So the wave of information is clearing up and the real information about the iPhone are coming out from the announcement of the Apple iPhone. Some personal thoughts on this new PMP+phone.
And here is the real deal. Apple has not launched the iPhone, they have launched their MVNO or better their MCNO Ã¢â‚¬Å“Mobile Content Network OperatorÃ¢â‚¬Â:
- M: Apple provides the hardware, software and applications, iPhone, iTunes and Widgets. They brand the phone.
- C: music and video are provided by the media owners using iTunes.
- NO: Cingular in the US provides the wireless network.
This is a very close and protected environment which might work in the US, but in Ã¢â‚¬Å“mobile educatedÃ¢â‚¬Â countries people buy the phone first and then they pick their own operator/carrier. So not sure how it will work. So the 2 years contract is not good. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Mobile EducatedÃ¢â‚¬Â people are used to change their unlocked mobile phone every 8 months.
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The functionalities that were shown are already available on most smartphones for quite sometime. External SIM Tray and the visual voice mail (the core function is made by the carrier not the phone manufacturer) are great additions. I liked the concept on how to access some functionality using the UI. The album scrolling is great. I liked the concept of Ã¢â‚¬Å“you can touch the musicÃ¢â‚¬Â. Wide screen is great too. This type of UI reduce the number of clicks to get to an application which is good.
LetÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s look at the individual functionalities:
Browser: full browsing is great. Nokia already implemented this with the S60 Browser which is based on Safari code! Great move by Apple. Now, I have a question, I did not see clicking a link on one web page to go to another.
Flash: no Flash or Flash Lite.
Video Calling: No! I think Cingular is going to support this on their network.
Wireless and 3G: no syncing via Wi-Fi. I think Wi-Fi will work only at home. Cingular does not have a Wi-Fi network. No 3G, why? Very simple, Apple would have to pay high license fees to Qualcomm who pretty much owns most 3G licenses.
GPS: no GPS and they showed a Google Map! That would have been a great integration!!
Multitasking: did not see any hint on multitasking. Can you listen at the same time music and surf the web or run the widgets? This is a fundamental capability for a mobile phone to be called a smartphones.
Camera: only 2M pixel, no flash. Seams no video recording! You are kidding!! Hope they change this if it’s true.
OS: a lot of people are convinced that the OSX is the same from PC. This cannot be since the CPU cannot handle it. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s probably a scaled down OSX. Another OS for mobile devices!
SMS: after the calling function, SMS is the most used one. Touch screen keypad is not the best to perform this action since you must look at the screen when typing. People using SMS frequently do not look at the keypad at all anymore. By they way I liked that Mr. Job called SMS and not Text messages since thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the real name (this goes back to Ã¢â‚¬Å“mobile educated peopleÃ¢â‚¬Â issue).
Syncing: seams better then other mobile phone syncing software. Since it uses iTunes to do everything, I would be careful at virus/hacker stealing personal information on your computer.In any case this goes back to the Ã¢â‚¬Å“mobile educationÃ¢â‚¬Â concept that you do not need a computer to have a mobile phone. You should be able to handle all your information and content on your mobile phone without the need of a computer, which is what the majority of the 2.5 billion mobile phone users are doing!
Batteries: no replaceable batteries. Ops! This is not good.
Screen: large is great, but how about scratches? How long will it last? Take a look at your PMP, MP3 player or mobile phone and check how many scratched does it have? Multi touch is a great functionality but itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not a new concept.
Sensors: great touch here but not a new concept. The Nokia 7650 had already this capabilities in 2002. Switch from portrait to landscape is great.
Patents: 200 of them?! Usual business!
Price: $499 and $599 those are prices for a smartphone. Plus contract for voice and data with Cingular. Let’s see if people are willing to spend those kind on money in the US.
3rd party applications: Apple will not allow 3rd party apps to be installed. This alone is a big issue. They will decide/develop which widgets get to the phone.
Firmware Update: no words.
I would like to see a UAProfile and understand which audio/video/image codecs are available. Be ready to look at the FCC site for more details and specifications.
Market: Apple wants to own 1% of the market by the end of 2008, which is about 8-10 Million iPhone sales. Can they make it? Not sure. Without 3G they will not sell well in other markets.
Unknown: way too many questions, DRM, Voice dialing/recognition, video recording, security/certificates, MMS, Bluetooth sharing and more capabilities are still unknown. Apple needs to learn that for a new mobile phone launch all the features and capabilities need to be known.
Conclusion: great Ã¢â‚¬Å“conceptÃ¢â‚¬Â phone close to production and great jump in the mobile business for Apple. They must introduce 3G and OTA delivery. I hope for them they will make those numbers. One model phone does not make Apple a mobile manufacturer. Will people buy it? Yes. The move is necessary since their core business is to sell hardware and standalone MP3 sale are in decline, convergence devices are the way to go. I think is a great shake for the mobile world, it will spin some great innovation and will push mobile manufacturers and developers to explorer other ways to develop mobile phones, UI, content and applications. In any case mobile phone manufactures need to make a much better effort to marketing their products. Most of the features are already available but people think that those iPhone features were original and completely new.
If you buy it, donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t ever drop it!!