When Apple's iPhone goes on sale tomorrow evening, buyers will only be allowed to take home two of the "revolutionary" mobile telephones, the Mac maker said today. That's twice as many as AT&T, the only carrier offering the iPhone for the immediate future, will allow. The iPhone doesn't go on sale until 6pm US local time, so …
An iPhone is going to cost more than a PS3?
Have Apple learnt nothing from Sony?!?
One would be too many for me...
Price not a factor
Apple can charge pretty much any price for this phone for the first few months, there will be a steady stream of people for whom price is irrelevant, they will pay anything to get their hands on 2007s "must have" fashion accessory.
The iPhone is the one product where I can realistically see Apple only seeing modest returns on. It will sell regardless of its limitations (no third party apps, no GPS or external bluetooth GPS, etc). The iPod, iMacs, Powerbooks, etc have their own segment of the market, and in some cases they've cornered it. With the iPhone Apple is taking on a well-established market with big players like Symbian, R.I.M (Blackberry) and of course Microsoft (Windows Mobile) who have all had extensive experience honing their software according to real-World consumer demand.
It'll sell out though, and go for ridiculous amounts on eBay - those people who "want to be different" by buying Apple products are nothing if not uniformly predictable in their actions & purchasing habits.
Back in April I received a letter from Cingular (now AT&T Mobility) that said that as a "valued customer" they would reserve two iPhones, one for each of the lines we have, for purchase when they became available. "Valued customer"? That means that I'm on a month-to-month, our contract having expired in December. All I had to do was call and they'd send me a voucher.
We decided that we didn't need smart phones and certainly not $500 ones. Fracking luddites!
Hype will kill it
No matter how many Iphones apple sell... unless they sell every single one they produce, its almost certain that there'll be plenty of articles written in december about how much of a flop the Iphone was.
It wont be the phones fault... Although the Articles themselves will try to claim that, but the real cause is the publicity trap that Apple have just gone and walked into. The Hype machine is in full swing, and we're seeing reports about ANALists claiming that Apple are going to sell 3 Iphones to every man woman and child on the planet... How can Apple live up to expectations? The fact is, they cant, not because they're apple, but because noone can live up to the hype machine.
And what happens when you dont live up to the Hype Machine? Day traders sell your stock down.
I think it would have been better for Apple, long term, if they just skipped the Iphone, maybe turned it into a bit of a joke or something, and moved on to something else revolutionary.
Re: Price not a factor
Price is certainly not a factor for the first set of buyers. Apple has relatively modest targets of selling 10M iphones next year and should easily achieve that. For a product like this there will always be a bunch of "must have" people. It makes sense to target these people with the first roll-out.
The iphone is being released with only a small % of its potential feature set. There's scope to add 3 party apps and many other feature.
No doubt there will be follow-on products that are lower cost, higher volume, and released to a wider group of carriers.
Think ipod->ipod mini->ipod nano. I'd never buy a hard disk ipod, but I would buy a (second) nano.
There's scope to take iphone in so many different directions both up-feature and down-feature.
In the long term the limiting factor for phone integration is usability. Apple knows a thing or two about that! That's why ipod is so much easier to use than many competing devices with far more features.
As goes iPod, so goes iPhone!
The best predictor iPhone sales is probably the iPod:
1. Fantastic initial sales of revolutionary device at relatively high price,
garnering society's "movers & shakes" who set the stage for "followers"
2. Lower cost model with even more features for those on the fence
(movie toward the center of the Bell Curve)
3. Even lower price model with similar or even more features (ala nano)
for everyone & dominating the market.
Steve has been marching up the ladder from Mac computers
to 10-100x more iPods to 10-100X more iPhones.
The only thing he can't control is ATT, but they seem to be cooperating well:
Why iPhone is not an iPod...
... at least, with regards to the early adopters.
When the iPod appeared, there was no broad-based, well known company who had something like it. Apple producedthe iPod, and partly through luck, partly through skill they had a design and feature set that worked (and I say luck because it's always an element). Plus, the thing was stand-alone, and would work just fine no matter what other "stuff" you may have.
The iPhone, though, is tied to Cingular. And, like it or not, it's not "revolutionary". It may (or may not) be "the best" implementation of what it does, but Nokia and Sony and the rest all have phone/camera/MP3 player/browser products, so Apple is jumping into a pool which is already occupied.
The best indicator that Apple knows all this is the fact that their ads include verbiage along the lines "there's never been an iPod like this". Apple seem to want people to look at the iPhone as an iPod with extra stuff. And that's a hard strategy to knock. But it's limited, primarily to those who want the extra stuff (e.g. watching videos... ick?) and who aren't encumbered by the Cingular-only stuff.
iPhone is the new PS3?
iPhone would have been revolutionary if Apple had insisted on selling it unlocked. That would have completely pulled the rug from under the phone network operators, brought Apple much bigger sales, and opened up the American sim-free market to other phone makers too.
At the moment, most Americans don't seem to realise that their phones have been deliberately crippled by the networks. Apple could have educated them.
A missed chance, Steve Jobs, a missed chance.
"Apple can charge pretty much any price for this phone for the first few months, there will be a steady stream of people for whom price is irrelevant"
That's EXACTLY what people said about the Playstation 3...
More money than brain cells, some people ....
wil people please stop
Going over the same old "it hasnt got 3g, gps, keyboard, 3rd party software capability etc, and all the other stuff no one really cares about"
Its getting old!!!
Fact is a lot of people dont care about all that, the killer app for a phone is voice and text.
If the iphone is as good as it looks "people talk about it as if they have used the thing" it can
1. Make phone calls
2. Send Text Messages
3. POSSIBLY has better usability than other smartphones.
I wish people would shut it, then talk about only what they knwo (which isnt much)
iPhone without the phone
I am amazed at how no one has mentioned the obvious. If you take an iPhone and removed the so-called cell phone mechanism. What you have is the new and soon to be announce iPod Video. That's the device I am waiting for. A mini computer that syncs with my main machine and is an entertainment device.
The Newton has come full circle. Now you know why Palm has hired two Apple ex-executives.
Re: iPhone is the new PS3?
"That's EXACTLY what people said about the Playstation 3..."
Sony don't have the cachet nowadays that Apple have. The halcyon days of the "Playstation generation" have passed, so the only people really comfortable with the price of the PS3 are either audio-video afficiandos, or Sony fanbois. That being said, the PS3 is still the cheapest way of getting a Bluray player - specs wise you get a lot for your money.
"Fact is a lot of people dont care about all that, the killer app for a phone is voice and text."
Are the sort of people who "only care about voice and text" likely to spend $599 on a phone? The iPhone is pitched at the smartphone crowd, and whilst it's likely there will be some people who buy it sight-unseen simply off the back of the Apple branding, the fact remains its entering a market that is already well-established.
It's important not to underestimate the relevance of provider either. Service providers are as important as the phone itself, and in the case of the iPhone they have no choice in this. If they can't use, won't use, hate AT&T, etc then they're screwed as far as "being happy" with the iPhone.