If there’s one common archaic practice that needs to be eradicated it’s the business card. And credit to the likes of Cardcloud, Bump, Cloud Contacts and CardFlick who are all bravely attempting to solve the problem despite the potential (and likelihood) of being swept aside by a giant phone manufacturer’s solution any time soon.
The minute I heard whispers of the arrival of a ‘Cards’ application at Apple’s event, I believed that time had come. Apple was finally doing it, it was about to reveal its business card killer to the rest of the world. In one swift move, with one slick application, Apple would recreate the business card.
…Yeah, that didn’t quite happen. It didn’t happen at all in fact. Instead, Apple entered the gift card market… Wha…?
I don’t want to get into the who, why and what of Apple’s decision to get into that particular market, RWW does a perfectly good job here. I’m also not here to tear into the notion of why business cards still exist in their current form? We’ve done that before and while I’m sure there are a few people out there who enjoy the ‘feel’ of business cards and the ritual of handing one over, I’m confident the majority would quite happily see them neatly integrated into the modern devices and practices we’re accustomed to today.
What I am intrigued about is what could be holding Apple back?
With 27%+ of the US smartphone market alone, if anyone can finally kill off the business card for good and again change the game, it’s Apple. Lord knows, Google isn’t going to do it, although it could. Also did you know Apple was part of the original consortium who developed the vCard back in 1995?
We’ve described exactly how a business card exchange service built into the iPhone could work before:
“The ideal solution should require nothing more than your mobile phone – no proprietary 3rd party software, hardware or web account. The standard should be open and built right into the OS of all phones. It shouldn’t have to rely on cellular or wireless connectivity to work. It should create an ad-hoc bluetooth based peer-to-peer network to conduct the transfer. This would allow the mechanism to work on a plane for example. If Apple built this functionality into the iPhone I can guarantee that this somewhat obscure practice of wireless contact sharing would take off.”
While an iPhone app would be propriety 3rd party software, it would almost certainly be a start, and hopefully drum up interest from other phone manufacturers to innovate and integrate but if nothing else, take notice. We’ve seen it time and time again of late with the iPhone and iPad; within months of release, competitors imitate and replicate, it would only be a matter of time before every device came with the standard built right in.
Apple, the time is now – in fact, it was years ago, as was the tablet’s, but no one truly gave it the attention it deserved until you did with the iPad… Do it again, albeit on a smaller scale, with the business card. Leave competitors wondering why, once again, they didn’t leave their mark on the industry with a genuine (and inevitable) innovation.