Apple, Inc. should quit fooling around and get serious about the mobile market. The iPod/iTunes combination has turned out to be a huge success, but there so much more this company could do in this area.
The best thing Apple could do would be to create a version of iLife to run on smartphones. This would be a suite of applications that lets mobile devices tie in to Apple's services for carrying out a variety of online tasks, from sharing photos to creating web pages.
iLife in Your Life
The part of iLife that's absolutely crying out for better support on mobile devices is iTunes. People will all kinds of devices want to be able to easily buy music and videos online, and Apple already has the online service up and going. All it needs is the mobile application.
Another portion of iLife that could be greatly improved by giving people access to it while they are away from their Mac is iPhoto, Apple's online image sharing service. This could allow people to post pictures on the web immediately after they were taken.
Another iLife service with plenty of mobile potential is iWeb. A version of this for smartphones could let users update their blogs whenever and wherever they want, not just when they are near their Mac.
No New Hardware Necessary
Although there have been rumors circulating for a very long time that Apple is going to release its own smartphone, I don't think this is very likely... and it's certainly not necessary.
Instead of getting into the cut-throat business of making hardware, Apple should release iLife Mobile for a variety of mobile platforms like the Palm OS, Symbian, and Windows Mobile. This would give it the largest potential market for the lowest cost.
If this application suite is really going to be a success, it can't just be available on a model or two. There are very few people who will switch phones and/or wireless carriers just to get an additional feature or two.
A Win-Win Situation
The potential benefits of iLife Mobile are obvious for both users and Apple itself. Users get convenient access to the online services they want when they are out and about, while Apple gets what every company wants: money.
Although Apple should offer this application as part of its iLife package, it can still make money off it, as many people will use iTunes to buy music when they are away from their Macs. And it should increase sales of iLife, as there will be Mac users who can see the advantages of iLife Mobile who might not have otherwise bought this software.