'We've reinvented the phone ... as a wheelbarrow'
Feel those paradigms shift
Letters Bill Ray had the pleasure of being able to say "I told you so" this week, having correctly predicted the go-to-market strategy and price of Apple's first phone. Here's the response to his post-launch verdict, and a few of other iPhone articles this week:
You are coming at this from the current cell phone market paradigm. Apple is trying to radically alter that paradigm to shift power from the utility provider to the device manufacturers.
Apple is banking on the phone becoming a phenomenon like the iPod. I believe Steve even said something along the lines of "think of it a an iPod". Customer demand will drive the networks to Apple, on Apple's terms. Until WiMax comes along, bringing with it the ISP model, and devices matter and just use the "pipes".
Now there's an optimist. Here's another, moved to write by the shifting paradigms around him:
To be perfectly honest I think you are completely missing the point. This is a revolution.
The is a replacement laptop . I m a photographer I will definately buy one to show images to my clients. I am sick to the back teeth of carrying around a couple of devices neither of which work very well. The iPhone is perfect! I could never see the point of 3G as there is always a handy WiFi point ( often free) As long as it runs skype I'm happy sms and voice mail and my music it's the perfect device for me
For this reader, the paradigm hasn't so much shifted, but registered a Force 8 on the Paradigm Richter Scale:
There ARE still question marks such as ability to load 3rd-party scripts, widgets or apps, the usability of the virtual keyboard for real typing, etc. But I think that the iPhone qualifies as a first-class "paradigm shift" of a phone, rather than a pretty but troublesome toy. Why the petulance?
Based on the actual iPhone announcement from Apple, your original article (published prior to the announcement) was spot on in terms of the expected distribution strategy (exclusive to one carrier per territory) and even their retail price point (£330/$499). This shows your knowledge and insight on today's telecom market.
The danger however is when you assumed there are/will be competing devices that offer 'better' functionality at a lower cost. If by 'better' you refer to ease of use and efficacy there is generally no better candidate than Apple in terms of design and execution. In fact the company thrives on a premium product strategy (e.g. Mac, iPod). The only question is whether the device's consumer appeal is correctly priced at a $150-350 premium compared to competing products in the same class (e.g. Nokia E62, SonyEricsson M600 etc)
Given Apple's track record in product segmentation and marketing, I'm gonna go with a 'yes'.
To your point about the iPhone needing 3G and MMS in order to succeed in the UK & Europe, I disagree.
The mobile operators want recoup their investment any way they can right now. Get their money back first, worry about building on the brand spanking new infrastructure later. And they'll want to pursue any possible avenue to get that money, regardless of whether it has 3G or MMS.
The iPhone could be a mobile resuable ice cream cone for all the likes of Vodaphone and O2 care, if it gets signs up punters in their hordes who provide shiny new pound sterling or euros then quite frankly, they couldn't care less.
I think your article thus was waaaay too cautious, a quality that might alienate you from the rest of the (usually) gung ho and cavalier el Reg staff! I'd advise you to buck your ideas up and be a little more outrageous!
iBling doesn't impress this reader:
Having watched both iPods in our household being disposed of as basically unreliable and flaky, plus having to assist both owners to cope with the effects of said unreliability and flakiness, I am highly sceptical about the desirability of any similar product emanating from Apple.
The word "Bargepole" would figure in an assessment of my feelings.
I agree with everything you said. I do not need this phone. However, I do want it and will buy it even though Cingular has a mediocre reputation for call quality. I want it because it will be the first phone that will allow me to locate, understand and use (if I choose) the multitude of features on a cell phone.
I am not buying one right away. As in most tech toys, I have learned the hard way to take a wait and see approach. Waiting for the bugs to be worked out of version 1 and buying version 2 has saved me thousands in recent years. Prior to that I was a buy the latest and greates and then watch it sit on the shelf because it doesnt work kind of guy.
Thank for your time,
Here's the Angry Brigade, though.
Your N93 can do everything the ihone can huh?? lolololol
Do your research.
How the FUCK did you get a job in journalism??
Nice to meet you too, Tim.
"The iPhone is a good-looking piece of kit: it does nothing my Nokia N93 can't do already, but it looks a great deal prettier and looks will sell."
Not entirely accurate. Random access to voicemail is a features not to be found in any phone. I presume making this happen at the network-level is the R&D done by Cingular (mentioned in the Keynote.)
But the news that there's no third party development, except unless it's approved by Apple, appears to settle it for now.
I've had a long debate with friends if this phone would be a killer or a dud. Without enabling other apps to run the whole debate is IMHO over.
Well done, it IS after all a market first. A NON-smart phone. A duh-phone.."