iPhones Spawn Killer Apps

Before smartphones, stand alone GPS navigation systems were essential mobile accessories.

Before smartphones, stand alone GPS navigation systems were essential mobile accessories.

Apple’s iOS Platform lets apps rule mobile lifestyle

Very few people attending MacWorld in January of 2007 could have predicted the extent to which iPhones spawn killer apps. When Steve Jobs described Apple’s new initiative to the assembled crowd at the keynote, he simple stated “an iPod, a phone and Internet communicator,” few realized he was describing a single device. And oh what a device it has become.

The original iPhone did not enjoy the fruits of its future App Store. In the beginning, iPhone was a closed garden. Yet, it was delivered with its first killer app, Google Maps. It hard to remember sometimes but back in 2007, stand-alone GPS devices by Garmin, TomTom and Magellan were must have products. Premium models fetched between $500 and $700. Basic units were available in the $150-$200 range. Map upgrades could run a user another $100.

Google Maps on the iPhone ushered in an entirely new way to use navigation assistance. Even though the original iPhone did not incorporate a dedicated GPS chip, the map app telegraphed were mobile navigation was headed.

The second Generation of the mobile operating system, together with iPhone 3G introduced the App Store. TomTom was quick to introduce its map app for the iPhone. Its proprietary window mount also contained a dedicated GPS chip. Suddenly, navigation on the iPhone was functional and affordable. The follow up iPhone 3GS added its own the longed for GPS chip.

There would soon be other cool app products deployed on mobile platforms. But one thing remained clear. Mobility cried out for useful navigation apps. By 2009 and 2010, mobility would see an app that would turn an entire industry on its head. In the process, mobile phone owning consumers would discover a sense of freedom that was awesome. In the process, the very nature of individual ground transportation would changed forever.

Ridesharing apps are the most "killer" examples of mobile killer apps.

Ridesharing apps are the most “killer” examples of mobile killer apps.

Welcome to the mobile world of ridesharing killer apps. Next time, I will offer my take of this overwhelming example of creative destruction and what it means for consumers.

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