The big news this week for Apple wasn't the new 3G iPhone. It was the business model behind the next-generation iPhone, and the threat it poses to Research in Motion (RIM). Apple's model depends on developers. RIM's model depends on devices.
If history repeats itself, the developers will win. Just ask Microsoft.
More on that in a minute. For now, consider the superior TCO (total cost of ownership) argument that Apple now has for both developers and end-users. Many enterprises are going to find the cost/benefit analysis of RIM vs. iPhone favoring the iPhone. RIM's BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) solution costs $5 to 10 per mailbox per month (for Exchange), plus an additional $10 per mailbox per month for BES, which includes a combination of licensing plus the cost of administering BES. Not so cheap.
The iPhone? It's still going to cost $5 to 10 per mailbox per month (for Exchange or Zimbra or whatever your mail service happens to be), but the extra $10 charge is wiped away. Gone. This leaves the enterprise with a two-times price advantage for the SaaS/iPhone world, which doesn't even include the cost of the device, which also continues to plummet.
Again, RIM's business model depends on extracting maximum value from each device/user, and it does so to good effect. Apple's business model is shifting to be about ubiquity of devices, and then the monetization of the applications.
Which will be better? Well, that depends on how one feels about developers and their impact on markets.… Read more