The new iphone....do you still want one?
In January of this year Steve Jobs of Apple announced the launch of the iphone which would be 5, yes!, 5 years ahead of it's time.
"iPhone is a revolutionary and magical product that is literally five years ahead of any other mobile phone," Mr Jobs said.
From that moment on iphone hysteria set in, right up until it's launch in the States on the 29th June.
During that time speculation and claims were rife regarding the iphone and anyone who dared, like me, to question Job's claims was treated as a Luddite. I'm sure we've all heard at least one of these remarks:-
"I'm gonna get one as soon as it's released"
"It'll sell because it'll be cool to be seen with it"
"It'll make your phone look like cr*p"
"It'll wipe other phones off of the market"
"It'll revolutionise the phone business"
"Everyone will want one"
"It will do to the phone market what the ipod did to MP3 players and Sony"
"Keypads are redundant"
"It's all about style"
"You're a dinosaur"
"500,000 will be sold on launch weekend"
"700,000 will be sold on launch weekend"
"A million will be sold by the end of July"
And so it went on and on and on for six long months. It cannot be denied that Steve Job's announcement had created market demand but the question was, would Apple be able to deliver? The hysteria reached a crescendo on the 29th June in America where queues formed outside of stores to be the first to own this icon. The iphones specifications had been a closely guarded secret and only a handful of hand picked reviewers were allowed to have access to this miracle of modern technology prior to it's release.
Well a month has now passed. So does the iphone live up to Steve Job's hype of being 5, yes, "5 years ahead of any other mobile phone."
You can judge for yourself as actions speak louder than words:-
First lets start with what the iphone can, or cannot, do for a phone that's "magical and literally 5 years ahead of it's time."
The one thing we were told about the iphone is that it would not be open to 3rd party software to prevent hacking and viruses. So, did it?
It seems that even the reviewers of the iphone are dubious.
So, how about the predicted sales of the iphone being between 500,000 and 700,000 in the first few days. It would seem that even Wall Street was taken in by the hype. So what were the sales?
It would seem that sales of the iphone have now stalled for two reasons.
Firstly the iphone does not live up to the reality distortion field that Steve Job's created with the phrase "iPhone is a revolutionary and magical product that is literally five years ahead of any other mobile phone." This sentence, like the famous Gerald Ratner "crap" remark, has come back to haunt this product. The reality is that the iphone is 5 years, and more, behind the time in many ways.
Secondly, rumours, yes rumours again, abound only mere days after it's release that Apple are bringing out a 3G version 2 of the iphone, why not HSDPA (3.5G), for launch in Europe, in November this year, and Asia in 2008. This means that those who believed the hype and have already got their iphones so they "could look cool" and "stylish" are now the proud owners of the phone worlds equivalent of the Sinclair C5 and will have to wait, because of the two year contracts on the iphone, to change. Those thinking of buying the iphone are now dubious as it did not deliver on Job's promises and are playing a wait and see game having had a lucky escape on the launch.
Of course we will have to endure the same speculation and hype again with face saving from the iphone die hards who are predicting that iphone version 2 will be a big improvement on this iphone without even knowing, as they didn't know before, what the specifications are, or if indeed there will be a version 2. The question that perhaps should be asked is why did Apple not include 3/3.5G, MMS, removable battery, etc, etc, on the launch version? After all, it's known technology, hardly rocket science. Perhaps the next one will be 10 years ahead of it's time.
As Abraham Lincoln said:- "You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time."
The truth of the matter is that Apple realised that sales of their "i" players were likely to dwindle as more and more people bought mobile phones with ipod/video features. They then rushed headlong to fill this gap by bringing out their own version which is an ipod with a phone instead of a phone with an ipod.
So, again, I ask the question "Do you still want this iphone?"
For those of you who still want the iphone experience but not the $599 cost and two year contract then this may help you,
At $179 it's a steal and at least it can send MMS, doesn't require you to change service provider, tie you to a two year contract, download itunes and pay £20 to activate it, has a replaceable battery, memory card slot, and is dual sim.