As if the iPhone 3G launch needs more anticipation, the launch today of the iPhone App Store will contribute to it. Some may argue that the App Store launch is the more important event. The store will offer more than 500 options which can be used by the iPhone for applications including games, enterprise apps, e-commerce, social networking, and entertainment. This variety of applications will help the iPhone continue its evolutionary role of transforming the cell phone from just an advanced communications tool to a true portable user friendly computer and Internet gateway (it will be interesting to track the iPhone’s impact on the laptop computer). I’m not ignoring the iPhone’s competitors, including BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, Symbian/Nokia, or Palm, who collectively outnumber iPhone applications by the thousands. But Apple has the chance to establish the iPhone as the first true smartphone for the masses, beyond the usual smartphone suspects of geeks and business professionals. The App Store is one of many steps for that process. Other steps still need to occur, including getting the iPhone out from under that exclusive deal with that “quaint little” communications company that has a globe for a logo. What else needs to happen?
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