iPhone buzz refuses to die down after a Mac-less MacWorld

by Bharat Suneja

The furore surrounding Apple’s iPhone announcement refuses to die down (depending on whether you’re a faithful Mac/iPod user wedded to Apple, a Microsoft-basher – and there’s no dearth of these – or not). However, sanity seems to be returning to the world. The fact is, what many consider to be the sexiest phone ever to show up on the planet won’t actually be available for a few more months.

Though nowhere close in magnitude, the pre-launch hype does remind me of another phone (that I couldn’t stand after a couple of days but had to endure for a week) – the Moto Q.

What got a lot less attention amidst all the iPhone fanfare was the change of name that the company formerly known as Apple Computer, Inc. went through – they struck out the word computer from the name, so it’s now Apple, Inc. Nice! Don’t let that make you think – even for a moment – they’ll stop making great-looking computers and a cool-looking OS to go along with it. However, it certainly signals Apple’s serious bid for the home entertainment and consumer electronics kingdom, much more than the rapid-fire iPod releases did over the past 5 years.

Paul Thurott’s newsletter title puts it quite succinctly – “At Mac-less MacWorld, Apple Completes Transition to Consumer Electronics Company“.

As long as Apple doesn’t pack up its bag of toys and leave the personal computer business altogether, and there are no such indicators that it will, I am all for this change.

Don’t get me wrong – I’ve loved Apple products for as long as I can remember now, and this official entry in the consumer electronics space gives Apple another opportunity at showing off its excellent design finesse. I’ve been seriously considering buying a MacBook Pro laptop to run Windows Vista, and am probably the first and perhaps the only person not known to the world (until now) to have run Active Directory and Exchange on an Intel-powered Mac Mini! :)

I’ve loved their creativity, their stress on simplicity in product design (just ask the thousands of die-hard Apple fans), their advertising, and – not to forget – their cool product names. They own the entire stack – the hardware, the OS, most peripherals that really sell, and many cool apps as well. They charge a premium for their product, and get it.

However, Apple has never really made any serious attempts at targeting enterprise/business customers. Though they’ve recently started making forays into that space with servers, storage, et al, and the current flavors of Mac OS are based on Unix, they don’t seem to have met with any significant success.

The iPhone is a perfect example of why Apple isn’t so wildly popular in the enterprise. All they needed to do to ensure it is a device most Blackberry and Treo-toting execs, VPs and management types would consider or actually crave for was to make it work with Exchange Server’s DirectPush / Exchange ActiveSync. Popular consumer electronics blog Engadget.com asks: Will the iPhone support Exchange Direct Push? We can speculate all we want about why Apple chose not to do that, or if they actually had a choice.

In his MacWorld keynote, Steve Jobs did claim the iPhone will support many different email systems – including Exchange. As long as you use IMAP.

Or you could switch to using Yahoo Mail if you really want push email so bad.

Thanks, but no thanks Steve! :)

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Carl June 9, 2007 at 12:12 am

I guess to some degree Jobs thinks in terms of changing things, not specifically fixing them (why fix exchange connectivity when you can beat a new more profitable path?).

Basically, new tech over old tech, jump the curve type of move is what I’m guessing. Though I’m sure down the track, they will add in support for old tech just to spread the viability of the device to a wider customer base.


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