We all know the next Apple (AAPL) iPhone 2.0 is coming out soon. Everyone is writing about it and speculating what is the next big thing. Apple’s brand is so strong that people lined up in front of Apple’s flagship store for no apparent reason. It doesn’t matter what the product is, since Apple has not released any details. One can bet that iPhone platform information will be released at the Apple Worldwide Developer Conference in San Francisco on June 9, 2008. I’ll add to the speculation and say that the GPS capabilities of the iPhone will eat into the sales of Garmin (GRMN) and Tom Tom (TOM2.AS). GPS units have dropped in price dramatically, almost to commodity prices, so shorting them might be attractive. One may argue that these GPS companies have superior software, but the platform is open to developers, so I forsee excellent GPS software in the works. The internet and GPS will be at your finger tips very soon.
The iPhone will have the same effect on the smartphone market as the iPod had on the mp3 players. The first smartphone was created by Palm (PALM), which still makes them. Palm has had a bumpy ride these past few years, competing with Handspring and eventually buying Handspring back again. Their Treo PDA/phone was popular, but I’ve seen those first adopters switch over to the iPhone. These same first adopters are going to dump their iPhone 1.0s for the iPhone 2.0. The future is mobile internet. Move evidence is the popularity of Asus’ EEE laptop computer and Intel’s development of the Atom processor. Components and devices designed to suit the needs of people on the go. Small, efficient internet-enabled devices are the future. In the past people had simple terminals connected to a mainframe computer. This gave way to personal computers and workstations. Soon it’ll be portable devices connected to the internet.