iPhone OS is the first mass-market operating system where consumers are no longer afraid to install software on their computers (I’m not counting read-only media software platforms like games consoles here). In a conversation recently, a friend recounted a scene that he passed by in an airport. Four fifty-something women were sitting at a cafe table discussing the latest apps they had downloaded on their iPod touches. New software can’t break your iPhone OS device and, if you don’t like it, total removal is only a couple of taps away.
Finally, the devices are incredibly cheap by comparison with traditional laptop hardware. I could buy myself every iPad that comes out over the course of a three-year hardware cycle and still spend less than I did on laptops. The software is inexpensive too. There remain great strides to be made on discoverability and trials in the App Store. Still, it’s hard to ignore the fact that there’s now a large constituency of users just venturing into their first experiences of purchasing third-party software.