Now The Apple iPhone Sucks? Please

January 11, 2007

This is probably the way things work in the tech blogosphere, but I find it kind of strange that the iPhone, a product that many people drooled over and hoped for all of last year, was finally created by Apple in a hugely unique and awesome way (it’s basically the full-screen iPod Video and a cell phone combined), yet not even a day later, it seems to have a target on its back. Where’s the gratitude?

Anyhow, some gripes are the iPhone being a closed system, underpowered (4 GB storage), overpriced, no keyboard buttons, a scratch-prone screen, etc.

I think technophiles should take a step back at look at an article like this one about how most (average) people use their cell phones.

A US poll revealed:

“75 per cent didn’t send any form of data other than text messaging, the cheapest data service.”

A Canadian poll revealed:

“15 per cent said they text message, 11 per cent download ring tones, 7 per cent use e-mail, 3 per cent download music, and 3 per cent said they watch TV or video”

So I strongly doubt the vast majority of cell phone users are going to care about many of the aforementioned technologcal issues. They just want to make phone calls, and if this is easier with an iPhone, everything else is icing on the cake. I don’t think the average consumer thinks about specs in much detail. People showing photographs to their friends via the large, bright screen will probably do more to sell this thing than any tech spec.

Plus, the market for cellphones is even larger than that of iPod. Everyone from teenagers to grandparents has or wants a cellphone. Apple doesn’t even have to dominate the cell phone market to sell scads of iPhones.

In the past, people have always doubted Apple and underestimated its products for superficial reasons. The iMac was underpowered and had fruity colors. The iPod was a music player coming from a computer company. The iPod Shuffle had no screen. The iPod Nano didn’t have enough storage. You’d think this would be enough proof that underpowered doesn’t mean much as long as the product gets the job done for a fair price.

Yes, the price for many Apple products always seems $100 – $200 too high. But Apple is a brand that people trust. A product’s price can’t be summed up just by the hardware that’s in it. A brand can drive value for no logical reason at all – these Jimmy Choo shoes and bags make an iPhone look like a relative bargain.

I stand by my previous opinion that the iPhone is a paradigm changer. The iPhone is certainly the first in a long line of incredible Apple products that will take computing to the next level.

For a saner, big picture perspective, I think BusinessWeek has the iPhone dialed.

Comments

  1. tunequest says:

    Nah, The iPhone doesn’t suck. But I think using the name “iPhone” is overly narrow and restrictive from a marketing POV.

    The mobile computing applications are the real paradigm shifts here. Being able to surf and email on a handheld with Apple’s legendary elegance is breakthrough. It doesn’t make sense for the company to brand it as a phone when that capability is the second fiddle. I remember reading somewhere that the iPod was called “iPod” because Steve didn’t want the device to be boxed in as strictly a music player.

    Though with the Cisco suit, there’s now an excuse to change the iPhone’s name before June…

  2. Webomatica says:

    Hey. (I saw your post regarding iPhone, which was good BTW).

    Actually you raise a good point. The iPhone is probably not the best name. This is some kind of entry point into pocket computing – the Newton’s Revenge.

    Most likely it’s called the iPhone because so many people expected it to be, and it’s a hook to get all the cell phone users out there looking at Apple – plus it immediately generated a lot of marketing buzz. Then, down the road they can transition it (or the iPod) into the pocket computer-PDA-type thing we’re starting to drool over, now.

    Cisco can just keep its restrictive name in the end.

  3. Aneel says:

    Expecting another innovative design in cell phone arena. Let’s see

  4. webomatica says:

    Gee Aneel I’m wondering if your comment got chopped in half. Oh well…

  5. Rolf says:

    Yeah, well, if you just want a phone for making calls and sending texts, then buy a phone that claims to be a phone and nothing more. Don’t buy a phone and tell me it’s a smartphone, even so it’s a thousand times dumber than my Nokia 6600 from 2003, which is a REAL smartphone. (Meaning that it can run compiled executibles.) And don’t tell me that my phone is “crippled” or “not so smart” and that the iPhone is “years ahead” like Steve Jobs did – it isn’t, and it’s more crippled and stupid than any “smart” phone I’ve ever seen. If you want a REAL smartphone then get the Nokia N95. Or even a 6600 like me, for dirt cheap. Dude, I’ve got ports of Doom and Quake on it, and a fricking SNES emulator.

  6. webomatica says:

    You sound like a power user… and obviously aren’t the target market for the iPhone.

    Does not being able to play Doom and Quake and SNES games stop anybody from buying an iPod?

    Thanks for reading and commenting!

  7. Joe Realist says:

    A US poll revealed:

    “75 per cent didn’t send any form of data other than text messaging, the cheapest data service.”

    A Canadian poll revealed:

    “15 per cent said they text message, 11 per cent download ring tones, 7 per cent use e-mail, 3 per cent download music, and 3 per cent said they watch TV or video”

    Umm buddy…this doesn’t show that people will want the Ipod because most people don’t use advanced features. What it shows is that only power users use these features and if a phone cant do it well they have no reason to buy it. And since normal people don’t use these things, WHY WOULD THEY WANT AN IPHONE???

  8. webomatica says:

    Joe Realist, Apple is already working on the iPhone Shuffle, just for you. :)