This article originally appeared in the August 2010 issue of INTERNET TELEPHONY.
The events of one day back in June certainly seemed custom-made for Twitter, as news flowed in so fast it was difficult to convey all of it immediately with any more depth than 140 characters.
First there was the report that the U.S. had an exchange of generals in the Afghanistan war.
Around the same time the BP oil spill took a turn for the worse when a robot accidentally knocked into some equipment causing the spill volume to increase.
Meanwhile, the U.S. prevailed in a historic World Cup win in the final moments of a game against Algeria – even though it seemed referee calls in back-to-back games were decidedly anti-American (U.S. vs. Algeria, U.S. vs. Slovenia), resulting in two important goals being called invalid.
And while the Earth figuratively shook in Africa as Americans won a major soccer game, it literally shook in Canada, where a 5.0 magnitude quake hit. Michael Roston at True/Slant wrote that Twitter was one of the first sources of information about the quake. Not to be outdone, Facebook saw the launch of a new group titled “I survived Canada's Earthquake 2010,” which is liked by around 14,030 people.
While the above turmoil took place, and sports fans watched a tennis match that seemed to last forever, the tech world also saw big news with the launch of the iPhone 4. In fact, INTERNET TELEPHONY’s Tom Keating (News - Alert), who also writes for TMCnet and runs TMC Labs, reported that the Apple iPhone (News - Alert) launch caused FedEx servers to choke, sputter and gasp as hundreds of thousands of customers waited impatiently to get their shiny new gadgets delivered.
Around the same time, there was a release about Motorola Droid X making its debut on the Verizon network. Actually, it wasn’t available for a few weeks but it is always good to counter the news of your competitor just before they release a new product to keep them from capturing too much market and mind share. (Although it is made from a rival company, I expect this phone to perform similarly to the HTC Incredible as it also runs the Android (News - Alert) OS and has solid technical specs as well. And the Incredible is quite good - almost as good as the iPhone 3G.)
But is it as good as the iPhone 4? After getting my hands on one, it seems like a denser version of the 3G with much better response time. Taking a picture, for example, is super fast. With 100 new features and hundreds of new developer APIs, expect this phone to captivate millions of new users – in fact some reports say there were already a million of these gadgets sold!
To me one of the biggest achievements of the new iOS 4 software, which can also be applied to iPhone 3GS models and recent iPod Touches, is its limited multitasking and the ability to categorize apps. Ironically, neither of these features is groundbreaking, as PDAs did this handily 10 years ago. But still, somehow when Apple (News - Alert) decides to catch up with the rest of the world on certain features a decade later, we call it groundbreaking. But whether it is a big deal or not, these two features will result in less desire to jailbreak, which could mean good news for Apple investors and the U.S. economy as more people buy their apps instead of getting them for free. Remember, Apple is the OPEC of the West.
One final comment on Android: Google has come a very long way, and this platform is much better than it was in the past. It has become a very credible and serious iPhone competitor; and as we see Android tablets achieve some popularity (beyond the Nook) we can expect the Google ecosystem to be a viable Apple OS competitor – across the board.
Well that's it for today. I need to spend some time backing up my current iPhone and saving the pictures and videos so I can be ready for the iPhone 4 to arrive. Me and my 999,999 potentially new Facetiming video chat friends are indeed very happy today.
Rich Tehrani is CEO of TMC. In addition, he is the Chairman of the world’s best-attended communications conference, INTERNET TELEPHONY Conference & EXPO (ITEXPO (News - Alert)). He is also the author of his own communications and technology blog.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi