Saturday, July 07, 2007

Thoughts On The iPhone

When the iPhone was announced I boldly predicted that the hype was unwarranted. Who exactly was going to pay $600 for a phone? And while I admit now that the iPhone has sold 1/2 million or more units, that I was completely wrong, I still don't get who is buying this.

The iPhone is not great for those who send lots of emails, there is no support for instant messaging, and you can't install your own applications on it (well unless it is a web page). So, the hard core corporate blackberry users that have the fat business expense accounts aren't making the switch. Are the teenagers and college kids into this? I would think that it would be out of their price range and that junior high and high schools might not allow them on campus, but maybe I am wrong on that. And don't they want a cellphone with custom ring tones and games? Maybe it is just all the Apple fanboys out there, but are there really that many of them? It is still not clear to me who these people are that are throwing down $600 for an iPod/phone.

I love how how everyone was camped out for hours and some for days in order to make sure they got one, and yet those that didn't wait in line at all and came 30 minutes after the store opened were still able to get a phone. Suckers!

I also love how this woman got pwned trying to buy $100,000 in iPhones to resell on eBay. Though in hind sight she might have came out ahead, as there was not much money to be made selling iPhones on eBay.

While the iPhone 1.0 is a game changer, it is still pretty rough, and the 2.0 version has lots of room for improvement. On the hardware side things are pretty good, but adding GPS and 3G support will make it much better. On the software side, there are lots of improvements needed, many of which seem fairly easy to fix: custom ringtones, instant messaging, improved email functionality, Flash and Java for the browser, copy and paste, a horizontal keyboard for text messaging, games, a voice recorder, and video recording. It seems possible for all these features to be ready for a 2.0 version next year.

I am now on the lookout to see how long it takes the following to occur:
1) The first iPhone mugging. You think it is safe to walk down the street while talking on one of these things?
2) Someone hacks the iPhone and puts Linux on it. But, maybe since the core of the iPhone is a Unix derivative, and there must be tons of special code to handle the multi-touch screen that this won't happen. But, they already have hacked it for shell access, so who knows?
3) Someone hacks the iPhone and puts Doom on it. Not sure how that would work with the multi-touch screen, but I bet it is only a matter of time until I find out.

Update: As of 8/11/07, the iPod can now play Doom.


Yaniv said...

My thoughts exactly, though better elucidated on the iphone.

Truth is, Apple gets away with much by over-hyping its products based partially on unique design, and mostly on past good-faith credit.

Fat Knowledge said...

You know, I have never purchased an Apple product ever.

It used to be because they were more expensive. Now it is because they restrict their system too much. I want an iPod, but they don't support subscription based music. The laptops look good, but I think I need a second mouse button. The iPhone is cool, but how can they not allow additional applications to be installed?

They do make pretty looking hardware though.

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