Computerworld Top 10 Most Influential — #1 iPhone

The coveted number one spot goes to Apple's iPhone

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.

(Vote now in the Readers' Choice award)

#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.

Vote now for your favourite!

We will also publish the results in the February/March issue of Computerworld magazine and on the website.

More iPhone articles

iPhone smooths way for Mac in business

Xbox LIVE iPhone app lets you message on the go

Possible next gen iPhone in the works

Jailbroken iPhones the target of new malicious worm: new password revealed

No regrets from Aussie iPhone virus creator

Rick Astley plagues Aussie iPhones

iPhone vs BlackBerry

Telstra offers Mobile Foxtel on the iPhone

Aussie made iPhone app hits world record sales

3 gives free iPhone on $49 cap, tethering free

Australia in the grip of an iPhone shortage

Page Break

How we chose the Top 10 Most Influential 2009

The Top 10 Most Influential 2009 was chosen by a panel of 12 members comprising the Computerworld editorial team (4) and 8 industry experts (see below for details). Each member of the panel was given a list of suggested possible entries for inclusion in the final list. They were then encouraged to nominate 10 candidates and to add others if they thought them worthy of consideration.

To ensure the broadest possible range of products, people, trends, organisations and events were given a chance at being considered, no restrictions were imposed. In short, anything considered by a panel member to have been one of the biggest influences on the ICT industry and community throughout 2009 was acceptable.

The nominations (or votes) were then tallied by the Computerworld Editorial team and a short-listed created. The entry with the most votes was then selected as the Most Influential for 2009. Those entries with the same amount of votes then went through a count-back with a final decision made by the panel.

The Panel:

Computerworld Editorial Team:

Trevor Clarke (Editor) – See more stories by Trevor

Georgina Swan (Deputy Editor) – See more stories by Georgina

Tim Lohman (Journalist) – See more stories by Tim

Kathryn Edwards (Journalist) – See more stories by Kathryn

Frost & Sullivan ICT practice head, Andrew Milroy Andrew Milroy heads up Frost & Sullivan’s ICT practice in ANZ having joined the firm in 2006. Andrew has spent more than15 years in the ICT industry. He has held senior management roles at IDC and co-founded, NelsonHall, a successful IT services advisory firm in the United States. Andrew’s recent roles have been focused upon the development of research and consulting activities in Europe, Australia and the Asia Pacific region. His research focus has been ICT services, in particular outsourcing. He has also led research and consulting projects in cloud computing and sustainable IT. Visit the Frost & Sullivan website

IDC Associate Vice President Research, Australia, Tim Dillon Tim Dillon manages IDC’s Australian research operations. As part of his role Tim focuses on working with Senior IT executives from Australia’s leading IT&T organisations across consulting projects, research and analysis areas such as; Telecoms, Software and Services. Tim has more than 17 years of professional experience in research. Having lived and worked both in Europe and Asia Pacific, Tim has a global perspective that provides a broader view of technology trends as it impacts Australia. Visit the IDC website

Intermedium Head of Consulting, Kevin Noonan Kevin specialises in the Government IT, as an industry analyst, consultant and commentator. For the last four years, he has provided consulting advice to more than half of the Top 100 ICT companies, and many government agencies. Kevin has more than thirty years experience in the government IT sector. This includes ten years as a government senior executive and Chief Information Officer, and a further eighteen years as a government manager and project director. During this time he held positions responsible for almost every aspect of IT, ranging from technical infrastructure and major procurement, through to policy and large scale business change Visit Intermedium's website

Web Directions conference series co-founder and author, John Allsopp John Allsopp is a co-founder of the Web Directions conference series, and author of one of the earliest books on Microformats. As a software developer, long standing web development speaker, writer, evangelist and self proclaimed expert, he’s spent the last 15 years working with and developing for the web. As the head developer of the leading cross platform CSS development tool Style Master, and developer and publisher of renowned training courses and learning resources on CSS and standards based development, and author of the highly regarded “Dao of Web Design” he has been widely recognized as a leader in these fields. Visit the Web Directions website.

IBRS advisor, Dr Kevin McIsaac Dr Kevin McIsaac is the IBRS advisor for virtualisation, desktop deployment, mobile devices & networks, servers & storage and data centre infrastructure. He has 25 years of IT experience and is a recognised expert in infrastructure, operations and vendor management. Dr McIsaac has 10 years experience as an IT Analyst researching, distilling and disseminating best practices in IT and regularly work with the CIOs and the IT management teams of leading Asia-Pacific organisations. Prior to IBRS, Dr McIsaac was Research Director Asia-Pacific Group for META Group and has held leadership positions at Computer Associates and Functional Software. Visit the IBRS website.

Social media commentator and strategist, Laurel Papworth Laurel is one of Australia’s top social media strategists, a renowned keynote speaker and respected thought leader on the business of being social. She is in the Power150 Media and Marketing blogs globally (Advertising Age), # 3 Media Marketing blogger in Australian (B&T Magazine), and regularly interviewed about social networks in international press and on Australian TV shows and Radio National, Vogue Australia, The Australian and the Fin Review, SMH, Telegraph, and various magazines Visit Laurel's website.

Layer10 Founder, Paul Brooks

Paul Brooks is the founder of Layer10, a consultancy and advisory practice in the telecommunications industry specialising in broadband access, optical network design and service strategy.

Australian Information Industry Association CEO, Ian Birks Ian Birks was appointed AIIA Chief Executive Officer in July 2008. Prior to this he was a national board member of the AIIA, serving since 2004. As a board member Ian has been actively involved in industry workforce and skills issues, working as an advisor to the association’s initiatives in this area. Visit the AIIA website