Place Your Bet -- iPhone or Blackberry

You've seen me write with some regularity about the revolutionary new iPhone from Apple's creative mad man Steve Jobs.

My readers -- you -- are divided as far as I can tell.

One group has gone ga-ga over iPhone and all its coolness while the other says it's a toy -- not even a significant work tool.

And I've concluded that you are both correct.

The iPhone lovers and early adopters know that this device which does just about everything a young person holds near and dear is the future.

The Blackberry (and other smart phone proponents) rightfully argue that iPhone is no Blackberry -- and I've known a Blackberry - and you're no Blackberry (to paraphrase the Lloyd Bentson retort to Dan Quayle in the Vice Presidential debates when Quayle wrapped himself around the image of John F. Kennedy).

What we seem to have here is a very significant question -- who is seeing the future?

Is Steve Jobs bringing the iPhone to the market that will make a Blackberry someday seem complicated and ridiculous?

The iPhone is no Blackberry or Treo or traditional smart phone.

Blackberry eats iPhone's lunch on email and many other business-type tasks. That's why it isn't going away any time soon.

But the future with young people coming up through the ranks may not be favorable to traditional smart phones. You could argue that when young people get a job they will have to do more than flick through iTunes, photos and email.

Maybe yes.

But maybe Jobs knows that the next generation plays a lot -- plays music, games, text messages constantly and that even in the real world you won't be able to separate a phone from an iPod.

The next generation is not like any other.

They multi-task constantly (not good, in my view - they should prioritize).

They have had unprecedented access to portable music for most of their lives. You could argue that the iPod part of the iPhone is an equal partner in its attractiveness with the voice function itself.

The next generation navigates the future by integrating fun into their lives and I don't think that will change when they get their first big jobs.

Who could have ever thought a simple cell phone -- you know, the thing that's great to have with you in case your car breaks down -- is no longer a phone but an entertainment center.

Which is why I say, place you bets -- I don't really know, I can only speculate -- is the smart phone of the future a media device or a business tool?

Right now, you can't really have both although some phones try to sell themselves that way.

And each generation is lining up to bet on its future.

Anyone in the media business would be wise to follow this carefully over the next few years because the replacement for the Walkman, the radio, the cell phone, the iPod and even the computer as it relates to the Internet will be a mobile device.

If not the iPhone, something else.

If you're betting on the future you may want to place your time and money on the device that will play the content you will be creating.

In that case the real smart phone may very well be the iPhone in spite of the business tools that are currently not included.

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