Well for the first time I ever, I became a real fanboi! I got a new iPhone 3G 16Gb and I queued up for 2 hours in the rain to get at from 7.30 this morning.
Fanboi-ness asides, the introduction of this particular iPhone has serious ramifications for the digital marketing business.
Firstly, it could be acquired for free or for a very small amount of money on a tariff that wouldn’t be beyond most people’s monthly mobile budget. This guarantees (supply-shortages not included) that saturation of the marketplace with this particular smart phone is going to be quite quick as people latch onto the relative free/cheapness of this desirable device.
Marry this to the number of unlimited 3G surfing devices and the use of various other handsets, we’re now in a position to start really thinking about how we can market to people using this ubiquitous technology. The devices are quite sophisticated and can handle a variety of different media communications approaches. In addition, Apple have locked every user into the iTunes platform which provides for marketing in a unique way (albeit for the sale of digital commodities that will fill Apple’s pockets). This platform in particular could offer some future marketeer a particularly powerful way to communicate with customers, and no other platform has the acceptance (and locked-in-ness) of iTunes. Also look at the fact that Google have got two of their applications right onto the front screen of the iPhone. You can see people are thinking of revenue models all ready.
Where’s it all going? We’ll need to look at subtle ways of geting and using the permission to communicate via this medum with customers – learning lessons from early mistakes made in social media marketing. At some point everyone will have a device as sophisticated as this. And that’s more people than will have a regular PC at home. It’s the way people want to communicate.