Apple

And the crowd goes wild

In the wash-up of the iPhone announcement, there has been a lack of analysis by way of wrestling metaphors. I seek to fill this void by thinking about it in terms of the browser war.

In the wash-up of the iPhone announcement, there has been a lack of analysis by way of wrestling metaphors. I seek to fill this void by thinking about it in terms of the browser war.

Picture, if you will, a Royal Rumble and Andre the Giant (alias IE7) has been laying back in the corner for what seems like an eternity, as is his want. Hulk Hogan (Firefox) has been running around looking good, the Hulkamaniacs are hollering and hooting but it doesn't effect Andre who will from time to time choke slam Hogan and go back into his corner. He calls it
conserving energy, others say that he is too fat.

Peripheral to the main Andre/Hogan stoush, there has been two luchadores encircling, just waiting for an opening. One is called Opera — the Great Norwegian Hope and other is known as Safari the Konqueror.

Unknown to the other competitors, the turtlenecked manager of Safari has snuck what looks like a glossy black board of some kind to his young charger. Which Safari is proceeding to beat about the heads of his opponents! Oh it is bedlam here!

Cutting back to reality, according to the numbers presented by Steve Jobs during his keynote, the mobile phone market easily surpasses the personal computing market. No surprises there and the killer punch is that the iPhone uses Safari and renders HTML properly.

"Big deal!" you may retort, "Nokia uses mini Opera already". You would be right. The one thing that separates the iPhone from other fully Internet capable mobile devices is that this baby is going to sell like full strength beer at a cricket match! (Or hotcakes.)

Jobs wants 10 million sales in the first year and suddenly there is the propensity for 10 million new Safari users to appear in your Web logs.

If the vision Apple sees for the iPhone comes anywhere near to fruition, the mobile Internet device will turn from a quaint little sideshow into a mainstream viewing device.

This means that suddenly all those little Safari glitches that appear on Web sites may find a new audience that will be none too pleased to see errors on their shiny new iPhone.

Apple has startled the competition and inexorably linked browser choice to the choice of mp3 player and mobile phone — and they have a very good chance of getting away with it.

If ever you needed an excuse to move Web sites towards standards compliance and appearing the same in all browsers, there is now a better one than ever.

About Chris Duckett

Some would say that it is a long way from software engineering to journalism, others would correctly argue that it is a mere 10 metres according to the floor plan.During his first five years with CBS Interactive, Chris started his journalistic advent...

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