Archive for iPhone 3GS
The name reminds me of the Porsche Boxter S or the Aston Martin DBS. Not sure if that was what they were going for. Anyway the new phone was announced on 8th June at WWDC.
Details are here
The main points:
- 16GM and 32GB versions will cost US$199 and $299 respectively. Old iPhone 3G will now be US$99.
- Faster than the 3G version due to more RAM etc
- Better camera (3 Megapix – which is all you need) and it takes video (which is big. More significant than people think it will be due to the ease of taking and uploading video – we will see a big increase in UGC activity. It’s the key reason for me buying it).
Apart from that, the 3G iPhone with 3.0 software does pretty much the same things that the iPhone 3GS does, but a little slower and with not as good a camera.
So the choice is do you pay $100 extra for a good camera and for it to be faster (and don’t forget bragging rights for having it early). I would pay the extra for the extra camera, but if you don’t take and upload alot of video, I would go for the 3G at $99.
I decided to write this document because I did some reading and watched the iPhone 3.0 video (which you can too here, but who has time to sit through over an hour of video these days, so below are the highlights and some analysis of what this means to you, with some time segments of the video referenced so you can go straight there without having to see the whole thing. Summary is here [01:22:10].
There are some also insights into iPhone too and why you should care about it more than you think you should.
The short answer is that the new improvements in 3.0 make an already great product even better. There really is no excuse for brands not to have a presence in the app store.
- 30 million iPhones and iPod touches and growing
- In 80 countries. They excluded China, our man on the ground there tells me there are so many (All cracked of course)
- 45,000 apps and over 1 Billion downloads from the app store so far
- iPhone 3.0 SDK was released for the developers on St Patricks day 2009, and will be pushed out to everyone’s phones this summer
- iPhone apps are now being approved within 2 weeks
- I could go on, but the short answer is that the iPhone really needs to be the centrepiece of your digital strategy. It is the quickest way to start doing something that works
For me this graph is the most important
The blue bars are how many handsets are out there, and the red is how much traffic they generate as a % of all traffic. See if you can guess which one the iPhone is! What this means is that despite having a small number of total devices, iPhones do the most searching of the mobile web. Almost HALF of all traffic is generated by 8% of devices.
This is because:
- Design of the iPhone is way nicer than all others at the moment, so you want to interact with it
- The usability of the iPhone is way better than all other phones. They just spent more time getting it right
I know people who switched from a high end Nokia perfectly capable of web browsing, but only started when they got their iPhone. This may not be the case for ever, but it is the case now.
Apps are a similar story. The Blackberry app store is a very poor cousin to the iPhone store. No comparison really, and Nokia Ovi will take a while to gain traction, although both have potential.
Summary of 3.0 new features
This section will loosely follow the video, and if you want to see more you can go straight to the time listed.
In app purchase [00:11:00]
This means you can buy extra stuff without leaving the app. You set the price, get 70% of it back and Apple pay you monthly . Apart from extra game levels, the big winners here are magazines, and in particular magazine groups.
For two reasons:
- You only create one app, and then sell each edition of the magazine. You can get revenue straight away and so don’t need to rely on mobile advertising, which won’t bear fruit until 2010/2011 in my opinion. If you want that route, go for Sponsorship for 6 to 12 months with one of your best advertisers
- This spring, The Audit Bureau of Circulations (in the USA) has recently allowed non replica versions of magazines to count towards paid digital circulation. This means your iPhone magazines can boost your circulation numbers (and therefore your ad rates).
For city guides, or groups with many titles, check out [00:12:00]. Having one main app means revenue potential is way higher than for individual apps per issue. AND you get to cross promote.
Any magazine or magazine group that isn’t taking advantage of the 30m people and the easy payment mechanism that this new channel gives needs their head examining.
Push notification [00:22:00]
This is one of the best features of the 3.0 software. It allows the application to send you an alert which you can then click on to go into the application (either on a pop up screen, or in the SMS inbox). If you look at usage patterns of applications, people stop using them fairly quickly. These reminders are good ways to reduce this.
Check out how ESPN are sending over 50m push notifications a month for sports [00:39:15]. Very cool. If you do alerts, have a look at how ESPN are doing it and copy them!
Another cool thing is that you get to assign your own sound to the push notification.
This lets developers design for accessories. This new API lets you control the accessory from the iPhone. For example a graphic equaliser to control a spreaker that you plug your iPhone into it.
The main winners here are the medical devices companies. There is a good example of what Johnson and Johnson are doing at [00:43:30]
But so what you can do the same for other devices? The thing is that iPhone is way easier to use, and looks good. For older people this is what they need. Until the iPhone, high end devices perplexed the older generation (and when I say older generation, I of course mean anyone over 30!
WE can now use Google maps within iPhone applications, including location based information (with GPS, Wifi and cell tower triangulation for non 3G devices). The maps are free: You don’t need to buy or license your own maps, you use Google’s. Which are the standard these days.
Knowing where you are opens up one of THE key values of mobile, so the Big winners here are any applicaitons that direct you somewhere. Restaurants, Hotels, Shops, events, parties etc… Finding out wher eyou are now, and whee you need to get to is way easier now.
Palm Pre has full turn by turn directions with their GPS, which 3.0 does allow IF you bring yourown maps. Great news for people like Tom Tom and NavMan as they have 30m potential new customers. And in app purchasing means that they can make their money on the additional maps needed.
Peer to Peer [00:14:50]
This is great for games where you want to play against other gamers near you. But it is also great for business.
The great thing here is that it connects over bluetooth with automatic discovery and no pairing. So it is easy. I don’t care what anyone says, Bluetooth up until now has just not worked. We have been working with it for 6 years.
So the big winner here in my opinion is brand sponsored games or business applications where the main areas of business are in big cities like London, or New York (or anywhere where there will be more than one iPhone out there). I ride the subway from Brooklyn to Manhatten every morning, and see at least 3 other iPhones, but you do need this.
Other cool customer features [01:03:00]
- In app email – will mean that viral spreading of apps or content from apps becomes way easier
- Streaming audio and video – iPhones now become radios. All radio stations must build fron ends
- iPod access – so you can access the songs from within your app. Great for personalised applications [00:34:00]. In SIMS3, you can buy a stereo in game and play your own songs through it!
- Landscape keyboard – a big criticism of the iPhone compared to Blackberry was the keyboard. JD power recently rated the iPhone number one in customer satisfaction among business users so don’t be surprised to see Blackberry overtaken soon for this demographic [01:11:50]
- MMS – this is now supported allowing sending of video and multiple images. Great for news for companies who want to do UGC campaigns [01:12:20]
- Universal search –lets you type in a search word, find it within emails, notes, songs, apps… everything [01:17:32]. Probably a reaction to Palm Pre’s similar functiaonloity but pretty good nontheless.
- Copy and Paste – you can now do this from anywhere to anywhere [01:09:22]
What not to do
Don’t go cheap. To quote my Singaporean camera sales guy “you want cheap?, is no good… you want good? Is no cheap”. We have seen a few times where clients have gone for the cheap option. One had to completely rebuild their app, and the other is still waiting forit to deliver 3 months later. Don’t pinch pennies on this, you wouldn’t with your corporate website, and you shouldn’t with your iPhone app.
Use professionals. If you can find an independent iPhone developer who is good and professional, then great. If he or she is a good designer even better. But from our experience the best iPhone freelance guys are working for themselves, becoming rich enough by building their own games, and if they mess it up, you are left with no redress.
Put together a Financial model for when the project will break even. If you use US$50k+ as a ballpark for a reasonably good app, and you sell it at $1.99, you know that you need to sell 34,000 apps to break even. Throw in sponsorship, and you can be making a profit before you even start the build. This is absolutely possible, we have seen it work a number of times.
Consider other applications. If you are building an iPhone, keep the wireframes, walkthorughs, designs etc.. for Android / Blackberry / J2ME apps. Don’t pay for separate builds where you don’t have to. Technically since iPhone is written in C and the rest based on Java you will need separate builds, but many elements will be the same.