When Apple first announced the launch of its iPhone platform, we wrote here that it is a game changer. Even the core of iPhone is a major advance in mobile computing, but with the platform iPhone becomes the new personal computer. The desktop from now on will be for professional and business work. Laptops aren't going away, but will get increasingly less personal use. The reason is that iPhone with its application platform is a better personal computer and it's widely accessible.

At Your Fingertips. Fast.

Every major service, Amazon, Netflx, Twitter, Digg, Flickr, Facebook, is already available, or will soon be, on iPhone. Either the companies or third parties will deliver these applications. The result is, you have the world in your pocket; anytime, anywhere you can access what you need.

This is powerful and unprecedented. For a while now, we've been seeing desktop and web converging, with increasingly more desktop apps leveraging the web. iPhone places this convergence into the spotlight. Smart little apps with fluid Apple design are now leveraging the vast amounts of information available on the web.

Location Awareness

Another leap is location awareness. Apps are now smarter because they understand an important part of your context. Want nearby movies, restaurants or maps? Applications automatically leverage your current location.

And we're now seeing a true blend of physical and digital. When you're at a restaurant, see what your friends thought about it. When in a bookstore, look up reviews on Amazon. If in Paris, access an instant map. Sure, you could do this before, but this iPhone platform takes the experience to a new level. It takes it to the mainstream.

The New Personal Computer

There's an irony in Steve Jobs' recent move to drop the word computer from the company name. Arguably, this iPhone is the first really personal computer. True, the PC was called that first, but from today's view PC is for heavy tasks while iPhone is small, smart and portable.

iPhone comes with a pack of applications perfect for today's consumers. Like iMac 10 years ago, this device focuses on essentials. It has all the necassary communications: phone, email, text messaging. It has a camera and a way to manage photos. It's the best smart phone to play video. And its music support rocks.

Even the original iPhone was great at finding information: maps and Safari made the web instantly accessible. Now with the application platform open-ended, all other non-Apple essentials become available. Each of us can download the apps for services we use and make iPhone personalized and personal.

What's Next for Business Computing?

Beyond personal computing iPhone aims to help people do business. Its much anticipated Exchange integration will generate an army of converts. Jobs and his crew know the personal computer needs to support business folks, as few people would want to carry two devices.

Where does this leave laptops and PC? Obviously neither is going away anytime soon, but both are more orientated towards business professionals. Programmers will not be using an iPhone to write Java code. Designers will not be using it for graphics, and engineers will never run CAD on iPhone. These aren't personal computing things, but business. iPhone will become our new personal computer.

Conclusion

Seeing the new applications on the iPhone is eye-opening. They're powerful, they're beautiful, and they're only getting better. Having all personal applications and services at your fingertips makes one realize iPhone is really the first personal computer.

Increasingly, desktops and laptops will be for professional computing. iPhone and its descendants will be our new personal computer. This is an exciting page in the history of our technology. It's the start of an era: ubiquitous, portable, personal computing.

ReadWriteWeb Predictions: How many total units of the iPhone will Apple sell in 2008? Click here to predict.