The rantings of a beautiful mind

On life, society, and computer technology.

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Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

I live in the Fortress of Solitude. I drive the Silver Beast. My obsession is justice. I used to be a Windows software developer. I retired in 2000 when my stock options helped me achieve financial security.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

'Origami' Done Right

The iPhone is iPod-attractive and when announced, moved Apple’s stock price up sharply, showcasing the advantage of executing completely on a good idea and then presenting that idea in a way the market could get excited about.

When you realize that Apple only announced 2 major products at MacWorld, yet stole the thunder from all of CES with thousands of vendors and millions of products, you have to feel that there are a lot of humiliated people in and around the consumer technology market today.


In the 5 months before the iPhone comes out, these folks will analyze the Apple product and come up with something that could be even better and with a motivation to do so.

Perhaps. But I want to make two points: First, it’s the brilliant integration of iPod/cellphone/mobile computer through the revolutionary “multi-touch” interface that sets iPhone apart from the rest of the market, and other companies will not be able to replicate this kind of innovation anytime soon. Remember, it took Apple over two and a half years of intensive R&D to come up with this. What can Microsoft, Motorola, and Nokia achieve over the next 6 (or even 12) months? Do they have engineering and design talent that can match Apple’s? Microsoft has repeatedly demonstrated that they don’t.

Since Apple has patented the hell out of the iPhone, these other companies will have to come up with totally new and original innovations. Such developments cannot be made on demand. True genius only arises once in a blue moon.

Second, these companies will have to find worthy substitutes for iPod and OS X-based devices. To date, all smartphones have had really wimpy media players and PDA functionality. Again, we’re talking about user interfaces. From the perspective of the consumer, the user interface is the MP3 player, the user interface is the personal computer. This is the challenge for these companies.


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