Someone is always Challenging Someone – Apple iPhone vs. Blackberry

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Today in the Gym I was watching a report that Apple iPhone was challenging for market share in the corporate world. I agreed with the report – Apple has a better user interface than the , is too expensive in their messaging systems and an iPhone looks a lot better than a device.

But then I got to thinking about it. Is really news? I mean, yeah – we’ve got one company trying for a niche that another company has. However what company hasn’t tried to emulate or compete with another company’s corner-hold before?

Apple has been the underdog for many years. iTunes and iPods are really what broke Apples’ shell and put them on the forefront of something. Even though iPhone is not there just yet, Apple really shows how cutting edge technology should look.

At one time or another, a company is an underdog. How many people remember when Microsoft came to power? What was the leading company before Cisco took the reins?  Google wasn’t the first #1 search engine: Google didn’t even start until 1998 whereas the started in 1991. And no, it wasn’t , either. WebCrawler, Lycos, Excite and Dogpile were a few of the favorites back then.

 If we look at the phone market, names like LG didn’t show up until later. In the earlier days, you most likely had a phone, or a Motorola phone.  Before Dell came on to the scene, you had IBM Compaq or Packard Bell computers. In 1996 Dell overtook Compaq in the Personal Computer market. And where is Compaq nowadays?

To be the “New kid on the block” is not a uncommon occurrence. To take over a market from another is once again, not a new occurrence. Keeping that status – well, that might be tougher to do.

So let’s go back to the iPhone/Blackberry issue. What can Apple do to really rival this product?

First of all, Apple needs to better integrate into Microsoft – for you are most likely going to connect to Microsoft servers. Blackberry’s biggest issue was that you had to purchase a Blackberry server – which up until a couple months ago was a real expensive acquisition.  IT Admins have enough to worry about. Another server to handle email should not be one of them.

Apple’s biggest issue is simply “3rd Generation” – Otherwise known as “3G”. Even Steve Wozniak says an Apple iPhone missed the mark when they didn’t put this into the phone.

In a nutshell, 3G is to phones as Digital Cable is to TV. If you don’t have cable, then you have a set that could possibly get 100 channels, but only have 5-6. 2G would be like having Extended Basic Cable and 3G is the full blown Digital – 500 channels.

Steve Jobs answered why there was no 3G in Sept 2007 – It was a Power Hog. The iPhone has a 8 talk-time phone. 3G would suck that down to 2.5 to 3 range. Instead Apple took stock in making the phone with a powerful WiFi system.

AT&T says that a 3G iPhone is planned for sometime this year. That is, if 3G can curb its power appetite. However, Apple should really just bite the bullet if it doesn’t and make an iPhone with either a larger , or with a “3G switch”. Turn it on and off at will so if you need the ability, you have it.

The biggest thing would be to have the iPhone customizable. IT Admins like it when they can control the system. It’s not because they get pleasure in it – it’s because if they know what is on a system, then they can better troubleshoot if there is a problem – especially in mobile phones, for the problems don’t occur in the office, they occur out in the field.

 For instance – lets say you have a corporate computer at and decide to Webshots on it. Once installed, your computer starts acting slow. When you call your in house support, are you going to tell them you installed Webshots? Most likely not. Sometime because you just don’t think about it, other times because you don’t want to hear a lecture on how Webshots is not “Corporate software”.

Customizable interfaces mean tailoring to a company can really boost production. Some companies run their own specialized apps that shouldn’t get out to the public. These apps make corporations millions – if not billions of dollars.

When I worked at the Department of Revenue, we talked about making home assessments something an appraiser can do on a laptop. At that time the appraiser would write down the info, snap analog pictures and then come back to the office to input all the data. Imagine if they had an application that would work on an iPhone. The assessment would be done in the time they can walk through the building – including pictures. No need to go back to any office.

In today’s’ corporate world, we are always seeing one company go after another. It’s all about standing on top of the hill an pronouncing yourself king. However, some people miss the top because they are too concerned with mundane details that could  propel them. After all, the premise of “King of the Hill” is to expect that someone is trying to knock you off. And someone will do that eventually.

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