The Josh on Design blog has a fascinating look at how -- despite the attempts by new players -- the world is not going to see any new competitors in the smartphone arena. Those who think we will, "don't understand how a smartphone platform works."
There was a time when a small company, with say a few hundred million dollars, could make a quality phone with innovative features and be successful. This is when successful was defined as making enough profit to continue making phones for another year. In other words: a sustainable business, not battling for significant marketshare. Those were the days when Palm could sell a million units and be incredibly happy. The days when BlackBerry had double digit growth and Symbian ruled the roost.
Then came 2007. It might be over-reaching to say the iPhone changed everything, but it certainly was an definitive event. The 1960s began in January of 1960, but the sixties began when the Beatles came to America in early 1964. Their arrival was part of a much larger cultural shift that started before 1964 and certainly continued after the Beatles broke up. I would personally say the sixties ended memorial day of 1977, but thats just my opinion.
The Beatles appearance on the Ed Sullivan show is a useful event to mark when the sixties began, even though its really a much fuzzier time period. Steve Jobs unveiling the iPhone in 2007 is a similarly useful historical marker. Everything changed.
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