Rob is still having difficulties downloading the iPhone SDK, probably because the servers are slammed, and yesterday he posted that ““Apple grabbed the UMPC/Mid Market and took it away.Ã¢â‚¬Â I have to agree with my friend and colleague and even go further. Apple opened a big door with the announcement and shut quite a few others in the process. Apple not only took the UMPC/MID market away, it will own mobile for some time to come, with everyone else playing catch up. The race to the top is over. Now everyone else can scramble to figure out who is number two.
Here’s why I think this. We’ve only seen teasers of what the Apple SDK will unlock for the future. And the teasers certainly make you want the entire show. The ability to have push email and sync with Microsoft Exchange is huge and will open the floodgates into the enterprise. We won’t see this in play until this summer but Steve Jobs, once again succeeds in sucking the oxygen out of the PR cycles throughout the spring. But come June, the mother of all converged devices will be available. And it will be available in several segments.
For those that want the boutique coolness, it will be there. For those that want it for business, it will be there. For those who want to play games, it will be there. For those that want to develop and push the envelope of the mobile experience, it will be there.
Media, SMS, phone, applications, business apps, GPS, games, you name it, you’ll have it all on the iPhone, and a lot of it on the iPod Touch, both of which will fit into your pocket. What Microsoft, Intel, and VIA are working to accomplish with UMPCs and MIDs, Apple is about to deliver. Timing is everything and Apple is not only out of the gate first, but is about to enter the final turn.
Let’s face, it the UMPC platform is quickly receding. The MID platform is still to come and is unproven. Not only has Apple loaded up their devices with potential for all segments, they’ve come in under the magic $600 price point. Intriguingly, there’s news today that last year’s great hope on the UMPC front, the HTC Shift, is finally beginning to ship in the US, but at a price point of over $1600.
With Venture Capital funding support for developers, Apple has also kickstarted an entirely new developer class, and that will be huge as well. Apple sees the long view in this. Big time. The iPhone we know today, and the version of the hardware we will probably know for the next year or two is only the beginning, and from where I sit, there are a lot of companies that would have liked to have had that as their version 1.0.
Small, $600 or under, always connected, media and the web at your fingertips, and access to your communications. I seem to remember that as the promise of the UMPC a short time ago. UMPC, we hardly knew you.
Post Script: As I said, game over. If Apple wanted to put the last nail in the coffin of all of its other competitors, it would steal a page from Amazon’s book. Ditch the old way of thinking about connectivity charges and user fees (or is that usury?) and offer up the versions yet to come with Amazon’s connectivity model.
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