Last September I blogged about the impact of the iPhone on mobile commerce
. In that post I focused on the fact that the iPhone browsing interface was so efficient that it could make irrelevant the very young and often over-hyped mobile e-commerce
movement. When you can browse so efficiently from a mobile device, why would you need special mobile specific programs?
In a recent MediaPost Search Insider Blog
post (free registration required) Matt Greitzer
of Avenue A/Razorfish
discussed a several months old release from Google claiming that they received 50 times more search requests from the iPhone than any other mobile device. Mr. Greitzer
continues to put this in perspective by noting that the iPhone, while extremely popular, is not the dominant player in the market place. Long blog post summarized, the iPhone is so much better than the competitors at browsing that it is resetting expectations and creating a philosophical shift on how people will use mobile devices in the near future.
I witnessed this first hand over the weekend. My wife and I were flying to DC with her business partner for the Cooper-Hewitt design awards luncheon. Severe thunderstorms in and around DC forced us to divert to Pittsburgh
as we were low on fuel after circling in a holding pattern for an hour or so. After several hours on the ground, we were released back to the runway to try again. As we taxied out, the pilot came on the intercom again and announced we were yet again on hold. We really needed to be in DC by 10 am the next AM and we were getting panicked.
It was a full flight and we were last minuted additions so we were all sitting separately. I with my Samsung BlackJack
, my wife and business partner
with their first gen iPhones
. My wife and I started texting
each other trying to figure out an option if we couldn't get out that night. In the space of a few minutes her business partner had found a rental car and hotel online via her iPhone and had emailed them to us. Even though I run the latest Windows Mobile 6 at 3G speeds (vs. the much slower Edge of the first gen iPhones
) that would have taken me at least 10x longer on the BlackJack
. The iPhone interface and Safari browser is just that much better. No special mobile sites or tools needed! Luckily, we are in the air a few minutes later, but that iPhone session could have saved us critical time and was incredibly convenient as we sat on the runway.
With the introduction of the latest iPhone 3g last week, I suspect that the lead iPhone has already in this area will only grow wider and wider. Congrats to Apple and a cautionary tale to any start-up reliant on years of highly specific mobile commerce business to come their way.