What is the hype of the IPhone?

So Redfin just launched a I phone app, John L. Scott just launched a Iphone app, who hasn’t launched a Iphone app? “Windermere that’s who”  You may ask “what is all the hype, everyone has an Iphone?”  Really? Well I don’t and I don’t intend to get one anytime soon. There are a few reasons why. For starters AT&T can’t seem to provide a services that is better if not the same as Sprint in coverage. They have a data plan that I would have to sell my first born to afford.  My blackberry does just fine finding a great place for me to enjoy a nice dinner from time to time.

All kidding aside lets look at the facts. In a recent article in Fortune magazine (Read it) How Blackberry Does it by Jessi Hempel.  It really gives you a good idea of the penetration Apple has over RIM. IF Windermere were to invest money in anything we want to make sure we have a good ROI.  What is our penetration look like in the Apple real estate app world. This article shows that It isn’t really Apple that is taking the Hand Held world by storm but rather Blackberry.

I get it that it is cool and hip, but remember we are in business and when your in business you have to make sure you do things at the right time and get the biggest impact. Here is a graph showing what has happened from 2006 to 2009 in the handheld world.

Hmmmm! So 11% as of 2009 Q1. Doesn’t sound like a huge number when it comes to making a large impact. That said do we need a handheld real estate application sure we do. Lets let AT&T get out of the Apple contract and see what happens then. I’m pretty sure that number will grow larger but for today word on the street the handheld app form redfin and John L Scott isn’t setting the world on fire from what I can tell.

Posted on September 22, 2009 at 1:41 pm
Michael Fanning | Category: Real Estate Related | Tagged , ,

8 responses to “What is the hype of the IPhone?”

  1. Thanks for the stats on SmartPhones. I agree that BlackBerry works really well and I think the utter coolness of Apple and IPhones is what makes them so newsworthy. meanwhile RIM keeps making a great durable product and most people I know in the real estate world are RIM users.

  2. Mike – I’m usually with you on your analysis, however I think you missed the boat on this one.

    An equally important question is *who* are the 20+million iPhone users. They are technically savvy, leading edge, with disposable income.

    Otherwise know as your target audience :-).

    As for the investment. About one week of newspaper paper advertising is what it would cost you to develop an iPhone app. It is and should be viewed as a marketing expense. They hype around the iPhone is simply an opportunity for *free* media.

  3. Nate Scott says:

    Mike,

    I agree with Rahmn dot com on this. If you look at the graphs you provided, it shows outstanding growth by Apple and just how quickly they are eating up market share, granted maybe not as much as RIM but it’s still a significant market share and it will continue to grow as will RIM’s. Why not have app’s for both? Our marketing guru on San Juan said he could build a simple app if we buy him the apple equiptment, but why not have the rather significant power of WRE Tech get on this? For a realitively small amount of WRE Services dollars we could have an app that would benefit the whole network and capture some of the iphone market – which has got to be larger than the Seattle Times market these days. There is no reason WRE should not be ahead of JLS and Redfin other than WRE’s reluctance to invest and act.

  4. Jason McFadyen says:

    Mike,

    I agree wholeheartedly with Rahmn. Gone are the days of Windermere being the leader in technology as we are not a tech company-I get that. We can still be leaders, not followers when it comes to tech. We have always stood out for what we do, not what we DON’T do.

    So what if you don’t like their data plan or coverage. (20 million others seem to think they’re ok). So what if the other leading companies in our market already have an app. Who cares if we didn’t think of it first. We at least need to be as techy as the next guy and if that means an iPhone app, then let’s develop one.

    So Mike, I urge you to put aside your personal views of the iPhone and their provider and answer me this: Wouldn’t you rather see the guy on the light rail or the gal sitting in the airport using OUR iPhone app-and NOT Redfin’s? I can tell you what every one of the agents in my office would say.

    P.S. I just bought an iPhone this weekend and it truly IS the cat’s meow.

  5. This is great stuff. Wow finally I wrote something that gets you all to post a comment of what you want. It worked. For starters I have nothing against Apple. I have an Itouch and use it daily and love the internet access I get on it. Also please don’t take this article as saying that Windermere doesn’t want a Smartphone app. That said it is important to prioritize what is Windermere needs to do in that there are a lot of new and exciting things out there and yes the App world is one of them. Totally agree.

  6. Elliott Wood says:

    I have to agree with Rahmn and McFayden on this one. Whether you like the iPhone or not it is capturing market share by the minute and will continue to grow. If and when it does get away from just At&t the numbers will sky rocket.

    The usership of the iPhone in the generations below baby boomers is huge and they will stick by it for years to come (not to mention many baby boomers use it as well). Not creating an iPhone app and neglecting that sector of the market would be the wrong move on WRE part.

    Over the past few years WRE has taken risks in the technology world in order to stay competitive. Some have been wins and some have been loses. The iPhone is here to stay and creating a WRE app for it can only result in a win.

  7. Brian Kayler says:

    Mike –

    Why not build a cross-functional web app? You then grab the trendy iPhone users, business based Blackberry, Palm & WM users and the gadget happy Google, Nokia, Sony Erickson, etc. users. Put that web app as a download in the app store’s of the applicable handsets with a pretty Windermere icon and all done at a fraction of the cost of a stand alone app for each handset.

    I read this article in the beginning of the year and think it still holds true. I’m sure some of the technology has changed since then but i’d guess that the phones web browsers are coming closer together rather than further apart.

    http://www.infoworld.com/d/developer-world/cross-platform-option-web-apps-smartphones-485

    Just a thought.

  8. Nate Scott says:

    As a guy on the front line so to speak at WRE I’ll tell you that lack of an app, lack of a mobile plan or usability on our current website is a problem when it comes to agent retention and recruitment which ultimately is what drives WRE. We will lose our great agents if we do not keep pace with the tech side of things, and we clearly are failing in that regard now. I’m hoping that WRE is able to change the emphasis a bit in regards to the services it offers the agents and their customers who right now are taking a close look at the competition and what they offer, and they are liking what they see. I’m not advocating putting app’s that are not well thought out or built right out there, but this isn’t a new arena and others are clearing putting the effort in to keeping pace and we are not. Hope that changes, soon. I am not a iphone user, but would love to be – just can’t type text or emails fast enough on it….fat fingers.

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