Apple is an agent of change. The Kindle got its ass kicked last Saturday with the release of the iPad. Steve sprinkled some salt in its wounds today with the announcement of iBooks for the iPhone and iPod touch—yet beleaguered ebook readers aren't the only ones under siege. iPhone OS 4.0 enables application multitasking better than BlackBerry, Android, and the remaining devices lumped into the "Other" slice of a pie chart that showed 64% of mobile web browsing in the US happens on an iPhone. BlackBerry was also setup to take additional blows in the form of more enterprise enhancements and new API's CIO's will find in iPhone OS 4.0.
Other losers of the day included Flash. Steve once again highlighted how easy it is to create rich multimedia content using open web standards while Cupertino quietly cast doubt upon the viability of Flash apps cross-compiled to run on the iPhone. Allies of Apple took some friendly fire too. Plus+ will get to compete with Game Center, Cupertino's battle cry to capture more of the mobile gaming space against the DS and PSP. The world's wireless operators could also be counted among the collateral damage, as the multitasking iPhone OS 4.0 unleashes the full potential of Skype and other VoIP apps. It must suck to be relegated to being a dumb data pipe, but at least the mobile carriers can still charge their customers for access to the Internet. The biggest bombshell was saved for the last tentpole of the iPhone OS 4.0 keynote.
iAd actually wasn't unexpected since Apple acquired Quattro Wireless after Skynet (i.e. Google) scooped up AdMob. If it works, all advertising on the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad will go through Apple's shiny new ad network. Developers get a respectable 60% cut of revenue, and advertisers can reach almost 100 million people with interactive ads that don't suck. Apple was clearly taking shots at Skynet. Steve said that while desktop computer users find content online via a search engine, mobile users are more inclined to know there's an app for that specific query they have in mind. Skynet can still take solace in the fact that the Borg (i.e. Microsoft) did not displace their services that have always been bundled with the iPhone. Skynet may also be able to use iAd as a reason why the FTC shouldn't try to block their AdMob acquisition, which would be somewhat ironic.