Now that the hoopla over the iPhone announcement has passed, let's take a look at what these developments might mean - at least in the short term.
1. Steve Jobs didn't show up. But Apple got all the hype out of the speculation about him. Like those "special guest appearance" concerts, it sure got everyone excited about the possibility of a Jobs sighting.
2. The $99 iPhone is a killer. At precisely the time when new mobile competition could have been heating up, Apple squished them all. So the new Palm Pre (and its handful of apps) is now twice as expensive as a full-featured iPhone. Must have been a bad day over at Palm headquarters.
3. A TomTom GPS app. A sigh of relief here in Southfield as this ensures that I will get much less lost while on the road.
4. No FM radio. We shouldn't be shocked about this because Apple has no incentive to pull broadcast radio into the new millennium. But many radio CEOs were hopeful that the gods in Cupertino would smile on them. No such luck, and don't hold your breath on a change of heart from Apple.
And of course, it's this last item that's so important to radio operators right here and right now. Sure, the FM (non)decision is bad news, but the bright side is that the App Store allows any radio station - big, small, commercial, public, or Internet - to have equal footing with the biggest and most popular apps.
Our experience is that stations that offer an iPhone application to their listeners are making them happy, giving them the sense that their favorite radio station "gets it" and is providing them with the chance to listen on their favorite device.
Those $99 iPhones are going to fly off the shelves - the perfect time for radio to figure it out, and make sure it has prime, branded presence on these devices.
See you at the App Store.