Although the launch of the Apple iPhone means that many who see the next generation smart phone is sure to want one, we have identified a few key consumers who might find the iPhone an indispensable tool.
Given Apple's close link to the academic community, it's inevitable that there will be some alliances forged between the two realms of Apple's cutting edge design and technology and the needs of academia. One of Steve Jobs' previous start-ups, NeXT, focused on higher education and business markets, while its Mac line of desktops are used in biotechnology research and analytical computations. Students using the iPhone will find its features like the ability to playback MP3 tracks useful. Not so much for catching the latest pop songs, but rather to catch education-related podcasts.
The iPhone's ability to stream video means that e-learning or distance learning can take place, as long as the academic institution has the infrastructure in place. Having a 2-megapixel digital camera built into the iPhone means that photos can be taken with ease, whether it's for assignments or for personal recreation.
Business people on the move will find the iPhone to be useful, especially with the availability of full featured Internet access, rather than the abbreviated web surfing currently available on many smart phones. This means that not only will you be able to check for information on the Internet, it also means that secure business transactions can take place easily.
The availability of Internet access over Wi-Fi networks mean that available Web 2.0 services will allow mobile office workers to access their data on the move. Freed from being deskbound, the Apple iPhone is currently enabled to access Google's Maps application. Over time, you can expect Apple's strategic partners to develop more business applications.
The workhorse nature of the iPhone together with its close integration to Apple's Safari Internet browser, mean that business applications can be used seamlessly.
We can make an educated guess that the separation between the computer and your mobile iPhone device will be erased over time. Perhaps we might even predict that the iPhone will gradually take over the functions of your laptop or notebook computer over time. With Apple's support for its developer network, this means that a new generation of business applications can be expected on the horizon.
Apple's broad appeal is not just limited to the iPhone however, it's previous products such as the Mac, its followup brethren the iMac and the iPod digital music player have received a warm reception from its users.