"Wow" was the word that our Internet Specialist, Tim Davis, used to describe Steve Jobs' presentation of the new Apple iPhone, and other innovations. If you know Tim like I do, that's an impressive reaction to a new piece of technology.
Jobs made a major announcement at MacWorld in San Francisco yesterday and the iPhone took shape before the eyes of the world. Of course, the device isn't available for a few months, but given the price and the applications, it's hard to imagine that it won't be "the next big thing." So, a few first blush observations...
Think about being the makers of the Treo or the Blackberry - the companies that make so-called "smart phones." After watching Jobs today, maybe they're thinking about a different line of work. The iPhone looks that good.
The rate of speed at which technology is moving continues to be startling. This should send a message to automakers, and specifically, the Detroit Auto Show folks. I'd be moving my convention away from the CES AND MacWorld in the future.
This should also send a message to those of us in radio, as well as other businesses trying to interface with new technology. Moving in baby steps, whether it's with our Web sites, HD Radio, or anything else, hardly makes sense in this fast moving environment. Consumers seem to be adjusting very nicely to new technology advances, and Apple's moves today - the iPhone, Apple TV, and even a new name for the company - Apple, Inc. (no more "Computer") - should signal us that change is coming at a more tsunami-like pace.
It also tells us something about how Jobs and Apple view the showbiz angle of making a huge announcement. His graphics and presentation are brilliant, he's in command, he's well-rehearsed, he's onstage at a huge event, and he's got the whole world watching his every move. Today, no one was disappointed - except perhaps his competition.
Jobs referred to the iPhone as a "leapfrog product." The reality is that Apple is a "leapfrog company" that is changing how people listen to music, and now how they will interact with portable devices that do just about anything. If you're in the entertainment business, you're competing with Steve Jobs and Apple. And today Apple proved, once again, that it's not going to be easy.