We can all say that Apple is a closed company that places its tyranny over its fans with a fist of iron, telling them what they can or can’t do with their over-expensive Apple products. But at the end of the day, you must admit that there are a few things that wouldn’t have come to pass in the past several years without Apple.
Here’s my short list of 3 things I want to thank Apple for bringing along:
1. Decoupling of the cellular operator and the smartphone
Up until the iPhone operators had their say about what exactly their customers would get. Operators would force handset vendors to customize their devices, load operator-specific applications to it, rebrand it for the operator – and handset vendors usually went along with it.
With the iPhone things have turned upside-down: handset vendors have more control today, and with each iPhone version more control is wrested out of the operator’s hands: it started with some real 3G graphics and multi-touch displays that made their appearance in phones due to the first iPhone to ship; It moved on to an application store for phones that is provided by the handset vendor (or Google in the case of Android); and then to video calling services that are offered directly by handset vendors and not by the operators.
Look at what HTC is doing – they now provide their own cloud service which enables HTC handset owners to backup and restore their phones or locate them in case of theft. And there’s more to come in that space – that’s for sure.
Would anyone expect handset vendors to provide cloud services to customers? Would anyone think operators would even allow it?
Since the iPhone there’s no other choice.
This one is easy.
I don’t really believe Google’s Android OS would come to life if the iPhone would not be. And while Android isn’t perfect, it’s the most interesting thing going around, especially if you’re a developer catering consumer electronic device manufacturers (which we are here at RADVISION).
3. Video Calling
Video calling has been here for over 20 years. In fact I’ve got a Google Alert for the term “videotelephony” for several years, which I can honestly say yielded very little results most of the time. But ever since Apple annoucned their FaceTime video calling service for the iPhone I started getting alerts on this term more than once a day.
Since iPhone 4’s only try differentiator today is FaceTime (the Retina display is challenged by Samsung’s AMOLED already), it just so happens that every CE vendor out there is looking into providing his own video calling service on his device as well.
By bringing video calling to the masses in a way that never happened before, Apple might actually make this service compelling enough for more than just large enterprises.