So I’ve just caught up with all the hype about the new Apple iPhone and even the Geek in me isn’t really biting. I’m not blindly in love with Apple so that’s one reason, I did own a Mac at one time, my wife has a Nano, so I’m not anti-Apple either. My view on Apple is they sit at the same level as Dell or HP in my thinking.
Apple has a great skill in being able to capture and distil the features that the average Joe (Tech or otherwise) really wants, then create a design that is neat, consistent, simple and elegant all the way though, so Apples creations always have a simplistic beauty and this is one of the key aspects in making that classic Apple cool.
On first sight it is a good looking device but I am stuck by how big the thing is, I’m hoping the person holding it in the demo has a small hand? I’ve had many a big phone in my time and have found it to be a hindrance as if it doesn’t go into a pocket easily and this is where I want my phone to be.
Also the iPhone has a large touch screen which also sets the old alarm bells off, it is very stylish but I’ve scratched up many a PDA and phone screen by having a set of keys in the same pocket as the device also the screens can get a bit mucky with finger or ear prints all over it. If anyone has used an on-screen keyboard will know it’s not as nice as a Qwerty keyboard which has been a major factor in the success of Blackberry, but granted a qwerty keyboard isn't automatically aesthetically attactive. We haven’t even started a conversation about battery life required to power the screen and whether it will survive the ‘Weekend test’. (The Weekend test being that will your phone have enough charge to support normal use over a weekend period?)
The iPhone doesn’t offer an exciting amount of storage for music (4GB or 8GB) but realistically speaking will you ever fill that much space with music? However, when considering storing video this space suddenly seems rather small. Taking the steer from the 30GB video iPod would have been the way to go.
Also another iPhone major selling point is its Internet connectivity but what is the point if it’s slow? No, 3G, HSDPA (it does have Wifi!) but also consider that it will be an onscreen keyboard so this reduces the screen real-estate for your browser window so realistically you aren’t going to be using the iPhone to do anything other than the odd bit of surfing. I’m not sure that email is on offer?
Look at what information is available about the features the device has, it’s not looking as strong as other devices out there which is a shame as this could have been an opportunity to innovate which to be fair is what Apple is very good at, so I think that Apple has missed a real opportunity. However when looked at in pure business terms, Nokia sold something in he order of 600 million handsets in 2006 in an approx 1 billion handset market. Apple aim to sell 10 million in 2008. So all this talk over 1% of the market? Also it’s important to understand if any providers will support it other than Cingular in the United States.
Anyway, I don’t believe its all doom and gloom for the iPhone, this is just version 1!