Wall Street Journal: Thomas Hazlett: The iPhone Turns Five

iphone5

Forget the shouting about ‘open’ or ‘closed’ systems. The magic is in the dynamics of platform competition. On June 29, 2007, thousands of fan-boys and -girls camped in long lines to inhale a wisp of sweet techno fairy dust. The new iPhone rocked the world. Revolutionary in design, function and ecosystem, it set off the mobile data tsunami. In three days, Apple sold a million of them. The Economist asked: “Where would Jesus queue?”

The iconic innovation of the Information Age, however, inspired a fierce counterattack. Columbia University Law Prof. Tim Wu condemned the iPhone business model as “iPhony.” The handset was cool, he said, but the business model tied the customer to AT&T’s wireless network (where Apple struck a four-year exclusive deal) and to iTunes (Apple’s content store). Soon the Apple App Store would deepen the master-slave relationship.  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303836404577475053972822064.html

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