Before I watched the preview video, there was one big feature which was being Twittered and talked about… copy / cut and paste. No way. Imagine that, being able to copy some text and paste it elsewhere. Those whacky Apple guys, what will they think of next?
Okay, I’m being a little sarcastic, although as a non-iPhone / iPod touch user I wasn’t aware that copy / cut and paste wasn’t available on the device. Watching the video the support via the user interface looks very good, and includes a shake to undo (so maybe no good for people who are jogging or are very nervous).
Coincidentally I was at an IDC Unified Communications conference yesterday, and speaking to one of their analysts at lunch we discussed the iPhone and BlackBerry. The IDC analyst was of the opinion that the iPhone was firmly aimed at the consumer market. When you start to watch Apple’s video you could be forgiven for agreeing with him. They focus a great deal on gaming, music and social networking applications. There’s some very cool stuff – I know a certain 11 year old who was excited to hear about the Sims 3 and the characters’ ability to dig into the iTunes content on the device via the game. Multi-user gaming was pitched at bored kids on a car journey, although you could see the peer-to-peer connectivity being useful in a business context.
However, there was some business focus within the address – Oracle took to the stage, there were testimonials for medical applications, push-messaging is supported, as is support for calendar standards. There are huge array of features exposed via APIs for application developers – ability to make better use of Google maps being just one of them.
Cynics may say that Apple are confused and haven’t decided what they want the iPhone to be. For now I’d say that it seems to be emerging as a very powerful platform. So far my experience is that it hasn’t gathered major interest from corporate customers – lots of people have them in their hands but I haven’t seen anyone planning a mobile strategy around them in the way they do with BlackBerry. Clearly it’s important that we, IBM Lotus, support the iPhone with solutions such as iNotes Ultralite, Sametime Mobile and Connections Mobile. More APIs and more enterprise-ready features could see great acceptance from the corporate market, and also allow us to build better solutions.