it;
  • Some time after, Apple releases iPhone, which is really an iPod Touch, but sexier: Now it was also a mobile phone!!

So, I think the release of iPod Touch before iPhone was really, really important, because it made people see it as more than a telephone. It was a smartphone.

Now, when you buy a smartphone (look, I’m not talking about someone that is just trying to buy an expensive phone), you don’t want it just to make calls. You want music, maps, games, you want the world on the phone. You can have this with nearly any (expensive) smartphone today, but iPhone users are just more aware of that. That’s why they’re such a HUGE market for app developers.

I’ll talk later why I think that Ovi, BlackBerry store and the like will be also a great success in the future.


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