Does anyone remember what the mobile market was like before the iPhone?
Kontra, author of the counternotions blog does.
- Carriers ruled the industry with an iron fist
- To access carriers’ networks handset makers capitulated everything
- Carriers dictated phone designs, features, apps, prices, marketing, advertising and branding
- Phones were reduced to cheap, disposable lures for carriers’ service contracts
- There was no revenue sharing between carriers and manufacturers
- There was no notion of phone networks becoming dumb pipes anytime soon
- Affordable, unlimited data plans as standard were unheard of
- A phone that would entice people to switch networks by the millions was a pipe dream
- Mobile devices were phones first and last, not usable handheld computers
- Even the smartest phones didn’t have seamless WiFi integration
- Without Visual Voice Mail, messages couldn’t be managed non-linearly
- There were no manufacturer owned and operated on-the-phone application stores as the sole source
- An on-the-phone store having 65,000 apps downloaded nearly 2 billion times was not on anyone’s radar screen
- Low-cost, high-volume app pricing strategy with a 70/30 split didn’t exist
- Robust one-click in-app transactions were unknown
- There was no efficient, large scale, consistent and lucrative mobile app market for developers large and small
- Buttons, keys, joysticks, sliders…anything but the screen was the focus of phones
- Phones didn’t come with huge 3.5″ touch screens
- Pervasive multitouch, gesture-based UI was science fiction
- Actually usable, multi-language, multitouch virtual keyboards on phones didn’t exist
- Integrated sensors like accelerometers and proximity detectors had no place in phones
- Phones could never compete in 3D/gaming with dedicated portable consoles
- iPod-class audio/video players on mobiles didn’t exist
- No phone had ever offered a desktop-like web browser experience
- Sophisticated SDKs and phones were strangers to each other
If you remember what the MP3 music and player market was like before iPod?
- Dozens of models with awful interfaces (I had a Thomson Lyra)
- Half a dozen lame ways of loading your music (I had a Thomson Lyra)
- Slow slow slow loading of music over serial (I had a Thomson Lyra)
- Tiny amounts of storage in tiny devices (I had a Thomson Lyra)
- Large amounts of storage in big clunky devices (I ‘m looking at you Archos)
- Cross encoding into proprietary music formats (I had a Thomson Lyra)
- Battery life counted in minutes (I had a Thomson Lyra)
- Shoddy plastics, serial ports (I had a Thomson Lyra)
- Expensive subscription models for proprietary tat.
- One device eligible for use with bought music (I had a Thomson Lyra)
- Zero music portability (I had a Thomson Lyra)
- And the list goes on. (Did I mention I had a Thomson Lyra)
So Apple revolutionised this market with the iPod, just as they have recently done the same with the mobile market. What market should they change next?
The Tablet market, no?