Will there be iPhone frenzy on July 11? We know that there will be plenty of phones to go around, but still my friends and I are already planning to line up at the Apple Store in the wee hours of July 11th to get first dibs. Why do we care this much about a mobile phone upgrade?
The new iPhone 3G has a lot going for it--simply stated, the pricing strategy alone is a win-win (we'll pay less upfront and about $40 more in the long-term). But, it's not about the price or the 3G tech, or the new plastics involved.
Far more significant than the hardware upgrades, all iPhones will be able to connect to the App Store, an online service from Apple that will allow us to easily install third-party software that utilizes all of the iPhone's capabilities. This newfound ability to run virtually any application will soon let the little, mobile Apple computer in our pockets do things for us that the machines on our desks could only dream of.
But what will all these life-changing applications cost us? Will the $200 I save on my iPhone 3G just eventually get gobbled up by the App Store instead? Will the average iPhone customer even want to pay for these apps? And, how in the world will companies focused on the Apps, like newly launched Instinctiv.com actually monetize the software?
Enter Eric Litman, founder and CEO of Medialets, a New York-based advertising delivery platform whose work I hope will end up saving me a lot of my hard-earned cash. His company encourages developers who might otherwise charge up-front licensing fees to instead give their wares away for free. The costs of development would be supported by showing innovative, dynamic advertisements displayed inside the apps with Medialets technology.
Litman, an entrepreneur at heart, has enjoyed a rapid succession of exits before the age of 30. He recently left a venture capital fund in DC to come to New York and provide the advertising world with the ability to reach consumers in contextually relevant and geo-targeted manners, which has long been the Holy Grail for marketers. His backgrounds in both the agency and mobile realms make him a perfect candidate to lead the charge in reshaping the way marketers engage their target audiences.
My prediction: Things are going to change. Today's mobile ecosystem - the current iPhone ecosystem - is about to feel a major disruption led by Litman and others. Mobile will never be the same and rising stars will come out in droves to be a part of the App Store.
So, now, can you blame me for wanting to be first in line on July 11? A piece of history is worth a few lost hours of sleep and $199.