Why the iPhone is going to be a hit

Apple has unveiled yet another overpriced product into a saturated market. It should sell like crazy.

Like many people, I had my doubts about Apple entering the already cluttered phone market. With so many major players making so many great handsets already, is there room for Apple?

It occurred to me recently that Apple has not invented much. Apple did not invent the computer, but they certainly did well when they released the Apple II which brought computers out of the hobbyists garage and into homes and offices. A few years later they did it when they unveiled the Macintosh which once again dictated the path of the entire industry. Despite having less power and a higher price tag, the Mac was a hit.

Years later the iPod was released. It was more expensive and had less features than many competitors at the time. Many people didn’t give it a chance to survive in a market where several other hard drive based portable players existed. Time has shown how well those predictions faired.

Apple’s success seems to rest on the ability to take existing technology and make it not suck.

I have been a phone geek for years. I’ve owned many handsets by many different companies and have had service with several different networks. For a time I had a few phones from which I could choose depending on what I was doing that day. My experience with many phones has led me to the conclusion that they all suck.

My current phone is amazingly popular and for the life of me I can’t figure out why. The interface’s ugly looks would be forgiven if it were at least fast, it takes far to many key-presses to do simple tasks, nothing works like you would expect a phone to work in 2007. Great technology is not so great when it’s such a pain to use.

Other phones I’ve used have had easy to use menu systems that were consistent and concise… but were ugly and had few features. Others have been so buggy that I had to reboot them more often than my first Windows PC. Far too many have had bad battery life requiring me to charge them once a day or else I would wake up to a dead phone. Never mind the fact that battery life was far worse if I actually talked on it during that day.

From everything I have seen, it appears that Apple may be releasing the phone I’ve always wanted. Lots of features, beautiful interface, and most importantly, a cool geek-toy. I expect we’ll see the iPhone pop up in movies as the main characters phone-of-choice very soon just as Macs and iPods are in nearly every flick you see today. It’s sure to be a hit for the same reason their other products are. Apple knows how to make technology fit people. If the iPhone continues this tradition, I can’t wait to get my hands on one.

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