The real iPhone effect on consumer behavior

01 Feb 2008|Leigh Marinner

The biggest change the iPhone will introduce will not be playing music on your cell phone or looking at photos, but a much greater US consumer use of the Internet from a mobile device. For the first time, consumers can experience a usable connection to the Internet – usable not only in terms of speed (which could still be improved) but also in getting the information you want easily. Apple once again looked at what the user wants to accomplish and then built an end-to-end user experience that was satisfying. As with iPod/iTunes, Apple wasn’t the first to offer a solution – they just built one that was easy and worked. Many SmartPhones have offered Internet access for years, but the interface is clunky, often you can’t find what you’re looking for in a tolerable amount of time, and web pages aren’t formatted for the small screen. Offerings like Yahoo! Go 2.0 have made a good stab at offering certain kinds of information, but are still limited.

The New York Times reported that “Google disclosed that it received more traffic from iPhones this Christmas than from any other mobile device, despite owning only 2 percent of the smartphone market and less than 1 percent of the overall mobile-phone market.”

So we’re finally starting to see the effect a well-designed mobile Internet connection can have in the US. People will be using their phones for activities previously done on their PC.

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