In the Business Insider Post Apple’s iPhone Business Alone Is Now Bigger Than All Of Microsoft Henry Blodget points out that:
In the December quarter, Apple’s iPhone business generated $24.4 billion of revenue. Microsoft’s whole company, meanwhile, from Windows to Office to servers to XBox, generated $20.9 billion.
And if you are really counting just how far Apple is ahead of Microsoft then you appreciate knowing that:
Apple’s business (in Q4) is more than twice the size of Microsoft’s–$46 billion to $21 billion–and more than twice as profitable: $17 billion to $8 billion.
Perhaps the following clip of Steve Balmer “dissing” the iPhone in 2007 will clearly demonstrate just how wrong Microsoft has been when it comes to the Internet…which is obviously a lot more than just email:
What does Apple excelling and Microsoft have to do with Education? A great deal if you consider why Apple has been so successful. Apple’s success isn’t attributed to a just an efficient user interface it can be attributed to the fact that they understand that people want to be able to access EVERYTHING all the time and from everywhere and the iPhone, and now the iPad allow one to do this. All the world’s information can be accessed from the palm of your hand. Microsoft isn’t the only business to miss this point. Research in Motion (RIM) the makers of the Blackberry also missed this point and back in 2008 they release a direct competitor to the iPhone 3G which was a complete miss because it didn’t even have wifi. Back in 2008 I wrote a blog post which pointed out that RIM assumed that Apple’s success was attributed to the touch interface and not seamless web access so they copied that functionality and offered the Blackberry Storm…which failed horribly. It looks like I was right…RIM’s global market share has dropped from around 87% in 2007 to 14% by the end of 2011.
Since some of the world’s most successful technology companies have missed the power of mobile and ubiquitous access to all things digital, there should be no surprise that Academia for the most part is slow to embrace this opportunity as well. Fortunately, there are some academics who see this exciting opportunity to prepare their students for the future. Bill Rankin the Director of Educational Innovation at Abilene Christian University offers the following line of thinking to encourage us to seize the opportunity that we now have before us.
With ubiquitous access to information the greatest challenge of the digital information age is assessing information. A google search of the term “digital age” yields just over 56 million hits. Looking at the 56 million results spending just 5 seconds on each and reading for 16 hours a day, 365 days a year, it would take a person approximately 76 years to look at each of result. This is an overwhelming amount of information is much than a person would have encountered in an entire career 50 years ago. We also know that much of this information will not even be valid or useful. So to reiterate the challenge we face in the digital information age is accessing information.
Then if we imagine our primary jobs as a professors is to serve information, are we helping solve the current informational problem or make it worse?
And given the vast complexity of the informational network, if we insist on our centrality, does that establish or harm our credibility as professors?
If assessing information – and the wisdom & experience that requires – is the central challenge of the current informational age, are professors more or less necessary?
The direction, guidance and mentoring of a caring professor has never been more important. We live in a world filled with so much information and so much of it comes at us noise. Helping our learners filter out the noise and helping them make meaningful connection that lead to learning and growth has never been more important. It has also never been easier to do this.