Photo of iPhoneSell your stock in ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX, say goodbye to the cable companies, and look at Apple, Cingular, Yahoo and Google. Kiss phone books goodbye as well. Credit cards may go away too. The iPhone is coming this June, and it will change the world.
Already, Research in Motion (the Blackberry people), Palm, Motorola and other “Smart Phone” makers stock dropped, and deservedly so. My Treo 700 is a pain in the butt to use and it’s one of the “better smart phones.”
Steve Jobs has 30 years experience in changing the way people and computers interact and with yesterday’s introduction of the iPhone, he showed why Apple is the master of the GUI (Graphical User Interface). First came the mouse, then the click wheel and now- the scrolling gesture and MultiTouch interface (most touch screens can only read one point at a time). All, in all, it’s brilliant. A phone, iPod and Internet device- but, watch out, it may be way more than that.
When the video iPod was introduced, it wasn’t that the iPod could play video that was the groundbreaking news- it was that Apple was selling “free” TV programs for $1.99. The beginning of a la carte programming delivered over IP. Now, with the iPhone and the new Apple TV set top box, we have the “Remote” that pulls everything together, including a billing system (Cingular) and a whole new way for advertisers to reach highly targeted consumers. Just think, your cell phone bill could be subsidized for you agreeing to watch highly targeted content- based on several different criteria to begin with:

  • Your geographic location- cell phones are mini GPS devices, and as Jobs demonstrated the iPhone integration with Google maps/Google local, he showed us the beginning of a brand new way to access advertising, custom crafted to your longitude and latitude.
  • Your buying habits and payment processing might be handled through Google wallet, with you keeping your running account balance on your phone. Phones have been used in Japan to pay vending machines for years, the iPhone brings whole new levels of integration to your pocket.
  • The end of “Sales” for bricks and mortar stores- if your price doesn’t match what comes up in Froogle, you won’t make the sale. The “true browser” with easy input, coupled with a camera that can probably read product bar codes will put so much power in the consumers hand that all retailers will be able to compete on is better service or immediate delivery. Will that be worth paying a premium? Take a look at what the iTunes store has done to the music industry if you need hints.
  • With its superior interface and WiFi/phone system Internet access, the iPhone will allow users to access company websites on it’s small screen. Jobs didn’t show any Flash sites in the demo, but, by partnering with Yahoo and Google- and showcasing the New York Times- he did hint at the importance of CSS coded HTML which scales, and reformats to different screens easier than Flash. If you have a website that is in Flash come June, you will be missing many of the opportunities of true Mobile connectivity.
  • Last but not least, with a real browser- and an 8 gig drive, consumers will be able to carry your ads, your product literature- right to the point of sale- or discuss your products or service over lunch with friends- complete with sound, motion and data. No more need for brochures- even PDF’s online that don’t easily fit the new screen won’t be as handy a well-designed web interface. Think of having infomercials on your site that entertain and allow 2-way feedback- as well as click to buy options- all accessible from anywhere- anytime, in your customer’s pocket.

There is much more to this iPhone than an iPod, Phone, Internet connectivity- there is the first step of the true 1 to 1 revolution.
Apple stock went up 8 points yesterday. Just wait until June and the full power of this new phone is realized- by developers and marketers.
If the phone works as promised, and the reviews are good, Apple’s stock will climb like Googles- and the web will be a whole new place for marketers to (re) learn.