Don’t kid yourself. Apple’s iPhone strategy is an iTunes strategy

A lot of us would kill for the master hyping ability of Apple and Steve Jobs. What they achived with the iPhone is nothing short of incredible. And perhaps some of us are just being a little jealous when we write posts like those of Richard Stastny and Michael Robertson. For the most part, I agree with their posts, and I encourage you to check them out.

There is one thing that stood out for me in the comparison table by Michael Robertson between the Nokia E61 and iPhone:

I highlighted the one (and only) place where iPhone is totally unique: iTunes. Michael notes that Nokia is the world’s largest phone maker, selling more than twice as many phones as their nearest competitor, but none of them offer syncing with iTiunes — and they likely never will. This point gets lost in a bullet-point “features list” like the one above.There is no other phone today that will work with iTunes and this is the only thing that makes this phone stand out, really. The rest is fluff and window dressing, including the touchscreen. Someone can copy everything else about this phone, and as Michael’s chart shows, there are already phones that do more than the iPhone, in all other respects.

Personally, the fact that the wi-fi is crippled is a huge black eye for Apple and something that simply outrages me. It’s the kind of thing we expect from AT&T, but for Apple to be all over that is just painful. And it is a very slippery slope. But I digress.

The point is, everything about Apple’s iPhone strategy is really an iTunes strategy, to make iTunes central to one’s life experience. Will it work, given all the downsides and limitations of the iPhone product? Time will tell.

They want people’s attention, the way Google and Microsoft want our attention. That’s what iPhone is really about.

4 comments for “Don’t kid yourself. Apple’s iPhone strategy is an iTunes strategy

  1. I have had so many cell phones treo 650, sony, moto and others all are in a draw and, (not use). I am using a moto a780 which uses liniu operating system and all thing work the way they should. Yes all of the features are on other cell phones but the do not work well and not all on one phone and a great interface.

  2. That’s true Wayne, and that could be a good side effect of the iPhone. A smack across the noggin to other cell phone makers that UI is important.

    That will be an overallgood thing for the industry and for us consumers. But UI can be fixed/improved in these other phones (stolen from the iPhone). iTunes compatibility cannot.

  3. Nokia and third parties make software that eases the integration between iTunes and Nokia devices. Nokia Media Transfer on the Mac is a gigantic step forward, but it is by no means perfect. It’s good enough, though.

  4. Hi PhoneBoy. Thanks for the comment.

    The ‘Nokia Media Transfer’ app is useful to folks like us, and important to mention, but it’s not the same thing as a direct normal iPod sync. This is a perfect example of EXACTLY why Apple wins. Nokia thinks their "media transfer" app is a solution the way off-brand MP3 player manudfacturers think the weird little apps they supply are solutions. But it’s not even close in terms of mainstream users.

    And there is this one other minor detail: "Protected content, such as content purchased from the iTunes store is not supported."

    Again, the Nokia app is useful for many people for popping some songs on the phone, but not the same as the overall seamless iPod/iPhone experience at all, and effectively insignificant in the battle over the hearts and minds (and soulds?) of regular users.

    Don’t get me wrong. I’m thrilled that Nokia spent the resources to develop and release ‘Nokia Media Transfer’ becuase I’m sure as heck not getting an iPhone – but it (and users like me) are insignificant in the big picture.

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