(This post is a copy of my IBM internal blog entry)
How many have watched the 1 hour and 20 minute release of Apple’s OS 3.0?
I’m not going to do a recap here of all the amazing things Apple announced for the IPhone, rather I want to discuss how their strategy and innovation speaks so loudly.
A core section of the presentation after announcing that their OS will have some 1,000 new APIs, new application purchase methods and new hardware opportunities (add-ons) was to have 5 or 6 key vendors display future ideas for their own products using the new operating system.
This means of course that Apple gets an A+ on collaboration (even if other important voices are missing from the presentation). What a punch to have Oracle show how they will take the new OS and deliver new ways to remotely speed support for a corporation’s interaction with their customers, or how ESPN will be enabled to deliver new superior on demand programming / alerts for their customers. This is savvy marketing at it’s prime. Apple had released the OS to a handful of major players and told them, “go see what you can do with the new OS”. The speaker then relays how amazed Apple was by what their creative partners had to show in such a short turn around.
Apple next not only demonstrates how easy it is to become a developer for the IPhone, ITouch, they reveal key details of how they work with developers. Things like, the period of time it takes to get a new application approved (about 7 days on average), how developers are paid (monthly, electronically) and to boot they bring on a wannebe programmer that took his idea for a game (Trism) and tell his personal story of success. This is almost a Cinderella story or a repeat of the guys who built Apple in their garage, only in much shorter time frame. I mean ask yourself, how would you as developer like to be able to put your product out in 80 countries of the world? Most developers would be lucky to even be known in the town where they live, let alone around the world.
Yeah, it’s the idea of empowerment in this presentation that is like a drug of joy. Who would have ever dream that Wikipedia would receive so much world wide acceptance and harness the power of so much enthusiasm that people would sit at their terminals / computers / laptops and literally donate hundreds of hours to something they don’t personally own? The introduction of OS 3.0 sends a very clear message to anyone interested in development, that not only is there opportunity, but we (Apple) are here to guide, open huge doors and enable (propel) you forward.
This is absolutely a phenominal strategy. I’ve owned MS Mobile phones for 5 plus years and one has to say there is no comparison, oh yeah, maybe on the level of an actual application one can say, the MS Mobile application is superior to the current one on Apple IPhone, but tell me where is the army of people that are so pumped as the people developing IPhone applications. Has anyone seen Seattle announce that they are there to help you become a successful developer?
One last kudo and I get off my soapbox of praise…..one has to also take in that OS 3.0 represents a convergence of really hot ideas. Here are some those key items: “the network is everthing” It’s unthinkable that on MS Mobile that I should have to go to setup to move from 3G to my personal network. The idea that the IPhone is always connected by switching seamlessly rocks! And 3.0 ups the whole thing a notch as one of the new features will remember your commercial logons, so now when I walk into Starbucks, there is no playing with the phone to join the network. Once I’ve done it once, I’m on for good. (well at least those that have homegenous networks) Meebo will deliver a native version of Meebo on the new OS 3.0…so IPhone links me to the wave of Social Networking and keeps me on the wave while away from my desktop. Another is OS 3.0 will use Bluetooth to assist me seemlessy network with others in my vicinity. So now I can sit with a bunch of friends in a room and be connected with all of them sans any network. This was demoed in 2 or 3 different ways in the presentation. There’s more, but you’ll have to watch for yourself, eh?
I’m old enough to remember how the first release of Visacalc, you know this stuff was only being done on mini-computers with a full application, and suddenly anyone with a PC could be a wizard of super business analytics. This single app was reponsible for many a sale of a PC. I get the same vibes with OS 3.0. I get a very positive feeling about a company that breaks into brand new ground, or pulls together something NEW. I’m alas proud to be a part of a company that has so many discoveries in a single year (patents) Could it be that is why IBM is a well known word around the world?
Can we grab any of the learning from Apple’s announcement of OS 3.0? Watch here!