Yesterday, we revealed second place in the Computerworld Top 10 Most Influential for 2009 — the National Broadband network. It was a timely nod, given the Realising Our Broadband Future forum being held this week in Sydney.
And now for #1 — the iPhone.
The Computerworld Top 10 Most Influential for 2009 is highlighting the people, products, organisations, trends or events that have had the greatest influence on the ICT industry and community. We have been counting down to the winner with one article each day from 10th place to number one.
- #10 — CSIRO's wireless patent win
- #9 — Virtualisation
- #8 — Netbooks
- #7 — Gershon
- #6 — Google
- #5 — Twitter
- #4 — Financial Crisis
- #3 — Senator Stephen Conroy
- #2 — National Broadband network
#1 The iPhone
We know what you’re thinking: The iPhone wasn’t released in 2009. Its influence on the Australian ICT landscape this year, however, has been astounding so its place at number one symbolises the advances in the mobile sector as much it recognises those endless headlines.
And the iPhone has certainly had its share of headlines in 2009. No longer the domain of the executive, mobile email and other applications have become everyday technology, spurring a wave of consumerisation across enterprises that focuses on innovation and ease of use. IT managers are increasingly being asked to support mobile devices, even when they are not part of the standard operating environment.
Demand for Apple’s smartphone reached unprecedented heights when the iPhone 3GS was released in Australia on June 26. Supplies were quickly exhausted as major telcos struggled to keep stock and Apple admitted it could not meet demand.
Then there are the applications. There’s an app for just about anything (even more if you have a jailbroken handset but we won’t go there just yet). Let’s face it, what other technology lets you order a pizza and track its progress to your home all without leaving the couch?
Navigation apps really took off in 2009. The App Store's new category, Top Grossing Apps, showcases their success; of the top 10, seven are games, one is for shoppers and three are navigation apps. Some of this success lies in their price tag, but analysts predict location-based services soon rank as one of the most important consumer mobile applications.
The Apple App store has revolutionised how we consume software, prompting a steady procession of copycat business models from other vendors. Optus opened its own mobile app store for non-Apple devices, in November, becoming the first Australian telco to do so.
Additionally the surge of mobile data flowing across the various providers networks in Australia that also helped many of our biggest listed companies stay in the black while the rest of the world crumbled, is arguably embodied by the iPhone.
For many an enterprises, a mobile strategy equals an iPhone strategy. Banks have clambered to get onboard mobile banking and the iPhone is generally first on the rollout list.
Australian developers have also found success with iPhone applications. In September Melbourne-based mobile phone game development company, Firemint, announced that its top-selling iPhone application, Flight Control, become the first game worldwide to break the 1.5 million sale mark.
On a more controversial note, this year has also marked the emergence of the iPhone worm, as jailbroken iPhone owners discovered there is a price to smartphone freedom. It all began with an annoying but harmless Rick Astley wallpaper, developed by 21-year old Australian developer, Ashley Towns. It soon ballooned into more malicious exploits. Regular iPhones, however, remain immune.
So there you have it. The Computerworld Top Ten Most Influential 2009. Now, it is over to you for the Readers' Choice award. If you don't agree with the panel of 12 you can still have your say on the most influential person, product, organisation, trend or event for 2009.
We will also publish the results in the February/March issue of Computerworld magazine and on the website.
More iPhone articles