iPhone application development services are turning out to be a source of competitive edge in business. With so much action taking place in the digital economy, the war for dominance in the mobile applications segment has just got more intense. While mobile app developers are always seen flowing with the currents of seismic shifts in technological patterns, iPhone applications development solutions continue to have an edge in this fiercely competitive market. As it regularly happens in digital business, the competitive edge that iPhone applications have rubs off on the entire value chain consisting of enterprises, vendors offering IOS application development services, iPhone users and financial institutions. The network economies generated by digital business models facilitates a win-win situation. Android vs iPhone Naysayers may argue here that there has been a surge in mobile application development across diverse platforms starting from Android and Blackberry to Windows. They may also suggest that Android happens to be having a distinct advantage of following the open source model and thus there are additional costs of distributing Android applications. Then why place iPhone apps development at the top of the hierarchy of mobile application development services? Well, as we shall discover here, the edge commanded by iPhone applications development is not an ill-found one but has some very strong business arguments. Great Market Penetration and User Engagement of the Apple iPhone Hailed by Time Magazine as the greatest invention of the decade, iPhone represents the best that can happen to the personal devices industry. Of the many virtues that it does possess is the fact that the value created by this legendary smart phone brand is premised clearly on great graphic user interface. The simplicity it brings to the user and the convenience of use is unparalleled meaning that smart phones belonging to the cost based segment will never be on the same footing as the iPhone. Ever since the launch of the first version it has captured the imagination of users and will continue to do so. Design superiority is something that continues to put it ahead of its peers. In an industry where disruptive innovations and design plagiarism are watchwords, the iPhone has been able to hold on to its unparalleled market leadership for more than a decade now. It is expected to enjoy this lead over the next five to six years. Though the takeaway for business enterprises lies not in the technical sophistication that the iPhone possesses but what it means to the users of the device. Users of the device are characterized by the personality that the device commands. Business enterprises selling premium brands can look forward to offering some really delightful user engagement by building apps for the iPhone, and the users of this segment will be willing to dish out the dollars for brands that are unique and distinct. While many critics tend to downplay the market penetration of the iPhone and thus consequently advise to disengage from application development for it, there is data that says the exact opposite. More than one third of school going students in the United States of America possess an iPhone. Here is a segment of young, value conscious and sophisticated consumers who are unwilling to compromise on superb digital experience and willing to walk the extra mile in search of products and services that represent the gold standard of that industry vertical. Digital Transformation Using ‘SMAC’ is the Next Big Thing While we have examined the worth of iPhone applications development from a purely consumer perspective there is another side to the story. As said earlier the network effect generated by the digital business model comes into play with great effect here. From the enterprise perspective this is an era that is pulling the rug out from beneath the feet of top tech giants. As Harvard scholar and management guru, Rita Gunter McGrath, has pointed out the era of business process outsourcing is dead. Mere delivery of cost value and actions aimed at hitting the bliss point of cost rationalization through information technology will not suffice. Businesses need to focus on business process management rather than business process outsourcing. While some may argue that there exists a case for IT modernization by moving over from legacy based systems to new ones, the new revised digital landscape calls for something absolutely new. For enterprises to create value out of their business processes they will have to think and do so on the lines of the four emerging trends, all of which have a strong link with the personalized communications device of the end user. These four technological trends are: social media, mobile applications, analytics and cloud (SMAC). Thus, iPhone application developers are staring at a multi-million dollar window of business opportunities waiting to be opened. From entertainment applications development for live streaming of competitive sport, social media applications for refreshing avenues like hash tag banking, mobile payment solutions and health care applications for keeping a count of the calorific value and fast forwarding nutrition facts of the daily diet, there is a new world of business opportunities out there. Payments at the Speed of Lightning On iPhone The greatest driver of e-business though is the tremendous advances in mobile payments integration and the addressing of security issues. This has allowed businesses to fast forward the sales process and receive payments with great ease to reduce cash cycle time. While there are different mobile payment applications today that cater to the requirements of the end user, Apple Passbook stands out from the crowd. Introduced in iOS6 it relies on scanning 2D bar codes and helps manage payments for movie tickets, music concerts, quick service restaurants and airline tickets. In addition to this it also manages loyalty coupons and cards enabling enterprises to reward users for repeat purchases. This mobile app also generates time and location based notifications for the user to remind him of purchase behavior using data extracted from the archives. The user does not have to carry his stack of loyalty cards and grocery coupons because these are stored in his phone. Indirectly, thus the Apple Passbook fosters a relationship building among business enterprises, end users and lastly the iPhone. Lemon Wallet is yet another digital wallet that fits in with the iPhone really well. The app allows the user to store and use your debit, credit, ID, insurance member and loyalty cards. It turns all of that information into a bar-code to be scanned by merchants. The user can also connect payment cards to your bank allowing you to check your balance and transactions from within the app. The app is pass code protected throughout with a 4-pin pass code; even when accessing your other cards within the app, it’ll ask the user to input the pass code again. Another good feature is that it allows the user to take pictures of receipts for tax purposes or to track his spending. As seen here the iPhone is much more than just another smart phone or a gizmo loaded with technicalities. From the strategic perspective iPhone application development services can lean on the VRIO framework to understand the business value that can be created. Value, rareness, non-imitable and organizational fit (VRIO) makes app development for iPhone a winning formula. The presence of a business on the iPhone through its apps can enable it to reach out to a segment of customers who swear by classy value propositions. Images: “PARIS, FRANCE – SEPTEMBER 20, 2014: Man comparing the new Apple iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus during the sales launch of the latest Apple Inc. smartphones at the Apple store in Paris, France/Shutterstock.com“ ________________________________________________________________________________ Tweak Your Biz is a thought leader global publication and online business community. 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