So how might the iPhone affect your online marketing efforts? In a few ways:
Safari browser. iPhone’s browser has created a lot of hype because it can open full versions of web pages, just like you would see them on your desktop/laptop. Due to the small screen, users are able to zoom in only on one area of the website at a time. Although Flash and Java are not supported, visitors using the iPhone will be able to take advantage of more features on your website than ever before. Some aspects of your overall design will probably have to be rethought.
Expended range of services. Being able to see the same web pages as a regular desktop/laptop users, iPhone users will most definitely expend the range of services mobile users are used to. Having a more powerful mobile device will make already popular destinations for mobile users like maps and local search even more important. But with the iPhone a lot less limited by its browser, we will see some other services added to the mix, like social networking and video search. You can bet that Facebook, MySpace, YouTube and a sea of Twitter clones will be more popular than ever.
Size does matter. Steve Jobs hopes to sell 10 million devices in the next 18 months. Whether that is a realistic goal or not remains to be seen (it already looks like the phones are sold out). Either way, very soon we’ll have millions of people running around with iPhones, ALL of them having an unlimited data plan. Over the next weeks and months we will see a lot of businesses trying to figure out how to market to this new crowd. I suggest following closely any iPhone studies coming out.
One thing is clear, this is just the beginning. The whole tech industry is watching Apple, trying to figure out whether they got it right. They definitely got some of it right. There will also be room for improvement and so just like with iPod, we will see other companies jump in and try their luck with their own devices. The new standard for mobile devices has been set and it will have a far reaching impact beyond the tech industry.