Thursday, March 20, 2008

R.I.M. R.I.P.

With the up and coming capabilities from Apple for the iPhone, my mind has been spinning out of control with the possibilities. I've decided to list out some of my predictions, as well as hopes in direction for the impact in the market. Some may be far fetched, but you never know.

1. The death of the Blackberry

I titled my post based on this prediction, which I think is the most likely to come to be. If you haven't seen the video of the new Outlook/Exchange integration coming to the iPhone, you definitely need to check it out. Basically, it will be like having outlook on your phone, but with a cool iPhone-esce interface. Blackberry has dominated the market in handheld devices for business users (those people who absolutely have to know the second an email is sent to them) primarily due to the push technology of the Blackberry server for Exchange. Lots of devices can connect to your email (through POP, etc) but they all use polling, which apparently isn't adequate. Once the iPhone adds this capability, what business user would choose a Blackberry phone over an iPhone, especially when your company is buying it for you?

2. The death of the handheld navigation device

I'll describe this by detailing a use case that a colleague of mine told me about recently. He received an email with the address of a location he needed to get to (yes, he had to tell his iPhone to poll for the email - patience young jedi). He touched the address in the email, and it instantly mapped the location for him. He then touched a very useful button that asked if he wanted directions from his current location. This then gave him a list of directions and maps like you would find from google maps or mapquest. While this works today and is extremely cool, there's no reason why they couldn't also add the real-time voice directions while you're on the go. Granted, using cell triangulation isn't going to be as accurate as a true GPS system, but it will likely be good enough for most situations. Why would you buy another device to do this when your phone already can?

I do think that the in-dash nav systems will still be valuable though. The bluetooth integration with your phone using the radio speakers, ability to play movies, etc will likely be enough value for many people to add that to their new car purchase.

3. iPhone Wii

One of the examples Apple showed of what you can do with the new SDK involved creating a flight sim/war type game. Amazingly they got it running in just 2 weeks, but the best part is that the phone has an accelerometer in it. What that means is that it knows its orientation, motion, etc. So like the Wii, on the flight game if you want to fly right, you turn your phone to the right, down you tilt forward, etc. Having this ability means that Nintendo should have their games on the iPhone ASAP. This could very easily make sales of the DS plummet, but they make the big bucks on the software anyway.
What other amazing things are people going to come up with? Considering that Apple says that the SDK was downloaded over 100,000 times in the first 4 days of release, I can't wait for the cool new apps (of course, none of them do me any good yet as I'm still waiting for the now slated June release of the 3G capable iPhone).

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