Announcing the iOS5
The iOS 5 from Apple is self-titled as the most advanced mobile operating system in the world. Aside from habitual publicity surrounding Apple products, iOS5 is bound to power up 28% of the world’s superphones in a short while (for more information on Superphones read our latest blog post on Wireless Device Update: Smartphone vs Superphone). That means 1/3 of the global smartphone population will benefit from 200+ improvements and new features announced by Apple. Will this new version of Apple’s mobile operating system have the capacity to change the telecom industry as we know it?
200+ New Improvements and Features
Notable improvements include, among others, a refined messaging model. New notifications will be displayed on the lock screen (a feature requested by many long ago) and in the notification center accessible with just a swipe. The camera should also be accessible right from the lock screen. New reminders will be very handy for those who dread forgetting their grocery purchase lists at home. Next to everything is location-aware or location based. But does it all change the rules?
In my opinion, even more important than functionality and interface improvements is the tight integration with iCloud, another big project from Apple, and the introduction of iMessage. For those of you who haven’t checked it out on Apple’s web site like I did, iMessage allows sending unlimited text messages, photos, videos, locations and contacts to any iPhone, iPod touch or iPad running iOS5. Coupled with Facetime, which allows placing direct video calls between iOS devices, these two features practically eliminate the need to subscribe to a voice and text message plan for iOS users.
If Apple takes one more step in this direction and adds a native VoIP application on its portable devices, the next thing iPhone and iPad users could think of will be: do I really need my voice plan when a data plan does it for me? Surely these options will still be limited to Apple device users, but 30% of the market gives you fairly high chances of been able to reach some of your key contacts without leaving the Apple ecosphere. This could even motivate some companies to migrate their mobile communications to Apple platform in order to take advantage of such integration between devices, which will be enhanced by the iCloud keeping all your content up-to-date on all your iOS-enabled devices.
So, does it mean one day mobile operators will start offering pure data plans without any accompanying voice and text? Not so eagerly, unless they are pushed to do so by either their discount competitors, or by the consumers themselves, and the advantage for consumers is obvious. It is cheaper and easier to have only one feature in your plan and one parameter to watch in your telecom expense structure, which is your mobile data traffic. On top of that, Wi-Fi networks can provide sizeable savings, especially in offices, public Wi-Fi access areas and at home. It may not turn the telecom industry upside down right away, but it will most probably pave the way to mobile communications completely relying on single-pipe model.
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