Apple iPhone Flirts with Disruptive Innovation
Disruptive technology or disruptive innovation are terms used when a technological innovation, product, or service eventually overturns the existing dominant technology. Examples include digital photography displacing film photography, DVDs replacing VHS tape and so on. Apple’s iPhone should shake things up for not only mobile phones and PDAs, but also for the more common internet access device, the PC. Portable access to internet information is a killer app. Depending on who you are, the iPhone or something like it might be good enough for your web access needs. In other words, why mess around with a Windows PC unless you really have to?
The first thing I would be inclined to do with my iPhone is to turn off the phone part of it. If I could, I’d only use wifi. I don’t really need the cell phone network part. I do most of my messaging via text. I know, I say this despite the revolutionary new way in which the voice mail will be handled by the iPhone. To me, the iPhone would be cool enough if it only allowed me to surf the web. Everything else it does is just extra. I’ll probably be waiting a while for an ‘unlocked’ Apple iPhone (that is, an iPhone without a telco contract). By which time I’m sure there will be other wifi enabled portable network devices to choose from. Something that runs Firefox would be nice. I expect the iPhone will be a disruptive force as it opens up new markets and encourages new product opportunities.
Other examples of disruptive technology to watch for include the NASA baby network, brought to us by Cosmic Variance.