Apple’s Genius Regarding the iPhone Roadmap

Apple released their roadmap for the iPhone today, talking about what they plan on doing with it, showing developers what they’ll be able to do with the SDK (it’ll be much better developing apps for the phone istself rather than the web browser), and my two favorite additions to iPhone functionality are 1) adding MS Exchange support to the phone which gives the phone access to most corporate email systems now and 2) the ability to remotely wipe the phone clean of data should it be stolen.

Here’s what I’m really seeing out of this however. Apple releases a wildly popular product with consumers. We’ve come to expect that from Apple. And of course being in the limelight, there are many critical eyes on what Apple releases. “No SDK!” and “No exchange support!” were two biggies that were most often talked about. “The iPhone has no chance going against the BlackBerry without Exchange support.”

What Apple did was genius. They create a simple to use smartphone (with elegant design of course). I don’t even think Apple intended for this to be a BlackBerry competitor. However, they release what they want to release yet leave it flexible enough to add what needs to be added when they hear back from the masses. The masses wanted Exchange support and now each new iPhone will come with it built in. They let the general population do the test marketing and dictate what would be featured in a great product. The first iPhone was no failure by any means, yet after releasing what they wanted for the consumers and then listening to the enterprise wish list, they now have a product for both consumers and business. Genius I say.

1 Comment

  1. I agree that Apple’s roadmap is genius…but I have to disagree on a few things.

    I think Apple’s goal was to create a platform. They used smart design to make a platform that was expandable and flexible. I think Apple absolutely intended to challenge the Blackberry and that their roadmap shows the way far into the future. I don’t believe they are trying to 100% dominate the corporate IT departments (not yet anyway), but consumer adoption of smartphones has been a huge growth area and Apple wanted to snatch that up from Palm and RIM first, and use that as an entry point to breech corporate customers.

    Also, Apple employees have told me first-hand that the company’s attitude is not to rely on consumer feedback to drive/dictate product design. Rather, Apple sees it as their job to help the consumer understand what it is that they really want/need (read: the avg consumer is not a product designer and given the chance will tell you that they want 10,000 inane features; in actuality they really just want to be told what they want/need…ex: an iPod with one button).


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