Technology

Top 3 Reasons Droid won’t be an iPhone killer (and why this is a good thing)

competitionMotorola and Google are out for blood with the Droid campaign, let there be no doubt.  The direct, between the teeth knocks at the iPhone have definitely upped the ante in the battle of the smartphones.  But will the Droid really be be an ‘iPhone killer?’  Here are the top 3 reasons why I don’t believe so, and why this is a good thing for marketers and consumers.

1. iTunes. iPhone integrates with iTunes seamlessly and easily, and with the largest catalog of music online, you can bet that this will keep Apple on solid ground with the iPhone for some time to come.  Matt Rosoff at CNET sums this up nicely in this article.   I remember back when the LG Chocolate came out and how cool I thought it was.  That is, until I tried to get my music into the phone.  It was a nightmare.  It all sounded great in the ads and on the website, but when I got the phone home and actually started using it, my delusions of utopia quickly faded.  I’m one of the millions of people that like the fact that Apple makes it easy to catalog my music and take it with me wherever I go.  Is iTunes perfect?  No.  But it does what I need without a great deal of fuss.  The ease of use and direct integration to iPhone cannot be underscored enough.

2. App Store. Technically part of iTunes, sure, but this deserves its own point.  Apple is WAY ahead of the competition with apps, and now has over 100,000 apps available in the app store.  For many users, this is the ballgame.  Apps take the iPhone to a new level and allow unprecedented customization of the user experience.  This opens up all kinds of doors for reaching on-the-go consumers.  The opportunities are substantial for developers and forward-thinking marketers, and with so much momentum behind it, it’s highly unlikely that many successful developers or marketers are going to abandon the app store for greener pastures.  Rather, those same developers and marketers will likely look at the Android Market as a new opportunity to reach even more customers, not a replacement for Apple’s App Store.

3. Innovation at Apple. Like them or hate them, Apple knows how to innovate.  You don’t have to look hard to appreciate the truly innovative spirit of the company.  They obviously put a lot of emphasis on the user experience, not just functionality.  They already have a great product that people love, but I’d be willing to bet that they are hard at work on the next iteration of the iPhone (probably even harder now that Droid is about to hit the scene).  This is the beauty of competition – it propels the market forward.

As the competition heats up, the opportunities for everyone will expand exponentially.  This is a great thing for consumers, regardless if they own an iPhone, a Droid, or neither, as developers and marketers will look for ways to win over customers with new features, competitive pricing, sexier phones, etc.  This is also great for Marketers, because with all the emphasis on the battle for new smartphone customers, many more doors are opening for connecting with consumers on-the-go.  We are only limited by our imagination for what experiences we can enable and the value we can provide to our constituents.  That should be music to all of our ears.

What do you think is going to happen with the launch of Droid?  Should Apple be scared?

Top 3 Reasons Droid won't be an iPhone killer (and why this is a good thing)

competitionMotorola and Google are out for blood with the Droid campaign, let there be no doubt.  The direct, between the teeth knocks at the iPhone have definitely upped the ante in the battle of the smartphones.  But will the Droid really be be an ‘iPhone killer?’  Here are the top 3 reasons why I don’t believe so, and why this is a good thing for marketers and consumers.

1. iTunes. iPhone integrates with iTunes seamlessly and easily, and with the largest catalog of music online, you can bet that this will keep Apple on solid ground with the iPhone for some time to come.  Matt Rosoff at CNET sums this up nicely in this article.   I remember back when the LG Chocolate came out and how cool I thought it was.  That is, until I tried to get my music into the phone.  It was a nightmare.  It all sounded great in the ads and on the website, but when I got the phone home and actually started using it, my delusions of utopia quickly faded.  I’m one of the millions of people that like the fact that Apple makes it easy to catalog my music and take it with me wherever I go.  Is iTunes perfect?  No.  But it does what I need without a great deal of fuss.  The ease of use and direct integration to iPhone cannot be underscored enough.

2. App Store. Technically part of iTunes, sure, but this deserves its own point.  Apple is WAY ahead of the competition with apps, and now has over 100,000 apps available in the app store.  For many users, this is the ballgame.  Apps take the iPhone to a new level and allow unprecedented customization of the user experience.  This opens up all kinds of doors for reaching on-the-go consumers.  The opportunities are substantial for developers and forward-thinking marketers, and with so much momentum behind it, it’s highly unlikely that many successful developers or marketers are going to abandon the app store for greener pastures.  Rather, those same developers and marketers will likely look at the Android Market as a new opportunity to reach even more customers, not a replacement for Apple’s App Store.

3. Innovation at Apple. Like them or hate them, Apple knows how to innovate.  You don’t have to look hard to appreciate the truly innovative spirit of the company.  They obviously put a lot of emphasis on the user experience, not just functionality.  They already have a great product that people love, but I’d be willing to bet that they are hard at work on the next iteration of the iPhone (probably even harder now that Droid is about to hit the scene).  This is the beauty of competition – it propels the market forward.

As the competition heats up, the opportunities for everyone will expand exponentially.  This is a great thing for consumers, regardless if they own an iPhone, a Droid, or neither, as developers and marketers will look for ways to win over customers with new features, competitive pricing, sexier phones, etc.  This is also great for Marketers, because with all the emphasis on the battle for new smartphone customers, many more doors are opening for connecting with consumers on-the-go.  We are only limited by our imagination for what experiences we can enable and the value we can provide to our constituents.  That should be music to all of our ears.

What do you think is going to happen with the launch of Droid?  Should Apple be scared?

iPhone, Android, Google, oh my…

So, here we are on the eve of the launch of the new Dream Smartphone from  HTC/T-Mobile.  It will be interesting to see how this expands opportunities in Social Media in the mobile sphere.  Certainly there will be many more custom applications being developed for the new Android platform, so you’ve got to wonder if this is the next ‘thing’ or just another ‘me too’ (remember the Zune, anyone?).  Regardless if this particular phone grabs attention from the iPhone, it’s clear that the Android platform will definitely be a player (and possibly a game changer) as it rolls out and gets fine-tuned.  While this particular phone lacks the elegance and panache of the iPhone, it makes up for this in powerful functionality at your fingertips.  Competition is good, and I’m sure this will spark a new race to provide the most functionality in the sleekest device possible.

This almost sounds like a movie we’ve seen before with the Social Networks.  Think MySpace and Facebook a couple of years back.  In the end, they are both still relevant, and have their own strengths and opportunities for brands.  This is just one more reason to get onboard with Social Media and mobile apps right now.  Waiting around to see what happens will cost more in the end.  Start thinking about how you can add value to your customer on the go.  Whether you develop an application for iPhone or Android, engage on Facebook or MySpace, or all of the above, the time is now.  The holidays are fast approaching, and you can bet that this season we’ll be seeing a lot more Smartphones in the hands of everyday consumers.  Time to get moving!

iPhone Changes the Game (again)

Wow – what a day for technology and marketers too!  Release glitches notwithstanding, the release of the new iPhone 3G is going to usher in a new era of mobile media consumption and the proliferation of consumers who have even greater access to information and the ability to stay connected with their friends.  Of course, the usual suspects like MySpace and Facebook already have applications for the iPhone that will no doubt reinforce their place as a mainstay of the daily life of millions of people worldwide.  But iPhone is making waves with other, more traditional media outlets also – The New York Times and AOL among them.  And then there is my favorite of all – Pandora.  I’ve written about Pandora before, but it’s perhaps the coolest website for discovering and sharing music ever created, and it’s totally FREE!  Now Pandora is making the leap to the iPhone, which is going to change the game of how people discover and listen to their favorite music, once again.

With a price point of just $199 and the addition of enterprise functions such as integration with MS Exchange, the iPhone is going to explode into a totally different dimension.  The big guns obviously see it, but it’s going to be interesting to see how other marketers react and embrace (or not embrace) this incredible emerging medium.  I think it would be wise for marketers to take note of this phenomenon and figure out how to carve out a niche that helps customers stay more connected with their brand.  The time is now!  Like the old adage goes: Lead, follow, or get out of the way!