Don’t Bet Against The iPhone: It Will Be A Huge Success
Recently, there’s been worry that the iPhone won’t live up to its monumental hype. While it’s healthy to be skeptical, in the past week, the iPhone doubt has gotten a tad excessive. It seems most of the pessimism is just for the sake of easy traffic (there’s an awesome round-up of this iPhone negativity at Two A Day).
Although I have iPhone concerns (mostly regarding the AT&T cellular contract), overall I believe there are much more positive indicators than bad. Here are my reasons why I believe the iPhone will be a huge success:
- It’s already a “must-have” product. I’ve overheard people on the train talking about how they want an iPhone. I personally know three people who intend to get it as soon as it’s available, even if it means waiting in lines at an Apple Store the first day. This kind of fanaticism is largely reserved for new video game consoles or Star Wars films. You can bet late-night TV is already coming up with jokes for it. All of this is free advertising for a product nobody really knows anything about except that people want it, bad.
- Previous iPod success. Apple has already delivered on small, portable consumer electronics, and continues to upgrade the iPod over the course of several years to keep the product vibrant. Expect them to do the same with the iPhone. If version one is a little off the mark, version two will be better. Apple has learned a huge amount about selling consumer electronics via the iPod, and all that experience will help them execute regarding the iPhone.
- The iTunes Store. There’s already a finely tuned system for purchasing digital content and pushing it to the iPhone. Millions of people already use iTunes for their iPods, and all those people have content that can be used on the iPhone, and are familiar with how it works, making the iPhone more appealing.
- Associated computer applications will definitely work. Photos, music, addresses, and email should all work flawlessly. Apple has all this software down cold and has experience syncing cell phones via iSync.
- The cell phone market is huge. Pretty much everyone under the age of thirty has a cell phone: a larger market than for iPods.
- iPod customers might go for the iPhone. Any current iPod user might consider the iPhone a “true Video iPod” with its large touch screen and buy it just for that reason. Also, anybody with an iPod that has had a positive experience (which is most of them, I’m sure) will surely admire Apple and be tempted by the iPhone.
- Apple Stores. They provide a useful physical location for selling and customer support.
- The iPhone runs OS X. Apple has poured years of development into OS X and all of it will come in handy when adding new features to the iPhone. Other cell phone software will surely look pitiful in comparison.
- It has the slick GUI. Using it will resemble a Pixar movie.
- The iPhone’s first customers will be the best salesmen, setting things up for the best ad campaign: word of mouth. Anytime an early adopter pulls one out to make a phone call, someone will likely notice and think “I want one.”
- Apple knows ease of use. Most cell phones are confusing as all heck. Just pick up a friend’s cell phone and stumble around for a while.
- The average person doesn’t care about specs. Many are nit picking on battery life, a 2 megapixel camera, slower network, and unproven touch screen interface. But most customers won’t care, as long the iPhone as it works as advertised. This has been shown repeatedly with the iPod. Anyone who buys an iPod Shuffle doesn’t care that the storage is tiny. It’s the size, price, and the fact that it works as it should that matters.
- Steve Jobs is a stickler for quality. You can bet he’s been carrying his iPhone prototype around for months now just looking for things that suck about it, and getting them fixed. Having a beta tester of that nature surely means the iPhone will be a cut above right out of the gate.
The iPhone has a heck of a lot more going for it than against. Apple is going to change the entire cell phone marketplace with the iPhone – I’m sure of it.
Apple has had a string of successes with the iMac, the iPod, OS X, iTunes, the Apple Stores, and now the iPhone. Even given The Cube and possibly Apple TV haven’t been so hot, that’s a pretty awesome track record. They will fail with a product eventually, but I don’t think the iPhone is it.