Saturday, September 14, 2013

iPhone as a platform

Following Apple's announcement of iPhones 5C and especially 5S, there's been much discussion about the merits of their various features and components.

Some have regretted that Apple didn't come out with any new 'whiz bang' features. Others questioned M7 motion co-processor in 5S or outright called it a gimmick.

I think such arguments reveal a superficial understanding of Apple's strategy. A few years back, everyone in the Internet industry couldn't stop talking about 'platforms'. Unsurprisingly, despite the hype, few companies actually figured out how to make money on their 'platform'.

Now, I think Apple has figured out how to both create a hardware+software platform AND make money on it - this is the entire iOS ecosystem.

So when Apple introduces new capability to its platform - whether it's 64-bit A7, or low-power-consumption M7 - it's not about what those things do by themselves, it's what they enable millions of developers to do. That's what happened with adding accelerometer, compass and other capabilities in the past.

Finally, from my own experience with various apps that attempt to track your activity (like the number of steps you've made) throughout the day, they consume way too much power to run all the time, reducing battery life unacceptably. M7 should be an awesome soltuion for that. Also, most avid joggers I know use their iPhones as fitness trackers and media players in one and are thrilled about the prospect of not having to recharge their iPhones more often.