The iPhone Does Microsoft a Favor

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We’ve all seen it, heard about it, talked around the water cooler about it, and read about it in every major newspaper in the country. In fact, America has become so inundated with the iPhone that is seems destined to become the next iPod. However, with Apple sales goals at a measly one percent of the worldwide market (roughly 10 million units) the iPhone stands to be a very minor player in the Smartphone arena.

While Apple is entering the market with a small number of physical units, the impact the device has had on the market will no doubt increase the exposure and perceived need for smartphone handhelds across the board. By raising awareness of the capabilities of mobile technology, Apple is making a plug not only for its own product line, but also the likes of Microsoft’s Windows Mobile 6 which offers more features and feasibility in the enterprise sector. In fact, Apple has so adamantly stressed the consumer nature of the device that AT&T, the sole carrier of the iPhone, will not be offering the iPhone for corporate business account purchases. Rather, the iPhone will be only available to consumers on an individual basis.

So where, you might ask, does this leave more enterprising smartphones such as Windows Mobile-powered devices? The answer may be music to Microsoft’s ears. With all the buzz the iPhone has generated, the industry of mobile devices has been pushed to the forefront of American culture. Think about it, when was the last time you saw a smartphone on the cover of TIME magazine? While the iPhone has become the cover boy of mobility, the industry as a whole will benefit. What Tiger Woods did for golf, the iPhone is doing for mobile technology.

Where Windows Mobile fits into the scene is the needs it addresses that Apple seems to have left out. Corporate email, GPS, business ready apps, and third-party development are just a sampling of what the iPhone doesn’t offer, but Windows Mobile does. In fact, Windows Mobile is so business efficient that the employees at Apple Stores are equipped with Windows Mobile-powered Symbol handhelds for point-of-sale transactions. Reeking of irony, the iPhone cannot even be sold without the facilitation of Microsoft products. If this isn’t a clear-cut example of Windows Mobile’s superior enterprise application, then I don’t know what is.

Time will tell if the iPhone is hit. Whether it owns the consumer market or whether it will springboard into more enterprising solutions. While the future is unknown, one thing is certain. Microsoft will reap benefits from the iPhone. By pushing the mobile industry into the limelight, sales will increase across the board and better service and software will follow.
Despite the major players in this field and the ever present “battles†for market share. The number one winner is clear: The consumer. More choices, improved products, and better service should make for a very exciting future in the mobile industry. Hang on everybody, America is going mobile.

Nathan, I was just about to post with a similar title but a different point. So, I "Take II" of why iPhone is good for Microsoft is at http://www.smartphonemag.com/blogs/index.php?blog=8&title=the_iphone_does_microsoft_a_favor_take_i&more=1&c=1&tb=1&pb=1

Nice article Nathan! I hope you're assessment is correct and think it probably is...

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