Apple held a Town Hall meeting in where they discussed the future of the iPhone. The end result is very impressive.
Steve Jobs got up first and discussed how iPhone is taking over the mobile browser market. He sited that iPhone shows the most browser usage than any other phone. iPhone has already taken over the #2 spot in SmartPhone Marketshare.
Phil Schiller came up and discussed the Enterprise model. The biggest part of that model is the control an IT department has over the phone. Being able to push Exchange to the phone is awesome, however, during the demonstration they showed how IT can protect their data by locking the phone.
Scott Forstall came up on stage and talked about SDK. He discussed how Facebook and Bank of America have developed some great applications for a better mobile experience. Scott then talked about how the SDK is available to all 3rd party developers. Ease of use, language options and aspect monitoring were some big tools that could help in the building of a powerfull iPhone app.
Once the application is created, it can be put on Apples new online store – aptly named “App Store”. iTunes will also have an option to download apps. The App store will also keep tabs on the updates of those programs. The developer gets 70% of the revenue. If it’s free, then Apple will not charge for the program.
To further development, Apple announced an iPhone simulator so a developer can really see what’s going on without using their iPhone.
They asked engineers to develop a program without seeing the SDK. Travis Boatman from EA came up to talk about a game they created using the Excellarator – the ability to tilt the iPhone and having the character move with you. Chuck Dietrich from salesforce.com came up and showed a platform application to inform the sales staff of what has been and what needs to be accomplished.
Rizwan Sattar from AOL came up to introduce AIM for iPhone. Glen Keighley from epocrates showed off a drug lookup list which will detail the full list of drug information. Apples SQL light was integrated to reinovate the program. Glen stated this only took an hour to develop.
Finally, Ethan Einhorn from Sega brought another game to the iPhone. Sega also used the Excellarator to move the character. Sega underestimated the graphics and had to adjust.
Before they wrapped up the event, John Doerr from kpcb.com came up and announced that they will have a fund for “Entrepreneurs” of 100 Million dollars. It will be an investment into the future Googles and Apples.
All in all it was an impressive meeting. The iPhone (and the iPod Touch) will have some great additions to incorporate into any business. It might just be the single most powerful phone on the market come the end of 2008. The development bounty – just like Androids – will bring a lot of interest. However I think the ease of use to the SDK kit will bring even more developers.
There are some things still concerning. 3G was not discussed. Also, even though the touch screen is pretty impressive, I think Apple might want to look in either making a model with a numeric keypad, or a slider keyboard. Nonetheless, the iPhone is on the right track to get full productivity out of a handheld appliance. This might just be the end of a PC era – to an extent.