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Summary:

I waited for the dust to settled on Apple’s phone announcement and gave some thought to the device. There’s no denying that it’s a design and engineering marvel; that goes without saying. I think there are a few gaps in the device however and some media […]

Iphone_1I waited for the dust to settled on Apple’s phone announcement and gave some thought to the device. There’s no denying that it’s a design and engineering marvel; that goes without saying. I think there are a few gaps in the device however and some media outlets are picking up on them. I wouldn’t say that they’re all major and I suspect that what we saw and heard this past week isn’t the end-all, be-all list of specs. Remember, the device won’t be available for almost 6 months; that’s plenty of time to gage feedback and add a little extra magic before the final FCC approvals and device release. Based on that, here’s a few of my random predictions: feel free to add more or comment on mine.

  1. Apple will give serious consideration to add HSDPA support, either at launch time or by end of year. Cingular is working fast and furious to roll out their hearty 3G network and will want more customers using it to get a faster return on the rollout costs.
  2. The Apple keynote presentation indicated that "the killer app is making calls". I think they got that backwards and so will they. We’ve already got plenty of device choices when it comes to "making calls". The killer app on this phone would be iTunes, combined with the speedy 3G connection noted above. I expect to see a standalone iTunes application on the phone.
  3. When a device is priced at $499 or $599, it’s basically geared towards the business or power user. Sure we’ll see consumers plunk down the dough for this phone, but the bigger money is in the enterprise. I suspect that Apple will mod the device to support Outlook and Exchange. Yahoo! Mail is great, but most folks don’t run their business on it.
  4. WiFi is perfect for surfing the web, but synching to your PC with it is useful as well. Remember how miffed many folks were when Microsoft pulled WiFi synchronization from ActiveSync and Windows Mobile 5? I’m sure Apple remembers that too and they’ll "one-up" Windows Mobile phones by providing support for WiFi synchronization.
  5. This one’s a stretch, but my gut tells me that Apple will use one more of their patents in the iPhone and announce it during the product availability launch in the "one more thing" tradition: voice navigation and control of your tunes via that shiny new microphone-supported headset they also announced. Sure the multi-touch screen is awesome, but if you’ve got a microphone available to you with your headphones on, why waste battery life by enabling the screen?

Ipod_nav_1

  1. When I first saw the iPhone I instantly saw it as a revolutionary phone. All devices are atlast beginning to converge. Although I am only a student and can’t afford this (I will be getting the Zune) the hype and anticipation seems good.

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  2. A few comments on the predictions. But first, it was awesome to meet the whole MOTR crew at the Tablet/UMPC meetup @ CES.

    1. Apple might not really care about HSDPA. The only reason I think this is that they havent announced direct downloads from the iTunes store to the phone. If they really see this as an iPod with phone support, then the user experience will be “buy tracks on computer, then sync to phone”. This matches up with the announcement that you’ll not be able to directly buy content on the Apple TV. You have to sync it over via iTunes on a computer.

    2. See #1. I dont think they are going to do direct downloads. So a real iTunes isnt really needed on the phone. Just a version of the iPod software.

    3. I dont think Apple is interested in the enterprise market for this phone. Fighting RIM and even Microsoft for that segment would be rough. The easy pickings are all the crappy phones the people get on their own. Those are the people who iTunes support really matters to. $249 for the 8gb Nano, or $499 for the 8GB iPhone that plays music, movies (which the Nano doesnt) and, oh yeah, is a phone too. I dont think its gonna be a hard sell. The big caveat is what the service pricing is going to be. Are they going to use the PDA unlimited data pricing of $39.99 on top of the voice plan? Or are they going to have some special pricing?

    4. I agree on this one but I think it’ll be Mac only. I suspect they’ll just use the Bonjour networking to hookup. That’s something Apple has done an awsome job on and Windows doesnt have anything comperable.

    5. Big stretch :) I highly doubt they’d do voice commands just for the fact that talking to your phone is too dorky for the Apple crowd. I’d like it, but I dont think I’m Apple’s target audience.

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  3. Apple won’t change, beause that would make people see that they aren’t perfect. They’re far from it, and people fail to notice.

    iPhone seems not to be a revolution at all. It’s a PDA. Don’t give me that “multi-touch” or “no stylus” thing, I WANT a stylus. My hand will cover the screen when I touch it with a finger. Screen space is severely limited by big buttons. Screen will get oily (especially with a face on it).

    Say hello to the Newton in hell…

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  4. Dave Castelnuovo Saturday, January 13, 2007

    Unless the phone has dictation, how are you going to text on this thing? using fingers with a touch screen QWERTY keyboard just doeant seem that fun.

    To the guys comment above, $500 is pretty expensive for a 4GB music player, especially with the 2 year contract(aren’t we supposed to get a discount in exchange for the contract?).

    The only people I know that pay more then $200 on a phone are either electronics enthusiasts or they justify it for business reasons. I fall in both categories and think this looks like a totally kick ass piece of equipment but I would never be able to get this phone because it doesnt do outlook (my primary email).

    I think that most people that use yahoo as their primary email just don’t have the money for this. Apple might be pulling a Sony and expecting people to pay a little too much for this. This is more expensive than any ipod that they’ve put out.

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  5. No one understands…

    Applenomics, Or Why Steve Jobs Will Now Hate Me For Ever And Ever

    http://mikecane.wordpress.com/2007/01/13/applenomics-or-why-steve-jobs-will-now-hate-me-for-ever-and-ever/

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  6. I don’t know why is this iPhone is a big thing.
    Don’t need an iPod, music, video playback and certainly not Cingular, the worst of service in the industry.
    What I need is just a phone and webcam built in = video phone that works with WIFI.
    After that … I no longer need cell phone connection. Make all my calls with Skype just as reliably and with VIDEO streaming.

    Streaming video phone is where the future is…. not more junk in one device.
    I’d rather talk and leave that message (video) then write with one finger on the screen.

    Take a look of Nokia N800 …. built in webcam and all the things one need. BTW, it’s NOT a cellphone.
    There are others coming online with much better units.

    Apple will be apple and be an interest to the same people who are Apple users.
    Am sure millions will buy one, because its an Apple and looks pretty.
    Hey, who can argue with consumer logic… heheh

    cheers

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  7. I spent some time today setting up a conventional cellphone, and the experience was a good demonstration of one factor that may be a powerful driver of the Apple phone. Although this particular cellphone is one of the most popular models, the organization of the phone, its software and the documentation were terrible. To compare it to shareware would be a compliment – it was more like the software you get in the $4.95 bin at a computer store or bundled with cut-rate hardware.

    There are many reasons for this, including multiple chips in many phones, incremental software changes, and difficulty of attracting good programmers to cellphone companies. The standards are so much higher in good software companies, and Apple is particularly good at software design.

    So the appeal of the Apple phone will not just be to carry music or use maps – it will be to have a phone that is designed like good software.

    The Apple phone is not for everyone. It is overkill for someone who doesn’t care about music and videos. It is not oriented enough for text entry to appeal to people who need a device for doing a lot of their email. But it will have an appeal, and much of the appeal can be seen by looking at how terribly organized a conventional cellphone is.

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  8. It will sell lots. Not because people will need them, but because they will want one.

    (shrug)

    I’m tired of seeing function creep in cell phones. Give me a device with a UMPC sized screen, and a full OS, with voice and data transmission capabilities, and then I’ll be happy.

    At least this time around the iPod does more than just play music…

    Woadan

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  9. at a pre-order price of EUR 999 for the 8gb iPhone, it jumped to the #1 sales rank at amazon.de –
    looks like the iPhone is here to stay, and people will love it (at any price).
    it already *has* changed the mobile world.
    what if Apple had decided to start with a model with the same capabilities but a 7″ screen?

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  10. The article is incorrect. Installing RockBox on my perfectly functioning iPod just to get the little extras ain’t worth it. There’s something to be said about interface!

    Now the BIGGEST mistake Apple made was no keyboard. As someone who has tried typing on a screen (fullscreen keyboard on my 770), you get no tactile feedback which means you make mistakes. Texting on the iPhone will be excruciating. Speech to text is something they may want to look into.

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