What would happen if arm manufacturers really did turn their swords to ploughshares? I think we might get a company like Apple.
The release of the iPhone 4 at a hardware and manufacturing level and iOS 4.0 at a software level is starting to convincingly demonstrate the multi-generational advantage Apple is piling up in almost every part of this amazing new digital eco-system that is being born.
The sheer research and development advances in materials and manufacturing processes means that Apple can create a stunningly thin, amazing devices with equally stunning
battery life and display.
Develop and control
Before a software vendor such as Microsoft or Google can compete, it must first develop and control those kinds of technologies and IP. Traditional mobile hardware vendors such as HTC, which may know a trick or two of their own, are faced with the reverse problem.
The App, iTunes and iBooks Store, iOS and the jaw-dropping magic in Apple's touch and gesture algorithms (as just one example) are complex, well-thought-out software platforms that hardware vendors such as HTC, Nokia, HP and Dell HAVE to replicate with as MUCH polish as Apple, before they can even enter the game. This is why HP bought Palm - its hope is to add the Palm software and user sensibilities to its hardware and sales prowess.
But right now, I ask - who really can challenge Apple?
To see the retina display in person, and then to understand with a dead certainty that it will appear on an iPad soon, is to begin to appreciate the scope of the media juggernaut iOS devices are going to be.
Print will certainly be rejuvenated since the iPad is a dream device right now in terms of form factor and battery life for them - add the quality of the retina display and you have a perfect storm of factor contributing to making it a newsreader, media viewer of choice.
The craftsmanship, technological daring (some sheer high frontier science) and innovation Apple demonstrates reminds me of the kind of effort put into developing amazing weapons systems for a highly demanding defence department. We didn't have things such as lasers, velcro, super-glue until the Space Race, the Cold War etc spurred a mad scramble of R&D.
Apple's innovations are softer, more human ones, changing the way we work, play and learn. Apple treats the consumer experience as passionately as the military industrial complex treat their state clients.
I wish other consumer companies would do the same.
[25 Jun 2010 12:54]