Now in other apple news, my thoughts on the iPhone.
Perhaps I should have watched the keynote live, so I could partake of some of that Reality Distortion Field, but as it is I'm convinced this phone is dead on arrival.
Reason 1: Price point and positioning
So who is Apple marketing this phone to? Looking at the 600 dollar price point, it would appear to be going up against smartphones such as the Audiovox 6700, Treo and Motorola Q. However the fact that it comes from apple, and that the major selling point is iTunes integration, why would this appeal to smartphone users?
If they are going up against teenyboppers and their Nokia phones, why on earth is this priced at 600 dollars? I understand paying a premium for apple hardware, but 4-6 times the going rate for a well equipped phone?
Reason 2: Network
The iPhone has plenty of nifty features like full web browsing with Safari, POP email support and Google Maps. What good are these if you are running them on the antiquated EDGE network? Doing anything data intensive on this network is a exercise in frustration, it's barely equivalent to dial up access. In addition, EDGE doesn't support a dedicated data channel unlike EVDO, so whenever Cingular's 57 million subscribers are using their phones, it's cutting into data rates. And while built in Google Maps is nice, it's far less useful without built in GPS.
Reason 3: Email support
If you are going to be marketing a 600 dollar phone, and you talk trash about other smartphones in your keynote (see the "buttons are not the answer slide), why is there no corporate email support? Downloading my Yahoo mail is all well and good, but how many of us have a burning need to check their personal email while away from a computer? Now how many of us want to be able to check their corporate email while away from a computer? Enough said.
Reason 4: Interface
The iPhone is another example of Apple's typical gorgeous interface design. This phone is going to look killer when you first take it out of the box. 24 hours later when it's scratched to hell and covered with hand grease from the touch screen interface it's going to look a bit less attractive. Again with the screwing over of anyone wanting to use this as a serious data device we have the on screen keyboard. I could manage about 15 to 20 words a minute on my Audiovox 6700, and I'm going to be fascinated to see what people average with the dinky on screen input.
So.... what would I have done?
First, have a clear idea of who you are selling this to. 18 to 34 year old hipsters who want a subset of their tunes to go. The same people who are buying the shuffle and the nano, as well as the Motorola RAZOR. *This* is the target market. My iPhone would retail for about $200, have 1GB of music storage, a slim flip form factor, a killer camera, and integration with .Mac picture sharing and podcasting. Basically imagine a RAZOR with a iTunes interface, that can download and post to/from your .Mac photo albums and that automatically syncs to your iTunes collection through bluetooth. Now there is a phone I would buy.