Even Steve Jobs didn’t know what he had on his hands when he announced the original iPhone as a combination of a mere “three revolutionary products”: an iPod, a cell phone, and a keyboard-less handheld computer. Once Apple introduced the App Store and opened it up to outside developers, however, the iPhone became capable of serving a rapidly growing number of functions – now more than 350,000 and counting.
But the iPhone has implications far beyond the phone or gadget market. In fact, it’s opening the way to what Brian X. Chen calls the “always-on” future, where we are all constantly connected to a global Internet via flexible, incredibly capable gadgets that allow us to do anything, anytime, from anywhere. This has far-reaching implications – both positive and negative – throughout all areas of our lives, opening the door for incredible personal and societal advances while potentially sacrificing both privacy and creative freedom in the process.
Always On is the first book to look at the surprising and expansive significance of Apple’s incredibly powerful vertical business model, and the future it portends.