The Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) keynote by Apple CEO Steve Jobs was pure "shock and awe," a showcase of the overwhelming power that has been assembled and orchestrated by Apple, the industry's emerging Post-PC gorilla.
Most impressively, the event and the specifics presented (iOS 5, iCloud, OS X Lion) during it were clearly staged to deliver an inspiring but chilling message: Whether you're a prospective customer, developer, channel partner, or competitor, "resistance is futile."
What follows are my four core takeaways from the keynote.
No. 1: The halo effect
Three years ago, I wrote that Apple had made, and was brilliantly executing on, a handful of trend bets that left it uniquely positioned within the marketplace.
These bets included:
- Making the mobile Internet caveat-free.
- Harnessing rich media as the "my stuff" bucket that matters.
- Treating everything in their arsenal as an integrated platform (from PC to device to online service).
- Leveraging and deriving core technologies from one product family to cross-pollinate another.
At the WWDC keynote, Jobs and company repeatedly asserted that "it just works" (the ultimate caveat-free mantra) when presenting this feature or that. They noted that no one else can assemble all of these pieces to deliver this type of solution.
Similarly, a heavy emphasis was placed on extending the utility, reach, and integration of:
- Personal media: Via camera enhancements, which use Apple's Core Image camera technology, and a new Photo Stream service, which will run on iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Mac and the Apple TV.
- Personal documents: iWork now runs on everything from the iPhone and iPod Touch to the iPad and the Mac, and it'll soon be cloud-enabled via Documents in the Cloud.
- Messaging/scheduling/contacts: Via the new iCloud service, which revamps and subsumes the company's disappointing MobileMe service. The new iMessage offering is poised to disrupt the SMS business.
- Professional media: Via iTunes in the cloud and a new iTunes Match service; a new magazine and newspaper subscription service called Newsstand, which complements its iBookstore; and unique to Apple, liberal rights to use the same media now and into the future on multiple iOS devices.
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