Robert Scoble asked the question “What does a post iPhone world” look like to people from Microsoft, Nokia and Research in Motion. From Robert’s blog it looks like the answer isn’t one that we really want to know about, because none of these companies are thinking that way.
A post iPhone world to me means that we will no longer have one device tethered to a single provider. While I have no particular issue with AT&T, it is the one reason why I do not want an iPhone. I am happy with my provider Verizon, and plan on staying there for a bit longer. I am also not on a 2 year contract; I could go at any time.
A post iPphone world would be a device that does what I need it to do, with a super long battery life. Of course what I need it to do is different depending on what I am doing. Some of my ideas are more science fiction than science fact, like something out of 2001; I truly want a flimsy to read, type on, and do real work on as well as listen to my favorite songs. One of the things that any mobile device maker has to understand is that people make an investment in the backend systems as well. Apple has the ITunes store, people have invested, companies build products (much like we do for Microsoft desk tops, and much like we do for Linux systems as well), people know and understand the interface.
What device comes next needs to be Apple simple, and work with many of the providers of media. While we are locked in with Apple to ITunes and the Store, wouldn’t it be great to have the option of Real Media, and an independent app store that didn’t have to go through the rigors that folks have to go through with the Apple store for an application? Wouldn’t it be nice if it could work with multiple applications and multiple scenarios both cloud and desktop based? Sure the phone part is cool, but the iPphone has shown us integrated devices with multiple connection paths both phone and wireless based. Why wouldn’t a company capitalize on that and allow people to purchase SIM cards, you buy the base hardware, let the phone company SIM work, and you have an international phone that ties into everything you need, want or bought. It would be a truly cool thing, and we can do SIM chips quite easily, there is no reason to bake in a particular cellular provider into a device. That is like making wheels out of stone, its old, been done, and people are getting tired of lock in.
The good part is that the iPhone will not stay the coolest device in the world forever. Something will come along and replace it. But we need leadership by the major phone developers to take on the iPhone. While I have waited for the iPphone on Verizion for years, and it most likely will not happen, I would like one of the other phone companies to do something just as cool, just as open, and just as supportable as the iPphone with their own brand. Please don’t tell me the Blackberry storm is all that, because it is not (my trip to the Verizon store was a disaster of everything going wrong with the storm that could go wrong, and there was no sale.), no what they need is something that can take on the whole iPhone infrastructure. Google, Microsoft, RIM, and Nokia are about the only folks who can take on Apple on their own turf. It would be very cool to see them do this.
(Cross-posted @ IT Toolbox)