Wednesday, January 10, 2007

5 Reasons Why the iPhone Will Fail / Dominate

It's time for the obligatory iPhone post. A lot has been said already, so I'll keep it brief.

5 Reasons iPhone Trumps Sliced Bread
  1. OMFG! Have you seen this thing? Aesthetically it's a wonder to behold; thin, light, and the UI is sublime. I've read people describe disturbingly carnal reactions to seeing the iPhone, say what you will but she's pretty.
  2. iPr0n. (shown above) Well du'h, in the right wrong hands this turns into the handheld porn repository to end all porn stashes. That's 8Gb of full motion video, photos, and websites. Brings a whole new perspective to the multi touch interface.
  3. One word. Usability. Nokia? Eriksson? Are you listening? The iPhone is an object lesson in usability design -- the learning curve on this thing looks horizontal. It's easy enough for my mother to use. The iPhone defines how a smartphone is supposed to work.
  4. OSX powered. If Apple take the high road 3rd party developers will be able to leverage the iPhone as a new application platform. If you think web service fed applications are hot now, wait until you can get desktop quality front-ends on a portable device. And with OSX running under the hood we should expect to see iChat powered VOIP. IM, and video chat before long (please!)
  5. Apple fanbois. It's Apple, so people will love it, and people will buy it. No matter the cost. QED.
5 Reasons iPhone is Dead in the Water
  1. Closed system. Indications are that no SDK or development kit will be available to 3rd parties, and you're locked in to a questionable mobile carrier. Oh, and you can't upgrade the 4/8Gb storage. Without the cool 3rd party apps to personalise my iPhone isn't a smart phone. It's a video Nano that I can make calls with. For $600.
  2. Did I mention it costs US$599! I'm a working tech professional and I'll struggle (but manage) to justify 600 clams plus a contract. I don't see uncles and grandparents giving them away as Christmas presents.
  3. No hard keys == beautiful == hard to type. A lot of people dial and text without looking at keys, and softkeys tend to be too small and clumsy for business use. There's a reason new smartphones have keyboards.
  4. US release in June, Europe at Christmas, 2008 for Asia. That's a lot of time for us to think better of selling children / body parts for this thing. And it gives exisitng phone makers a year to catch up. Sony Eriksson, Motorolla, and Nokia, aren't giving up just yet.
  5. It's slow. If web access has been described as 'slow' in WiFi mode, GSM / Edge Internet is going to be painful.
Version 1.0 will be a tough sell, but early adoptors will be all over it, $600 be damned. By mid 2008 we'll start seeing 3rd party applications and version 2 with 20Gb of flash storage and no carrier lock-in.

The iPhone will almost certainly be a success, but whether it eventually holds the 5% market share of its Mac
brethren, or the 70% share of its iPod kin remains to be seen. Early indications are that price won't be the clincher, it'll be how open the system is.

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