Apple Announces iPhone and the World Drools

Apple iPhone credit macuser.comOkay, so you made it pretty clear that you’re not interested in Windows Home Server. I hear you. Forgive me. So what about the new Apple iPhone? In case you have been napping all day, Apple Inc. has finally revealed their first break-the-mold mobile device since the iPod. Phone, internet and an iPod all wrapped up in a to-die-for interface. I’m writing this based only on what Apple has on their site now (not much) and from reading the live stream out of Mac Rumors as it was happening.

Is this party day for the web worker?

Yes and no.

First the yes…

  • That interface. Apple has mastered the phrase “ease of use” to such an extent that it will take years for anyone else to come close, if ever.
  • Huge screen (by phone standards) and incredible resolution (320×480 at 160ppi!)
  • It runs OS X. Everything that’s good about OS X will be good about this phone.
  • Push IMAP. Blackberry? What Blackberry? I could easily see forwarding all my mail to the free push IMAP Yahoo account iPhone owners will get.
  • Google Maps so beautiful you could practically smell the Paris air in that satelite fly-over of the Eiffel Tower shown during the keynote.
  • Slick dialer. Review voicemail out of sequence. A presentation screen in the keynote said that the phone was the killer app and that appears to be true.
  • That whole multi-touch thing. I want to see it in action. Apparently it knows to dismiss accidental touches and other amazing feats.
  • Bluetooth and Wifi (and it automatically switches back and forth between Wifi and GPRS/EDGE).
  • Great battery life of 5 hours talk and 16 hours audio.

So what’s wrong? Not so much “wrong” as questions that are left unanswered as the “Apple Keynote Reality Distortion Field” wears off a bit…

  • $499 for the 4GB model, $599 for 8GB model. Even though it does what no other phone has ever attempted, that’s still steep. And with only 8GB flash memory it isn’t going to replace the iPod anytime soon.
  • Exclusively Cingular. Many have a love/hate relationship with Cingular, with good reason. What about folks who still have time left on their existing Cingular contracts? Will they be able to buy the phone at the contract rate and simply extend the contract, or will they have to wait until contract expiration as is current policy?
  • No mention of data plans. Currently Cingular offers 21 different data plans. 21! Where will the iPhone’s data plan fit in? Somewhere in the $40 range for unlimited data is my guess. I’m also guessing that this phone will get its own plan, to avoid confusion between the existing Data Connect and Smartphone plans. Even Cingular employees are confused about which of their 21 plans is right for which device, and which plans you can buy even though they weren’t meant for your phone but you can get away with it. I hope Apple’s exclusive deal with Cingular included some price protection on the data plan, otherwise Cingular can price it wherever they choose knowing that there is nowhere else for customers to go.
  • Why stop at EDGE? Why not the new high speed 3G network? The speed of the keynote demonstration over wifi was marvelous. What happens when it gets to real world speed over the much slower EDGE connections?
  • I know Apple’s stock went up today…I’m sure the folks who make the iKlear Apple Polish are also celebrating. Anyone who owns an iPod can attest to the fact that the clear plastic around the device scratches and mucks up easily. I know the 3rd party market will respond with at least 30 different products to contain and protect the iPhone well before it actually ships.
  • Of course this phone will sync seamlessly with iCal and Safari. What about PC users? What about folks using different calendar and contact applications? Different browsers (for bookmark syncing)?
  • Will other 3rd party applications be available for the device at launch…such as games, eBook readers, shopping lists, databases? We use our phones for more than just email, phone calls and media.

What do you think about the new iPhone? Is it the next iPod or the next eMate? If you don’t know what the eMate was, my point exactly. We have until June when this ships to figure it all out.

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