iPhone: One year later

Apple's splash into the mobile phone market proved consumers will pay for hip devices. Now the race is on to one-up the iPhone.

Another year in spotlight?

Whether the iPhone, with its 2.0 release, continues to be the sexy new thing for another year depends on many factors. Competition will play a role. For example, Nokia, the biggest mobile-phone maker in the world, is marshaling resources around an iPhone-beater, code-named Tube, that could have an important influence on that company's market share in the US. And Nokia is just one of a number of healthy companies vying for the same customers as Apple.

In addition, endorsements or quiet rejections of iPhone 2.0 by major corporations for business users will inevitably affect sales, although most prognosticators don't believe there will be many outright rebuffs.

A wild card is how well other operating systems -- including those from more established manufacturers, the coming Linux-based Android platform, or even open-source rivals Open Moko and LiMo -- will do in the market. Android devices could be paired with hundreds of open market applications, even ones from garage-based developers who believe that the future of computing is in the palms of our hands.

Meanwhile, Apple, with its insistence on distributing applications only through its AppStore, faces a potential user backlash "that will make even Microsoft look like an open company," Gold claims. Some corporate IT executives have already expressed worries about being locked into "the Apple way."

Whatever happens in the next 12 months with the iPhone, it's safe to say that the device has already made its mark. However, that place in history could be fleeting, given the astounding number of wireless handheld computing innovations on the table.

Yes, all parties agree that iPhone has altered the smart-phone landscape. A lot has happened in one year.

Now what?

Next: A Trickle into the Enterprise?

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Matt Hamblen

Computerworld

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