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How iPhone 3.0 May Revolutionize The Smartphone Industry

With a new business model for third-party software, peer-to-peer networking, and richer interfaces for third-party hardware, Apple's got a potential game-changer in iPhone 3.0.
Two years later, that name change is showing itself to be more than symbolic. Mac sales were down year-over-year in February, to according to market researchers the NPD Group. Analysts at Piper Jaffray predicted Apple would sell 2.2 million Macs in the quarter ending this month, along with 10 million iPods. In the two years since the iPhone went on sale, the company sold 30 million iPhones and iPod Touches, including 13.7 million iPhones the past year.

Put the numbers together and that means that the iPhone and iPod Touch are becoming Apple's core product line, replacing the 25-year-old Mac as the company's main computing platform, according to Technology Business Research analyst Ezra Gottheil, when I interviewed him on the day of the iPhone announcement.

iPhone 3.0 will be available this summer, Apple says. It will be free to existing iPhone users, and cost $9.95 for the iPhone Touch. A year from now, when it will have been marinating in the marketplace for a good while, we'll be looking at a mobile computer with a wealth of applications that connect peer-to-peer and a plethora of third-party hardware. The ecosystem of applications, which is already rich today, will be even richer with the new business models provided by 2009.

That sounds like a revolution to me.

That iPhone may be your next full-function computer. InformationWeek has published an independent analysis of this topic. Download the report here (registration required).