News flash: iPhone is coming out on Friday!
(oh – you knew?)
In my evangelism since I’ve heard three main things criticized:
- It’s not a 3G phone
- It doesn’t allow 3rd party applications
- Other phones have all the same features
…and then of course the price. But who wouldn’t price their products high with this kind of anticipation? AT&T has even added an activation fee and the subscription plan announced today is not exactly cheap either. They will still be stressed to keep up with demand. The first couple of million buyers don’t even think about the price.
As for 3G, it’s a perfectly rational decision not to support 3G for the initial US version. AT&T’s 3G coverage (and in the States in general) is spotty and the fact that the iPhone (opposed to most other phones with WiFi support) automatically logs on to open and known WiFi networks for internet connectivity should actually make the experience quite impressive most of the time. Many of us spend most of our time either in the office or at home, and apart from that, EDGE is actually not too bad. It would actually not surprise me if Apple still had an extra card up it’s sleeve, using HTTP compression technology to speed up the downloads. The rumors that the European version will support 3G (and not be released until late Q1 or even Q2 next year) are getting louder and make perfect sense.
Finally: Yes you can find all the features of iPhone in other phones. You might even find a single phone that sports almost all of them. But if you think the game is about that – you’re totally lost. Apple has three things that combined make them unique:
- Brand and marketing muscle (including the loyal user community)
- Hip designers
- A dedication to and nose for superior usability – that means that people will actually use all those fancy features
This is what separates the iPhone from the rest.
In short: Apple is not making any rash mistakes. Any product design decision regarding the iPhone is taken either to make it a better product or for Apple’s benefit in their quest for the throne of IT.