Clayton Christensen on the iPhone.

The Harvard Business School professor who wrote the brilliant book, The Innovator’s Dilemma, 10 years ago, Clayton Christensen, doesn’t think the iPhone will be that disruptive an innovation.

In a terrific Q&A with Jena McGregor, the management editor at Business Week, Christensen says that the iPhone is really a sustaining technology, not a disruptive technology. “They’ve launched an innovation that the existing players in the industry are heavily motivated to beat.” “it’s not [truly]disruptive,” he says. “History speaks pretty loudly on that, that the probibility of success is going to be limited.”

Wow. Christensen argues that the telcos are pushing their own music download services onto their mobile phones. It’s not as good as downloading from iTunes for many people but it’s getting better and it may be good enough for most folks.

Hmmm. I think Christensen is wrong here. For one thing, ATT/Cingular is signing with Apple. That leaves, what, Verizon and a couple of smaller players. There’s isn’t that much competition left. Apple may have a lock.

What do you think?

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