“i” in the Sky: iPhone 4S and iOS 5 Release
October 4th, 2011 by
first unveiled in 2007, this semi-annual (depending on Apple’s desire to have consumers fawn over the new stuff) gathering can be over-hyped, ridiculed or dismissed, but always seems to end in a state of awe. While technologies have faded, excitement has managed to intensify with each release, and this year was no different. On the docket for this year’s iPhone release is the highly coveted and mysterious Apple cloud technology. The new software aims to seamlessly intertwine all of one’s Apple devices. No longer do users have to download on one device and transfer via a clunky 5-inch cord. Apple also introduced an 8 mega-pixel camera, dual core processor and Siri, the ultra-intelligent voice recognition software. Despite all of these coups, though, there is an unsung hero of today’s news: iMessage. iMessage was actually announced in June at WWDC 2011, but the ramifications are just now becoming extraordinary. The software will allow users to communicate via 3G and WiFi over an Apple network at no cost to the consumer. Users will be able to send messages in real time, as well as see when someone else is typing and group chat. To further expand iMessage’s reach, Apple has made it accessible on all devices that support its cloud technology, not just limiting usage to individuals with iPhones.What does iMessage mean for the mobile landscape? iMessage is massive body shot to competitors. Many Blackberry users, myself included, use to overlook the many shortfalls of Blackberry because it had the ever so mighty and addictive BBM (Blackberry Messanger) system. No, iMessage is not BBM, and users on iMessage can not communicate with Blackberry users. But with a similar product, iMessage, on a better operating system, i0S 5, Apple has made it likely that many folks will jump ship from their archaic Blackberries.
While iMessage might have Apple ahead of Blackberry, what does the iPhone 4S mean in regards to the smartphone market, specifically Android? iMessage and iOS 5 are another opportunity for Apple to bundle its multiple products into one giant, dynamic force. iMessage is an exclusive communication platform that will engage and retain users. Similar to stubborn Blackberry users that were devoted to BBM, iMessage will create a subculture of communication that connects users with each other and will further tie them to the Apple brand. What does this mean for businesses? Users are only going to increase the amount of time socializing with and living within the confines of their smartphone. With constant improvements of devices such as the iPhone 4S, users are beginning to interact with technology in an incredibly life-like way. In terms of reaching out to customers, the newest wave of successful businesses and marketers will not only have to be able to comprehend the rapidly-growing mobile media landscape, but also use this technology to connect with and engage consumers on multiple platforms.