Apple's announcement yesterday of a new high-end iPhone running its new iOS7 operating system got lots of attention for improvements in things that consumers care about: fashion, entertainment, photography, device protection, and health, for example. My colleague Charles Golvin went deeper to analyze what these improvements mean to Apple's prospects as a premium phone maker.
Perhaps lost in the coverage was what the combination of new hardware and new software means for how businesses can use iPhones at work. The battle now is for business application developers and vendors, and Apple is on it. The formula for business success has become great products + great features for developers to harness + a great way to distribute and sell custom and commercial business apps. Apple's announcement yesterday focuses on the first two elements of that formula:
A focus on management APIs in iOS7 gives business software vendors new hooks to provide business-ready solutions. My colleague Christian Kane has written a Forrester report on the five major improvements in the control APIs. While an iPhone will never natively provide all the lockdown that a security-conscious CIO might want, Apple has consistently listened to the needs of mobile device and mobile application management. With these new APIs, the ecosystem of security and management vendors can ramp up their products to support CIOs rolling out BYO iPhone programs. Already, MobileIron has talked about what it will do to take advantage of this.
A mobile moment occurs whenever someone reaches for their smartphone or tablet. And happens anytime they have an itch to scratch. And it's happening more frequently than ever as your customers and your employees are undergoing a mobile mind shift -- "the expectation that I can immediately get what I want in my personal context on my mobile device."
If it's your customer that's having a mobile moment, then you want to be there, don't you?
At Forrester, we've been spending a lot of time analyzing how mobile devices change the way companies engage their customers and employees. Across every role we serve, we're probing on what makes mobile different from PCs, different from Web, and different from traditional channels. My colleague Julie Ask and I spent some time recently with Tom Pohlmann, Forrester's Chief Marketing & Strategy Officer, to talk the mobile mind shift and what to do about it. You can hear that conversation in its entirety (episode 1) or in topic-sized chunks (episodes 2, 3, and 4) below.
Description: When it comes to mobile, most companies are simply doing “old things in new ways.” Mobile’s great promise is provide new value where organizations will internalize mobile to do “new things in new ways.”
Microsoft acquired Nokia's devices business for $7.2 billion (which is only 27% of Microsoft's 2013 earnings and just 9% of its cash and short-term investments). Microsoft bought the devices and some of the services along with the services of former Microsoft Office leader Stephen Elop, who will run Microsoft's Devices business. By all accounts, Stephen was a much-admired Microsoft executive when he left to run Nokia in 2010.
I'll leave telecom industry analysis of the deal in the worthy hands of my colleagues Thomas Husson and Charles Golvin. I'll leave journalistic speculation to the media. I'll leave personality analysis to the pop psychologists. But as a software+devices+services industry analyst, I'll share my analysis of how this acquisition changes Microsoft's position in the mobile mind shift.
First, this acquisition is a clear stepping stone in Microsoft's transition from a software company to a software-led multiproduct company. Apple pioneered the model of vertical integration in devices: device+software+services. Google quickly mastered it. Microsoft has now proven that it is willing and able to make the tough decisions to make a vertically integrated product a cornerstone of its business model.