iPhone OS 4.0 in-depth analysis: who's targeting Apple with the new OS?
Apple's iPhone OS 4 may have more than 100 new features, but it established three big targets for Apple: Microsoft, Google and RIM. To some extent, it also showed that Apple considers Palm and Nokia to be irrelevant.
The new OS which Apple announced April 8th has plenty of innovative abilities. But it doesn't exist in a vacuum; Apple is fighting for market share against powerful rivals. So Apple made sure to take some time to chip away at their top competitors' strengths.
Google's growing Android OS may be Apple's top mobile target right now. Steve Jobs spent more time talking about iAd than any other feature of OS 4, and with reason. iAd could make Apple a mountain of money, while at the same time attacking new nemesis Google.
According to our liveblog of the event, Steve Jobs said that "on a mobile device, search isn't happening" and that "ads on the Web are not capable of delivering emotion." Search and Web ads are Google's core businesses; they're how Google makes their money and dominates the Internet.
With iAd, Apple isn't just taking down the myriad smaller mobile ad networks out there; they're declaring that Google's businesses have no place on the iPhone.
The Apple-Google relationship is complicated, of course. You don't see Apple removing Google Maps from their phones (yet.) But with Android gaining a lot of buzz and a bit of marketshare, iAd is Apple taking the fight to Google's home turf.
Windows Phone 7 also came under attack from iPhone OS 4, as Apple hit at two of the core strengths of Microsoft's new mobile OS. Apple's Game Center is their answer to XBox Live, a social gaming platform with avatars, achievements and conversations built in. XBox Live, of course, is a core element of Windows Phone 7.
Apple's approach to multitasking, meanwhile, is the exact same compromise that Microsoft struck in Windows Phone 7. Just like Microsoft, Apple is exposing a limited set of services for third party developers to run in the background. But while Microsoft is still being coy about which background services they'll allow, Apple specified seven.
Apple is still moving much faster than Microsoft, too. Microsoft announced Windows Phone 7 in February, and it won't come out until this fall. But Apple's similar features are arriving this summer.
RIM's BlackBerry line is still by far the most popular with businesses, and Apple hit at that market with iPhone OS 4, too. Mobile device management and wireless app distribution are two big RIM differentiators - IT departments love BlackBerries because they can be centrally controlled. Now iPhones have some of the same capabilities. Of course, businesses also love BlackBerries because they're available on every wireless carrier, which iPhones still can't manage.
Finally, it was pretty clear that while Apple needed to make specific moves on Google's, RIM's and Microsoft's strengths, two other competitors weren't such priorities.
Palm's specialities are social network integration and multitasking, and Apple didn't seem that interested in stealing a march there. Nokia's global market share is huge, but Apple has never seemed interested in copying or countering Nokia's initiatives. I didn't see anything in OS 4 to make me change my mind there, either. Source: [pcmag.com]
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