This week's announcement of the next-generation iPhone 4 revealed attractive new features, but how will it affect business users? Things like camera upgrades, the Netflix app, and Gyroscope are designed to excite consumers, but will all the bells and whistles add up to a surge in business use or possibly the opposite, especially with Google's Android coming on strong? AT&T's clamping down on data usage with a 2G cap might dampen enthusiasm for those who would be heavy users, as ZDNet's Sam Diaz sees it:
With caps in place, customers will have to monitor their usage, just as they've done in the past with voice minutes. There's one big difference, though - average consumers grow up with an understanding of time and therefore have a sense of how to track voice minutes. Same goes with things like gasoline. We know about how many miles/kilometers we can travel on a single gallon/liter of fuel - and our cars come with built-in gauges so we can keep track of what's left in the tank.
Data usage is a bit trickier.
Depending on one's business, FaceTime, the video calling feature, could be the "killer app" that sets the iPhone apart from competitors. As analyst Charlie Wolf told ZDNet's David Morgenstern, "FaceTime is going to be an app that makes this phone unique for quite a while. The overall impression of the competitors, Microsoft or [Google] Android, is that they are a generation or an upgrade cycle behind the iPhone." But not everyone is so optimistic, as demonstrated in this excerpt from a report on Telegraph.co.uk:
Outside Apple, however, video calling has historically met with a mixed reception. Whether its from application developers such as Fring today, Skype or countless other attempts over the years, it has yet to catch on. Adam Leach is principal analyst at Ovum: "We shouldn't get too excited that it's going to be an overnight success," he says. "Look at video calling's long and miserable history - it was supposed to be the killer apps third-generation networks, but people generally don't use it. Behaviourally consumers have never really shown much interest."
Do you think Apple is going to be the company that gets video calling right and pushes it into the mainstream? How much of its success is dependent on network providers?
I've included some of the video from WWDC, if you want to see a little demo of some of these features.Video calling
Netflix on the iPhone
Selena has been at TechRepublic since 2002. She is currently a Senior Editor with a background in technical writing, editing, and research. She edits Data Center, Linux and Open Source, Apple in the Enterprise, The Enterprise Cloud, Web Designer, and IT Security blogs.