Apple’s iPhone: random predictions of changes

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?

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