pace, Brian – I don’t think the iPhone has been nor will ever be a “flop”. But neither will Apple grow to dominate the cell phone industry the way it has the MP3 portable music player market.
Here’s how I think things will play out. For one thing, the iPhone will probably see a price drop. The markup on the phone (on the basis of components alone, not counting labor or licenses etc) is about 50% for the 8GB model, and Apple is running what can only be called a scam with regards to battery replacement. Only the Apple true believers will tolerate this, and that’s a miniscule audience compared to the market size (for reference, Motorola sold about 10 million RAZR phones in third quarter 2006 alone).
It’s also pretty obvious that a video-iPod using the iPhone multitouch interface is inevitable. The question is, will Apple sell a WiFi version, too? A device that does everything that iPhone does – except for the phone – would be a supremely compelling purchase. Especially with Wifi and ditching EDGE in favor of EV-DO. Of course, Apple would need to permit users to install third-party apps – like Skype – for it to really catch on. Imagine for a moment just what you could do with something like that. It would be a VOIP-phone, a handheld PC, chat device, video player, everything. Personally I think that device convergence is impossible; no matter what happens, you always will have to carry two. Let those be your cell phone and the uberPod. That might be a potent enough combo to banish notebook PCs to… well, the desktop.
Who said mobs were dumb? The iPhone is a beautiful piece of electronics, so much so that Apple can’t allow you to do things with it you’d normally be able to do with a SIM-card GSM device, like swap cards out, even intra-carrier.
Steve opened up with how he believes that the iPhone will change the mobile space forever…. The iPhone was driven by the fact that everyone hates their phones, and it’s all about “core competence”â€”making all of the features easy-to-use and self-discoverable.
No. Most people love their phones; what they hate is their cell phone plan and provider. Why? Because of all the restrictions, contract termination fees, high prices… things that Apple does precisely nothing to ameliorate, and in fact exacerbates. Besides, anyone who’s ever seen the latest phones out of Japan knows that it’s not ease of use, but sexy features, that are what consumers want. Apple’s view that the phone features need to be “easy to use” suggest both a total lack of awareness of modern cell phones and a certain condescension towards the user.
I think that in some ways the iPhone represents the epitome of Apple’s embrace of “cool”, which necessarily carries connotations of elitism. This contrast starkly with Nintendo, which aims for a kind of mass appeal – but not in the shoddy sense, more of a family vibe.
The unboxing experience is often enough of a plus to put someone in a positive frame of mind for the setup procedure, which itself is often smooth enough to get things off on the right foot. But there will be people like Bodine who insist on straying from the beaten path, clicking on the wrong things, applying their preconceived notions of how a computer should work, and establishing what other people would consider unreasonable criteria for how Apple should receive a passing or failing grade.
It’s times like this that I feel an unaccountable sort of sympathy for countries like North Korea, that have to assign “handlers” to the tourists who come to see them, to steer them around and show them all the good stuff, and prevent them from clicking on the wrong building or torture camp.
The sole thing that attracts me to the Mac as a potential future purchase is the image of the Mac as a means to open the doors to your creativity and let your productivity run wild without being arbitrarily constrained by the limitations of the software and whims of the programmers and marketdroids and whatnot. That image, carefully cultivated, seems to be a dinosaur now. I mean, god forbid a user clicks on the wrong thing. Instead the user is expected to follow the paradigm, stop questioning why things are the way they are. Instead, they should just be satisfied by… the unboxing experience?
behold! only for the Mac faithful. Bluetooth versions of the Mighty Mouse are not compatible with Windows XP. The scroll ball is what really inflames my geeklust. I suppose I could go for the wired version – sure to be drop in price now – especially given that I already have a sexy charcoal V270 for my Thinkpad…