Jobs Sees iPhone Future In Real-World Web BrowsingJobs Sees iPhone Future In Real-World Web Browsing
Forget all my bitching about the iPhone and <a href="http://www.informationweek.com/blog/main/archives/2007/06/att_iphone_manu.html">its lack</a> of a hard keypad. At his WWDC keynote, Steve Jobs has insured the long-term consumer (though not business) success of his still-unlaunched-yet-super-successful mobile device.
June 13, 2007
Forget all my bitching about the iPhone and its lack of a hard keypad. At his WWDC keynote, Steve Jobs has insured the long-term consumer (though not business) success of his still-unlaunched-yet-super-successful mobile device.Let me explain: As my colleague Mitch Wagner has pointed out, Jobs's announcement at WWDC of Safari for Windows doesn't matter much in terms of the overall browser market. On the desktop, where it's nominally intended to play, it'll be a big ho-hum.
Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster got it right when he told John Markoff in yesterday's New York Times: "This [announcement] was pretty underwhelming. He hit a double instead of a homer." As Mitch noted, Safari on Windows is significant only in that it will get developers to start writing apps in Ajax. Those apps will then be able to connect with the iPhone through Safari. However, I'm less interesting in the mechanics of applications deployment than the stake Jobs is planting in virtual ground about mobile Web browsing. What Jobs is saying is, he's serious about delivering serious Web browsing on your handheld. So forget the fact that the ultra-high-speed surfing shown on the first crop of iPhone TV commercials is a crock. Forget, too, that the main technical impediment to fast smartphone browsing isn't software -- it's the carrier networks. (Many of the carriers are putting higher-speed networks in place, though for the iPhone only AT&T is of concern.) Where Jobs has it right is that we all want an alternative to the excruciatingly slow loads we have to deal with today, on our BlackBerrys and other smartphones. Jobs is correct in implicitly recognizing that lighter, WAP-style Web pages aren't really what users want. They don't deliver complete enough content, nor do they do enough of an end-around to the slow-loading issue to matter. So, notwithstanding all my iPhone bashing, Jobs's vision that browsing on your mobile device should be no different than it is on your PC is absolutely on target. It's looking that he's going to take that ball and run with it until BlackBerry-style slow mobile browsing is as passé as Motorola DynaTAC. P.S. I still think the iPhone will flop in the business world. More about that in a future post.
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