A New World for the iPhone

Mar. 06, 2008 3:26 PM ETAAPL, BB, PALM6 Comments
Kevin Maney profile picture
Kevin Maney

Apple (AAPL) just finished telling software developers about the new toolkit that can be used to create non-Apple applications for the iPhone. In one sense, it's about a geeky an event as you can get.

But it's a big step to making the iPhone more business-user friendly. The iPhone sorely missed having Blackberry-style push e-mail. It's probably the single biggest reason more business users skipped the iPhone in favor of a Blackberry or Treo or any device that would support Good Technology's push e-mail. This basically means that Apple has to let developers make the iPhone work with Microsoft's Exchange, which must make Steve Jobs gag.

Look for other corporate stuff to emerge. Cisco (CSCO) will be putting its stuff like secure corporate Wi-Fi and IP telephony on the iPhone -- which could make it possible for an iPhone to make calls on the corporate network inside the building and cell network outside.

And of course thousands of clever developers will create software for the iPhone that we can't even imagine right now.

Is this big? Well, it will certainly help the iPhone win business customers, and it will mean that Blackberrys and Treos will have to get a whole lot better or they're going to lose sales to Apple. John Doerr, the king of tech VCs, was at the event and said: "Today we're witnessing history, the creation of the third great platform. It's bigger than the personal computer." But Doerr is peddling a fund -- called the iFund -- that will invest in companies developing for the new iPhone platform. Good luck making it bigger than the PC. (Doerr apparently couldn't get the ifund.com URL.)

This article was written by

Kevin Maney profile picture
For the past 22 years, Kevin Maney has been a reporter, columnist, and editor at USA Today. For 16 of those years, Maney wrote America's most widely read column about the technology industry. In 2005 he launched a blog on USAToday.com, beginning his journey into online journalism. Maney is the author of the critically acclaimed The Maverick and His Machine: Thomas Watson Sr. and the Making of I.B.M., published in 2003 by John Wiley & Sons and later made into a BBC special. He also wrote the 1995 BusinessWeek bestseller Megamedia Shakeout: The Inside Story of the Leaders and the Losers in the Exploding Communications Industry. Maney has a B.A. in English and journalism from Rutgers University.

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