Sure it did. It showed they were "cool" and knew what was popular. Remember, there are people who choose what to wear, drive, eat, etc based on whatever everyone else is doing, independent of the inherent value (or lack of value) the device has.
Wow, you completely missed his point.
He is saying that increased ownership adds inherent value to the app store because a larger market attracts increased developer attention and more apps, some of which will be better or will address previously neglected niche needs. That, by extension, adds inherent value to the device.
It is interesting to observe how many tech enthusiasts are completely missing a major shift occurring right in front of them, because they have developed reflex reactions to certain companies. In the case of Apple, some people can't get past the idea that there might be something more to their products than cool branding and snob appeal.
... or until our two-year wireless contracts run out and there is a new shiny toy from another manufacturer to be had.
Hmmm, I'm not sure that there actually is any way for the other manufacturers to catch up, not within the next 5 years anyway. The iPhone came in at a high end price 2 years ago and, since then, Apple has steadily reduced the price and imporved the technology, just as it did with the iPod.
The iPhone's secret sauce is the app store. The iPhone is the only gadget that becomes more useful, not less, the longer you own it, because you build up a highly personalized collection of apps that you integrate into your daily workflow. The money and, more importantly, the time you invest into those apps cannot be transferred to another type of smartphone.
To draw users away from the iPhone, a competitor would have to produce a significantly better phone AND a selection of apps as diverse as those available on the app store. Apple's monopoly boils down to the fact that there is almost no way to persuade a massive number of independent developers to drop all the time they've already invested into learning how to create iPhone apps and move to a market with far fewer customers than the combined iPhone + iPod Touch market.
I can't think of one single bit of technology, other than a phone and television, that I have used consistently for decades.
You've been using Windows for decades, right?
Another example of a technology that has been dominant for decades would be gas pumps - you drive a car, right?
Steve Jobs was in a perfect position to see how Microsoft created a monopoly, he learned a painful lesson.
Now, almost three decades later, he is putting that hard-earned knowledge to good use and could very well end up with a far bigger monopoly than MS ever had. It seems likely that billions of humans will have their first experience of being connected to the Internet not via desktop or laptop computers, but via cheaper smartphones. In this case, the hype is right: the world is clearly shifting to mobile computing.
Microsoft never controlled or received a percentage of third-party applications on the Windows platform, Apple does. Microsoft never really managed to establish a widespread subscription model, Apple has achieved precisely that via the telcos. Looking at it from any angle, Apple is set to dominate computing for quite a while.
the new movie will not be related to the recently concluded SyFy Network series.
Look, I'm not trying to get at your personally, just as I couldn't give a damn if the corporate entity known as Apple exploded into a million pieces. What I'm observing is that they have somehow integrated existing technologies into a package that becomes more useful to ordinary users over time, more useful than they thought it would be when they made the original decision to purchase. That is a pretty special achievement for any gadget and what it means is that it is changing it's users' habits. That is why it was worthy of a specific mention - not because it is a mainstream device yet, but because it is the only such device which, today, is making headway into the mainstream and is evidently changing the habits of it's users, and changes of that type will affect the future.
Twitter and Facebook are good examples, I know tons of people to who would never have used either if the iPhone didn't make it so simple and convenient. On the desktop, they always seemed like a waste of time but, as something you can quickly check while out and about, they make sense.
Games are also a good example: I stopped buying games ten years ago and stopped playing them about five years ago. I assumed that they were something I had grown out of and I was plenty busy with other stuff. When I bought the iPhone, games were the last thing on my mind and, anyway, I presumed that it would not be a very capable gaming platform. Somehow, the app store lured me back into gaming, first with free games, then a couple of dollar games and, now, I'm playing often enough to justify buying the occasional five dollar game, such as Peggle.
That sort of spending may not seem like much when the gaming industry deals in billions but, you have to remember, I am just one of hundreds of millions of people who had left gaming behind and who certainly would never have considered buying a handheld gaming device. Yes, so far, Apple have only sold 24 million iPhones, so, those hundreds of millions of people have not yet been drawn back into gaming but, just as with the iPod, Apple will ruthlessly pursue market share. Yes, there will be other phones but, think about it: a key part of value for the consumer is the app store, and no other manufacturer is going to be able to catch up with the momentum it has already generated. Developers are making far more than they originally anticipated, certainly more than they've made on any other mobile platform, and that windfall will only grow as the price of the base iPhone model drops and it enters more territories. The Palm Pre might be an amazing phone but, as a developer, am I going to invest my time into it when I've already got million of potential customers on iTunes? As a customer, am I going to buy a Pre if it can't run my favorite apps? We've already seen how this plays out with Windows, what's the point of denying reality?
No, the iPhone reference was important: the keynote was about "Extrapolating the Near Future of Gaming". When you extrapolate, you pull from what is happening today. The iPhone has shown that many normal, non-techie folks will use technology in unexpected way, and to an unexpected extent, if you make it easy enough for them.
It doesn't matter if hardcore techies think that the iPhone is "childish" or if they think it is a badge of honor to continue using their Motorola V980, it really doesn't matter at all.
What matters is what the mass of ordinary consumers move towards and, right now, today, Apple are creating a mobile platform and eco-system that could very well remain dominant for the next couple of decades, just as MS did on the desktop.
But the key point is that the iPhone shows that good design can pull mainstream users towards technologies that were previously adopted only by relatively small niche groups, such as
... I hope no worthwhile human beings died in the crash.
PL/I -- "the fatal disease" -- belongs more to the problem set than to the solution set. -- Edsger W. Dijkstra, SIGPLAN Notices, Volume 17, Number 5