Apple’s iPhone has completely reshaped the mobile phone industry since its release two years ago when Steve Jobs claimed Apple had “reinvented the phone.” Touchscreens, full-featured internet browsers, and the ease of accessing and consuming content have become standard practice across the phone industry. It is fundamentally changing how people use their mobile phones – browsing full websites, accessing a wide range of applications, and generally never leaving the online world. Within just two years, the iPhone’s web browser (Mobile Safari) commands an astounding 66% market share of mobile internet traffic. Just recently, Apple’s stock enjoyed a huge bump from as a result of a stock upgrade by Morgan Stanley based on the strength of expected iPhone sales alone.
As a result, anticipation for the next iPhone model and the new version of the iPhone software (3.0) is at a fever pitch. Both are expected to be announced at the Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC), Apple’s yearly convention for software and iPhone developers in San Francisco. This year, for the first time, The Winston Group is sending one of its own to WWDC. Chris Anderson (not to be confused with the editor of Wired magazine, though he wishes that were the case), the WG’s self-described tech geek, former Apple employee, and iPhone 3.0 software beta tester, will be onsite to provide an in-depth look at the technology announcements from a policy, PR, communications perspective.
As the announcements of what new technology the iPhone will contain will inevitably filter out into other devices, this conference will provide a view into the future of the mobile phone arena. As people gradually shift more of their computing time from the laptop to the mobile device, determining how best to take advantage of these new mobile avenues will become an even more crucial aspect of any business or campaign.
So, what are some of the items we might see from WWDC, and how will it affect the communications game?
1. The new iPhone. Almost a given at this point, Apple is sure to announce a new iPhone model that will at the very least be faster and store more information than the current iterations. More importantly, Apple will finalize the 3.0 version of the iPhone software, bringing push notifications to software developers. Push means news applications can break news to users instantly or grassroots organizations can instantly get important and unique information out to its members.
2. A new tablet? The big question mark is what else Apple will be presenting. Rumored to exist for years, an Apple tablet has become somewhat of the Loch Ness monster for the tech elite. While tablet computers have existed in the periphery for years, a new entry into the tablet market could redefine the tablet computer category just as the iPhone redefined smartphones.
So, stay tuned to Chris Anderson and The Winston Group for more WWDC updates as they happen! He’ll be liveblogging the keynote at winstongroup.net, providing Twitter updates on @Chris_Anderson, and will be creating daily videos during the conference which you can find on winstongroup.net as well.