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Why the iPhone Keynote Was A Mistake

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the should-have-worn-a-hat dept.

Apple 507

jcatcw writes "Mike Elgan at Computerworld lists six reasons why it was a mistake to make the iPhone keynote at Macworld. He argues that extremely high expectations can only lead to disappointment for consumers and investors. The focus on the phone during the keynote also took away from the Apple TV announcement, put iPod sales at risk, gave competitors a head start, and (perhaps worst of all) ruined the company's talks with Cisco over the iPhone name. From the article: 'The iPhone, despite its many media-oriented virtues and its sweet design, will do far less than most existing smart phones. The problem Apple now faces because of Jobs' premature detail-oriented announcement is that of dashed expectations. When customers expect more and don't get it, they become dissatisfied.'"

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507 comments

6 months! (5, Funny)

Realistic_Dragon (655151) | more than 7 years ago | (#17705504)

The worst thing is the amount of time there is for your significant other to hear about the new iPhone and hide the credit cards before release day.

Re:6 months! (-1, Troll)

garcia (6573) | more than 7 years ago | (#17705632)

Actually it gives you time for the hardcore Macgeeks to research dropping their current carrier and switch to the inferior "Cingular" (or whatever they are being called now) while also preparing to put up with the shitty customer service and higher prices they charge.

Re:6 months! (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17706140)

My contract with Verizon expires in May. I'm going to use the iPhone launch to get the sweetest deal possible out of those guys when I renew.

Yes I'm a coward. Who isn't afraid of what the Apple fanboys can do to their karma?

Re:6 months! (-1, Troll)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 7 years ago | (#17706104)

Hopefully you meant "spouse." If any other sort of "significant other" is trying to control your finances, that's a good hint to start looking for a new one!

still (2, Insightful)

polar red (215081) | more than 7 years ago | (#17705510)

I still think the iphone will sell a lot, apple is still riding the coolness factor they created with the ipod.

Re:still (5, Insightful)

pboyd2004 (860767) | more than 7 years ago | (#17705534)

The author really isn't trying to make that argument. He's just saying the announcement this early in the game was a bad idea.

Re:still (5, Informative)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#17705606)

The trouble is that Apple apparently had no choice, because it needs FCC approval which would have made the device public anyway.

Nothing to see here, but wait, don't move along! (3, Insightful)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 7 years ago | (#17706040)

The trouble is that Apple apparently had no choice

The trouble, such as it was, was that nothing was ready to announce, which is to say, ship. It's all vaporware, albeit very likely to appear eventually vaporware.

Leopard wasn't ready; iPhone wasn't ready; iTV wasn't ready; no improvements to the laptops, minis, desktops... nothing. Not even an iPod variant. So what was Apple to do in the face of high customer expectations, ongoing stock and accounting scandals? Announce vaporware, that's what, and that's precisely what they did. And Apple stock went up that day, because people are gullible. Now the common folk have had a little time to stare at their completely empty hands, and they're beginning to mutter "say... where's my stuff?" Doesn't matter that they were told it wouldn't come until later. People expect a lot from Apple, especially at "announcement time", and when they get nothing... well, they tend to notice.

That announcement was worse than nothing to me and people like me; I am no fan of telephones (mostly just another way for people to interrupt you), nor do I think that touch-pads are good for dialing, nor do I think that LCD's are very useful in sunlight, nor am I impressed by the use of OSX in a venue where I can't add software, nor do I see what iTV will do for me that will be useful beyond the usual stack of DVR, satellite and other gear I already own.

I am very interested in Leopard, but of that there was no sign. So... bleagh.

Re:still (0, Troll)

kitsunewarlock (971818) | more than 7 years ago | (#17705676)

I personally wonder what the next fad/"statement" will be after this brushed-chrome, pseudo-indy, myspace loitering, ipod-totting, grad-student worshiping, super-liberal phase... It reminds me so much of the 60s for some reason...could some sort pseudo-electro dance-ready high-energy disco resurgence be coming around the corner? Recent hits like "here we go", etc...have such a similiar energy to them... But fad speculation is usually impossible. Some weird bizarre movie hit no one was expecting or some garage band from any random country will probably come out of the woodworks...or we will enter a "multi-genre generation", which is entirely possible thanks to the internet. Although it makes marketing rather difficult...

Re:still (0, Troll)

dreddnott (555950) | more than 7 years ago | (#17705842)

After Crazy Frog became a riotous hit in the UK, the former bastion of musical excellence and good taste as recently as 20 or 30 years ago (no offense, Radiohead fans!), I'll believe that anything is possible.

I believe that peoples' tastes in just about everything will become more sequestered and idiosyncratic as marketing demographics draw finer lines and become more precise in their targets. Remember the Calvin & Hobbes strips about chewing gum magazines?

I have to say it's probably a fallacy that Apple or any other single corporation truly dictates phases or fads in culture. Apple in particular just happens to have a superlative and highly recognisable advertising method. Most of the people out there with iPods probably think Family Guy is hilarious (and original!), and wouldn't get half the jokes on South Park, let alone watch C-SPAN for more than 5 minutes. I despise Myspace more than any other currently prevalent cultural phenomenon, though. Just about every idiot I know has a profile with six thousand images, videos, and embedded WAV files that is capable of crashing the majority of computers within five minutes.

What I see most in popular culture, and I hope this isn't just me - is a lack of originality: so many films are remakes or rethinks or sequels or prequels, and so many popular radio songs are remixes, or use borrowed hooks, vocal samples, or are simply covers of the old hits. When are we going to hear Captain Beefheart, Erik Satie, Robert Johnson, Bix Beiderbecke, or Charles Ives in the Top 40? Never, yet these are some of the most original composers I've ever heard.

Re:still (2, Insightful)

yoasif (969247) | more than 7 years ago | (#17706160)

Most of the people out there with iPods probably think Family Guy is hilarious (and original!), and wouldn't get half the jokes on South Park, let alone watch C-SPAN for more than 5 minutes.

I've had an iPod for a pretty long time, and I do happen to think that Family Guy is pretty funny. But I also get (all?) the jokes on South Park, and I watch CSPAN on occasion (for more than 5 minutes at a stretch).

Personally, I think it's laughable to consider South Park that much higher than Family Guy; with the exception of a small number of episodes, South Park requires no great intelligence to interpret, and they are both fairly funny.

Re:still (2, Funny)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#17705896)

grad-student worshiping
Hey, I'm a grad student! Where do I sign up for worshipers? Or even a few minions...

Re:still (1)

holdenholden (961300) | more than 7 years ago | (#17706086)

Try the students you TA first ;-). Next stop: the first year students in your group...

Re:still (1)

Slarty (11126) | more than 7 years ago | (#17706050)

Grad-student worshiping? Really? I've been a grad student for several years and not once have I been worshipped. I have been told that I'm crazy for not being out there making money, though. Where are you getting this from?

Stuff that Matters (1)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | more than 7 years ago | (#17706052)

Ick, too many vendor sports recently. I understand it's Apple and all, but please. There were half a dozen iPhone stories in the first couple days. Now we've got a story about the negative impact that all those other stories *might have, in some guy's opinion, on the eventual product that we've been speculating about.

Surely someone, somewhere is doing something important. Shuttleworth, I'm looking in your direction...

Killing the hype (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17705550)

According to an Andy Inhatko article in the Chicago Sun-Times, the phone is far from finished. In my opinion, Jobs introduced it only to kill the enormous hype that had been created and if let loose any longer, could hurt more that benefit. So I think he had no option.

FCC leaks (5, Informative)

zero-one (79216) | more than 7 years ago | (#17705554)

Right at the start of the presentation, Jobs says something like "When's it going to be available? We're shipping them in June -- we're announcing it today because we have to go get FCC approval... We thought it'd be better to introduce this today rather than let the FCC introduce this".

Judging from all the rumours about the Zune the future iPods that have been helped along by FCC documents, I think they made the right call.

Re:FCC leaks (3, Insightful)

modecx (130548) | more than 7 years ago | (#17705822)

Judging from all the rumours about the Zune the future iPods that have been helped along by FCC documents, I think they made the right call.

Exactly. The author of this article is a num-head.

Re:FCC leaks (4, Funny)

Mike1024 (184871) | more than 7 years ago | (#17705910)

Judging from all the rumours about the Zune the future iPods that have been helped along by FCC documents, I think they made the right call.

If I was a big apple I'd submit a few dozen fake products for approval just to throw people off. When the documents about the Apple Bananaphone and the Apple ipod/condom become public, people will start taking these rumours with a bigger pinch of salt.

Re:FCC leaks (4, Funny)

Ankou (261125) | more than 7 years ago | (#17706136)

Dude where have you been? Didn't you watch the commercial? The iPhone is a prophylactic [youtube.com] too.

Re:FCC leaks (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 7 years ago | (#17705972)

Here's what TFA had to say about the early release
It's easy to speculate about why Apple announced the iPhone so early, so here goes.

(1) The iPhone resembles, at least superficially, the LG KE850, which recently won the International Forum Design Product Design Award for 2007. Both phones do away with most buttons and rely on a full-device display with on-screen buttons. LG hasn't decided yet if it will sue Apple for copying its design. It's possible Apple announced iPhone so Apple wouldn't follow the LG KE850 to market and look like a copycat.

(2) Maybe Jobs wanted to divert attention away from the stock-option backdating scandal. (3) Maybe Jobs decided that Apple TV was too weak of a product to carry a keynote. (4) Maybe the motive was good old-fashioned FUD.

4 different reasons & the author didn't bother to mention the FCC.

Good Point (4, Interesting)

Greatmoose (896405) | more than 7 years ago | (#17705556)

I hadn't thought of the iPhone cannibalizing iPod sales. Seems as if they are forcing thier customers to pick on or the other: a lot of features (iPhone) or a lot of storage space (iPod). Perhaps if they offered a much larger capacity iPhone, they wouldn't have that problem. Of course, it'd be $1,000 or something...

Re:Good Point (4, Insightful)

EastCoastSurfer (310758) | more than 7 years ago | (#17705760)

iPhone cannibalizing iPod sales

That doesn't make much sense to me. First the author says it's going to be hard to sell many iPhones and uses the facts that RIM only sold 5.5M blackberrys last year and the iPhone will be Cingular only. Then he says that people aren't going to buy ipods in order to wait for the iPhone. I'm not sure how he can have it both ways there.

Now, if he wants to make a case that people may hold off on a new ipod to see if the ipod line may get the touchscreen interface I might buy into that line of reasoning.

Re:Good Point (4, Insightful)

Sandor at the Zoo (98013) | more than 7 years ago | (#17706000)

Yeah, this article smacks of "how can I dump on Jobs to get page views?"

I've a friend who is a definite Mac geek and will be paying an early termination fee on his Verizon cell plan just to get an iPhone. That didn't stop him from buying two 80 GB video iPods last week (for him and his wife).

Since the iPhone has 8 GB max, I don't see that people who want to store their whole music collection (let alone video) are going to hold up a purchase, even if they plan on buying an iPhone in 6 months.

Re:Good Point (2, Insightful)

mspohr (589790) | more than 7 years ago | (#17706046)

I think the number of fanbois with more money than brains is somewhat limited. This might not be a good business model.

Overhanging a cool product is bad (2, Insightful)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 7 years ago | (#17705820)

When you announce a product too early you you're telling the customer that anything they buy between now and then is not as cool as the iphone. You're buying something obsolete and uncool (until in 10 years it's retro). Since a significant part of the iphone/ipod story is coolness, overhanging an out of date/obsolete product is a bad idea.

Then there's the fact that people get bored quickly. Announce a product and, even if it is not available, people still start to get used to the idea. When you finally release it, it is no longer "edgy".

Sure, the FCC rumour mill would have released product details, but that just builds hype and anticipation.

Still, bottom line though is that Apple tends to know their customers well and has a (recent and far) history [we'll ignore the middle bit] of making good calls. No doubt they have weighed these and other factors and have still gone on to make the announcement.

Re:Overhanging a cool product is bad (1)

sych (526355) | more than 7 years ago | (#17705878)

Sure, the FCC rumour mill would have released product details, but that just builds hype and anticipation.
Not just that, but as I've seen it in the past, the FCC submissions usually include (have to include?) the full user manual for the device, and the whole submission generally becomes publicly available on the FCC website. You can't write a user manual for the iPhone without writing about some of the more significant features, particularly multi-touch and some of the other cool UI stuff.

I think that giving it to the FCC first would have left Apple with nothing to announce.

Re:Overhanging a cool product is bad (1)

Pfhor (40220) | more than 7 years ago | (#17705936)

The thing is the "FCC rumour mill" would have expanded past the normal circle in the case of APPLE releasing the iPhone.

Sure, the specs on the next Sony Ericcson phone is great and all, but thats what they do, make cell phones. The press has been waiting with baited breath for the Apple iPhone for ages. All those press monkeys need is the "FCC rumour mill" to confirm the Apple iPhone, and it will be on the front page of newspapers, because you aren't going to waste time for FCC approval on a device you aren't going to sell. And the FCC approval process includes complete specifications, manual and details of the product also, so you might as well announce it prior to going in for FCC approval.

And Apple has done this before anyway. They did it with the original iBook and Airport. Built in wireless was a huge deal, but they announced it prior to getting FCC approval so they could keep Airport a secret.

Re:Good Point (2, Insightful)

Swift2001 (874553) | more than 7 years ago | (#17705870)

They've been 100% wrong so far. How many people do you think are going to hold off on buying something for $250 -- the 30 GB iPod -- so they can pick up something for $500-600? The iPod wasn't going to sell at all because it was $400. Then the cheaper ones would be better. Then Apple brought out cheaper ones, and an entire line of Flash iPods, and now there's iPods from $79 to $350. Somebody who has enough for an 80GB iPod but doesn't want a phone won't hold out for a monthly fee to AT&T and at least $500.

I'd also bet that there will be a whole passle of widescreen iPods eventually without phones.

Oh, but with all those iPod killers out there, iPod sales are falling and iTunes sales are collapsing. Except they sold 21 million of them the last quarter, and iTunes sold its two-billionth song a little while ago.

Re:Good Point (1)

tgibbs (83782) | more than 7 years ago | (#17706076)

To really match the high end iPod, they'd have had to include a hard disk, which would be inconsistent with the battery life required for a phone. If you want the features of a high-end iPod, you'll need to buy an iPod. So the only real cannibilization is with the nano. But who cares, the nano is cheap, while the iPhone reportedly has a big margin. So if people choose to buy an iPhone instead of a nano, Apple's bottom line will benefit.

It will affect competitors as well (3, Interesting)

gravesb (967413) | more than 7 years ago | (#17705558)

All valid points, but it will affect competitors as well. Right now, people in the consumer smart phone market will be at least tempted to hold out and wait for the iPhone. Since those companies are already in the market, and Apple is not, who will it hurt more? Also, I think its good to announce 6 months out, with the 2 year cycle of cell phone plans. This gives consumers enough advanced notice to decide about entering into a new plan now, or just extending their old plan until the iPhone is available.

Re:It will affect competitors as well (5, Insightful)

dreddnott (555950) | more than 7 years ago | (#17705694)

I agree, Steve Jobs probably did what was best under the circumstances (especially with FCC approval in mind!).

I think the article's author forgot the old saw: There's no such thing as bad publicity! This is especially true for Apple, the perennial underdog, and a new entrant into the computerized cellular telephone market.

Re:It will affect competitors as well (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 7 years ago | (#17705984)

There's no such thing as bad publicity!

Patently untrue. See The Osborne Effect [wikipedia.org] which is a textbook example of a company destroying itself with its own publicity.

Bad publicity generated externally has bankcrupted companies in the past as well, and even if it doesn't affects their bottom line.

Re:It will affect competitors as well (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 7 years ago | (#17706100)

The wikipedia link seems to indicate clearly that the "Osborne effect" is close to an urban legend. Apparently someone in the company made some disastrous and costly decision shortly after new products were announced, and that was what sunk the company. On other words, the link that you gave directly contradicts your claim.

On the other hand... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17705566)

Blackberry Pearl has been released to first t-mobile and then to cingular without as much hype as Apple phone. And its getting pretty good traction. A solid phone overall, with *real* keyboard. And will come out the eventual winner - though they are not in the same category.

Nice job (2, Insightful)

SilentOneNCW (943611) | more than 7 years ago | (#17705590)

Wow, kudos to the submitter and the article writer -- while speculative, it makes logical sense and uses existing evidence to predict future events. See, this is the sort of story /. needs more often. ...

Having said that, I think that no force in the world (not Microsoft, not even Apple) could make iPods stop selling -- I don't think that by having the main attraction of the keynote be the iPhone makes the iPod any less the world's most watched MP3 player. Apple TV may be a little less stable and visible, so that getting hurt is a more legitimate concern, but it doesn't make sense to delay the announcement -- who knows what Apple is going to spring on us next?

Re:Nice job (1)

polar red (215081) | more than 7 years ago | (#17705618)

not even Apple) could make iPods stop selling
hmmm ... i disagree, they could raise the price to 2000$

Re:Nice job (1)

SilentOneNCW (943611) | more than 7 years ago | (#17705670)

And along comes a cheap iPod knock-off for the real price. Apple, due to not selling enough iPods at the hugely inflated price, can't afford to fight a huge legal battle and allows it. Apple at this point is more fallible than iPod. OR Apple fanbois/ iPod fanbois still buy the damn thing, convinced it's the best thing ever, apple makes millions.

So Why Do Anything? (5, Insightful)

d3ik (798966) | more than 7 years ago | (#17705602)

"He argues that extremely high expectations can only lead to disappointment for consumers and investors."
In that case they shouldn't ever announce any cool products ever again. Seriously, what kind of logic is that? Apple makes cool things so people put unrealistic expectations on them. People do the same thing with Google, but Google still releases new services. The new stuff might not match the hype but Google and Apple can't change how much people obsess about them.

Re:So Why Do Anything? (2, Insightful)

kithrup (778358) | more than 7 years ago | (#17705778)

Worse, he seems to be saying that the "detail-oriented" presentation -- in which Jobs talked about and demonstrated what the device could do -- would leave consumers disappointed... that it can do what was claimed it could do?

While he may have some valid points, it does seem to reek of "jumping on the attack-SJ-dogpile."

Timing was right (1, Insightful)

David Nabbit (924807) | more than 7 years ago | (#17705608)

If they had waited to unveil the iPhone, then most of the details would have been leaked beforehand, giving competitors a head start and raising consumer's expectations even higher. Just look at all of the iPhone speculation we've been hearing for the past six months.

Negotiating Position (4, Interesting)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 7 years ago | (#17705614)

The seemingly obvious explanation is that Steve Jobs needed a better negotiating position for something. So he announces it, gets a major media circus, half a billion eager buyers, Wall Street ready to punish anybody who doesn't jump on this product launch, and then goes back to his negotiating partner with a much stronger position.

It could be the 3G network - Cringely's written a bit about Cingular insisting on selling its own music store items over 3G, which is why Apple is on EDGE only. Maybe the iPhone trademark... he made a point of boasting about patents (read: patent suit). Maybe something else - I haven't finished watching the whole keynote yet.

Unappreciated gem from the Keynote - Jobs made the audience a point of showing them pictures of penguins on the iPhone. I don't think anything Jobs does these days is uncalculated. Oh, and Mach/xnu is slow...just sayin'.

Re:Negotiating Position (2, Informative)

Watson Ladd (955755) | more than 7 years ago | (#17705722)

L4 would be a much more rational choice then Linux. It's basically a faster Mach. And Apple might want to take advantage of the 4 security layers of the x86 processor, something Linux doesn't do. Also, Apple would need to port IOKit to Linux. Since L4 is written in C++ it would be much easier. Or OpenSolaris. Since Apple is integrating a lot of OpenSolaris features anyway, the might as well take the whole hog.

Do those security rings exist anymore? (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#17706128)

And Apple might want to take advantage of the 4 security layers of the x86 processor, something Linux doesn't do.

I thought I read something recently that modern x86 processors actually didn't implement the additional security layers anymore, since basically no operating system in wide use takes advantage of them?

Re:Negotiating Position (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17706162)

And Apple might want to take advantage of the 4 security layers of the x86 processor, something Linux doesn't do.
that sounds good but is there any evidence to show an x86 processor is going to be used. I couldnt find anything to support this, apparently apple havent said anything yet.

What's with the limiting to Cingular? (3, Funny)

88NoSoup4U88 (721233) | more than 7 years ago | (#17705616)

It's already dead in the water for me if they stick with being limited to one carrier. I don't care if it's possible through some loops to make it work with other carriers; If they limit my choice from the start, I won't be wasting my money on it.

Then again, it is also a very nice bottle opener [youtube.com] , an electronic razor, a blowdryer, a mousetrap......

As Jobs Said... (2, Informative)

Kickboy12 (913888) | more than 7 years ago | (#17705620)

Steve Jobs clearly explained why they announced it so early in his Keynote. They needed FCC approval, so if Jobs didn't do the keynote this early, then the FCC would have been the one to announce the iPhone. This probably would have increased anticipation, and possibly even increased the amount of dissatisfied customers.

Some of the things the author talks about that the phone can't do, nobody really uses anyway. Voice Dialing? My old phone had voice dialing, and it was the most worthless piece of crap technology I have ever used. Rarely worked correctly, so I never used it anyway. 3G Internet Access would have been a nice feature, but Jobs mentioned they were planning on this in a later version of the product. As for Microsoft Outlook... who uses it these days anyway? I sure as hell don't.

I agree the iPhone has much to be desired, but it is still MUCH better than any other phone available in the US to date. I only wish the iPhone was just a little bit cheaper.

Re:As Jobs Said... (4, Funny)

bheer (633842) | more than 7 years ago | (#17705714)

> As for Microsoft Outlook... who uses it these days anyway? I sure as hell don't.

It's like this club that was cool once ... but no one goes there any more, it's too crowded.

Re:As Jobs Said... (1)

Dtw33k (973311) | more than 7 years ago | (#17705770)

Ummmm... I don't think I would EVER buy something that only allowed me to call my friends by using a 4 step (home-contacts-chelsea-cell) touch interface. if it had a real keypad fine, muscle memory or the old hold-down-4 trick... but if I'm gonna have touch I need voice. Also, voice memo is possibly the best thing I have ever discovered while drunk (the only way to remember some things when U R too sloshed to type). 3G? can't get it in most areas and its in the works, nobody smart buys the first gen NEway. Outlook? ummmm... that will be along OR even better, a nice Apple Mail for PC (since Macs sync great anyway).

can SOMEONE please confirm it doesn't have some sort of at least rudimentary voice dial/memo? it DOES have bluetooth...

Re:As Jobs Said... (1)

Osty (16825) | more than 7 years ago | (#17705846)

the only way to remember some things when U R too sloshed to type
nobody smart buys the first gen NEway

I'm guessing you were sloshed when you posted this, based on your typing skills.

Re:As Jobs Said... (4, Informative)

The Bungi (221687) | more than 7 years ago | (#17705834)

As for Microsoft Outlook... who uses it these days anyway?

Just about any Fortune 1000 firm in the US, for starters. Why?

Re:As Jobs Said... (1)

Karlt1 (231423) | more than 7 years ago | (#17705860)

" Voice Dialing? My old phone had voice dialing, and it was the most worthless piece of crap technology I have ever used. Rarely worked correctly, so I never used it anyway. "

When did you use it? Did you use the old style voice dialing where you had to actually say the name twice and then put the corresponding number in or did you use the more modern speaker independant voice dialing that can match your voice to any number in your phone book? The last two Samsung phones I have had work pretty well with voice dialing. Especially my A900 (Blade). It's really convenient (and safer) while I'm driving to be able to press the button on my Bluetooth headset and just say "Call John Doe" and then "Home" , "Mobile", or "Work". It works flawlessly for me most of the time. Other times I have to think like the phone and pronounce the name like I think the phone would -- i.e. Where-In for Warin. Not having voice dialing would be a deal breaker for me.

Re:As Jobs Said... (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 7 years ago | (#17705868)

"Voice Dialing? My old phone had voice dialing, and it was the most worthless piece of crap technology I have ever used."

Except that it's required on a phone such as the iPhone for the ability to "blind dial" without looking at the phone.

Remember, Apple decided that input technologies that gave tactile feedback were a Bad Thing. Really, the thumbboard is bad! It's horrible, especially that little bump on the "5" key of most phones (similar to F and J on QWERTY keyboards) that lets you find a start point without looking at the keyboard/thumbboard.

(on a less sarcastic note) Apple seems to have missed the fact that phones that didn't have tactile feedback for dialing (it's been done before, most of the early WinCE/Windows Mobile phones were in this category) royally bombed. People said "oh, but you can voice dial!", except that rarely ever actually works. (It did work quite well on my 6035, but required too much setup, it was much easier to just dial from memory) Only smartphones that HAVE had thumbboards (or at the minimum, a numeric dialing pad such as the Kyocera 6035 and 7135) have succeeded in the market.

Re:As Jobs Said... (1)

Shadow99_1 (86250) | more than 7 years ago | (#17705906)

Now I just got a 'new' cellphone around christmas, but voice dialing is one of the things I like... It works everytime for me (so far at least) and is awfully handy when I need my hands for other things...

Really though the iPhone doesn't interest me at all, but I don't see how it's so overwhelmingly better than any other phone available right now... The only sort of nice thing is the non-stylus touch screen. Even that however has issues without touching on reliability that would keep it from being my choice...

Re:As Jobs Said... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17705962)

Please... Its just a circus. The real reason he announced it now is to give the appearance of being on the cutting edge when that edge has already passed by.
The HTC 8525 (under Cingular as 8525) was released in November of 2006. It has more features than the aphone and is available now. The idea of owning a computer (the aphone) and not allow 3rd party aps , would seem like a no sell to the technorati. But to the unwashed masses and press its better than sliced bread. Oh yeah bread was already invented.

  I applaud the splash and boost that Apple has given the PPC (Pocket PC) market. This will go a long way towards boosting quick adoption and the switch from laptops. Do a google search on the HTC 8525 and compare. Im just a retired computer geek with no financial interest in any company mentioned and prefer to call a joker a joker.

Re:As Jobs Said... (1)

Mike1024 (184871) | more than 7 years ago | (#17706030)

As for Microsoft Outlook... who uses it these days anyway? I sure as hell don't.

Probably people in corporate environments. And traditionally PDAs were aimed at people in corporate environments, so having outlook synchronisation was a pretty important feature for a PDA to have.

Granted, the iphone isn't just a PDA; it has lots of other functionality. But part of its functionality is as a PDA, and you can't have a PDA without outlook synchronisation.

Just my $0.02.

I tend to agree that Iphone focus was a bad idea. (1, Insightful)

ip_freely_2000 (577249) | more than 7 years ago | (#17705622)


I for one had raised expectations. I was very disappointed on the 8GB limit. I have a ton of music and was expecting something on the order of a 30gb at a minimum for storage.

But what I think REALLY hurts is the Cingular tie in. I was hoping to have a phone not tied to a contract or carrier. VERY disappointing.

Re:I tend to agree that Iphone focus was a bad ide (2, Insightful)

PureCreditor (300490) | more than 7 years ago | (#17705812)

go find me another FLASH player that offers 30GB+ before making that comment

Re:I tend to agree that Iphone focus was a bad ide (2, Informative)

TheSkyIsPurple (901118) | more than 7 years ago | (#17705904)

You mean you set your expectations about a groundbreaking new product based on currently shipping technologies (maybe they will have announced a newer higher density solid state storage) and assumptions about what tech they will use (maybe they'd use a hard drive?) Niiiiice

I too was very disappointed by the 8GB size. I understand it, but I'm still disappointed by it.

And like OP, it's the Cingular tie-in that kills it for me, and everyone I know.

might as well... (5, Insightful)

pdwestermann (687379) | more than 7 years ago | (#17705628)

just mention right away that the ipod does far less than pretty much every high end MP3 player you can buy. How many happy ipod users are there? I think as long as the iphone does what it advertises and does it with style and ease (like the ipod), it will be a great success.

i dont think apple is really going after the IT crowd with this, they are the only ones who will complain because it doesnt have feature X, rather than focusing on how well it performs the things it can do.

Why do they always predict doom for the iPod? (4, Insightful)

NiteShaed (315799) | more than 7 years ago | (#17705634)

put iPod sales at risk

From the moment the iPod was announced it seems that a commentary on Apple isn't complete without some suggestion that the iPod is in terrible danger. Eventually, maybe it'll get supplanted by some other cool little gizmo, but for now it ain't in danger guys. If he's referring to the idea that people will stop buying iPods waiting for the iPhone, I doubt that would be all that big of a sales hit....the iPhone will, for a while at least, be more far more expensive than an iPod, for far less capacity. I won't be trading in my 30GB iPod any time soon.....unless it's for an 80GB.

Re:Why do they always predict doom for the iPod? (1)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 7 years ago | (#17705674)

the iPhone will, for a while at least, be more far more expensive than an iPod, for far less capacity. I won't be trading in my 30GB iPod any time soon.....unless it's for an 80GB.

Tell me: how easy is it to place a phone call from an iPod?

Way to compare apples and oranges...

Re:Why do they always predict doom for the iPod? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17705724)

Tell me: how easy is it to place a phone call from an iPod?

Tell me: how easy is it to get any kind of phone with 80 GB storage?

Re:Why do they always predict doom for the iPod? (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 7 years ago | (#17706148)

If it's not an ipod then what the hell is it? A phone with no 3g, no video calling, no java, no MMS...

Apple seem to be pushing it as a next-gen ipod, so it's entirely fair to compare it with existing ipods.

Took away from Apple TV? (1, Insightful)

don'tyellatme (837496) | more than 7 years ago | (#17705654)

took away from the Apple TV announcement the apple tv that set the record for apple's online sales?

Maybe I'm naive, but... (1)

djkitsch (576853) | more than 7 years ago | (#17705656)

...I am pretty sure by the time the iPhone comes out, there will be significant spec improvements. I don't know how much "wiggle room" they'll have after being granted FCC approval, but I would expect them to use it to the maximum possible effect.

It's a sure thing that by the time it's released, their major competitors will have produced similar (if not quite as slick) devices at markedly lower prices, so Stevie J. likely has a plan.

Or maybe this is just naiveté about business! We shall see...

 

i agree (1)

thesupermikey (220055) | more than 7 years ago | (#17705666)

at this point i have a nano,
one of the free cell phones (POS) one gets when they sign up for service,
and blackberries / windows mobile devices are over priced and under powered

so the idea of the iphone really excited me, until I thought about. This is not a consumer product, at least no more than the average smart phone. There is no way I can affored the 1000+ real-dollars the iphone is going to cost in its 1st year of service.

What apple needs to do is release another iphone, only without the phone, kinda like Palm's LifeDrive.

will do far less than most existing smart phones.. (4, Interesting)

Lerc (71477) | more than 7 years ago | (#17705700)

I was talking to someone pre-iPhone announcement about what cell phones should be.

One of the key features I wanted. make something that doesn't do all of those things I don't want but does the things I do want well. Phones have been developing crazy unusable features like mad for years.

Do less but do what you do well.

Re:will do far less than most existing smart phone (1)

Lussarn (105276) | more than 7 years ago | (#17705788)

Thats one way to see it, but that wouldn't be a smartphone anymore. A key feature of smartphones is a wide selection of user installable apps. So far nothing have been announced so we don't know yet what we have to choose from. I guess 99.99% of the world don't need an ssh app so I'm propably out of luck there.

Re:will do far less than most existing smart phone (1)

veganboyjosh (896761) | more than 7 years ago | (#17706132)

i'd love to see some user uninstallable apps. i hate the fact that some of the cost of my phone went to pay for craphole games that come for free, or other apps or services i don't want/need.

missing the point (1)

acomj (20611) | more than 7 years ago | (#17705704)

The iphone is a play against the "merging" of phone and ipods. Thats all. Its a long term play, as they expect to get the price down and more service providers over the years.

I love the way all pundits are smarter than jobs, yet the company's track record is amazing (I'm a stock holder since the 90s).

Its cool to know the best

Apple TV is crap anyways (1)

solitu (1045848) | more than 7 years ago | (#17705734)

Competition has much better products with better UI, cheaper and higher definition. Who in the right might would get a box just to view low-def videos from apple's website.

Different launch strategies (2, Interesting)

Vengeance_au (318990) | more than 7 years ago | (#17705748)

Compare and contrast
iPod launch [apple.com] (wiki [wikipedia.org] - little to no pre-publicity
with the iPhone - where we are seeing every last bit of information from tech specs, usability, form factor down to projected price points. I believe the iPod launch worked because even though there were plenty of detractors [37signals.com] , ultimately the device was in peoples hands and proving itself. The pre-launch on the iPhone opens up too much opportunity for competitors to steal ideas and be at market in a similar timeframe, and worse it lets everyone make a decision about the product before they get one in their hands - which is ultimately where hearts and minds are won.
I believe apple makes some of the most user friendly devices around, and they should focus on getting them out to market (and THEN hyping the mother-loving goodness out of them).

Re:Different launch strategies (1)

cnettel (836611) | more than 7 years ago | (#17705840)

Apple could pull that off in 2001, because no one expected them to do come in huge in that market. Even if all competitors had known exactly what the device would be like, that still wouldn't have changed too many things. Now, a lot of competitors in many neighboring "gadget" fields should be expected to track pre-release info regarding Apple products. They would do so even if Jobs didn't announce it officially. The relevant effect of the announcement is rather the public (as in mainstream) awareness of the upcoming product. That can certainly go both ways, as TFA speculates, but I think it might be an advantage for Apple.

Apple, now Google, crossing market lines...is hard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17705752)

I think it is great how companies are finally crossing over market lines and coming out with better products. I assume its because competition got so fierce within markets that entering new, traditionally artificial divided-up markets was not a bigger challenge. Now, just be sure to be ready to duck and jump when you switch brand names!

Carriers (4, Insightful)

Effugas (2378) | more than 7 years ago | (#17705758)

Dear god, you guys are actually making me defend Apple. And Cingular.

Wow.

Guys, there are only two GSM carriers in the states -- Cingular and T-Mobile. You might have heard of T-Mobile, they have this rather popular device called the Sidekick that only works (really works, anyway) on their network.

Lame? You bet.

Re:Carriers (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 7 years ago | (#17706002)

There are only two national GSM carriers in the state.
(AT&T piggybacks on Cingular's network)

There are small networks that offer GSM, but they're very local.

Cisco needs Apple, not the other way around... (3, Insightful)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 7 years ago | (#17705768)

and (perhaps worst of all) ruined the company's talks with Cisco over the iPhone name

I don't think Apple feels they where going anywhere with Cisco, and that they had nothing to loose. There is some speculation that Apple thinks Cisco abandoned the trademark, and that Apple can win that point in court. Cisco needs Apple, not the other way around. Apple can name the phone device something else with little or no loss in visibility or branding power.

Jesus (-1, Troll)

Swift2001 (874553) | more than 7 years ago | (#17705796)

This "Apple" section is not an Apple section, in the sense that it is information about Apple, and differing opinions about this or that. This place is like the DNC being taken over by Karl Rove. Every single goddamned story is just a bunch of second-guessing FUD and spin. What does Mr. Smartypants think that Apple should have done? Leaked the whole thing to the rumor sites? Launched it like the Zune? Launched it like that cool tablet thing that isn't selling more than 12 copies? Asked C/Net if it was okay to do it? Asked the FCC to break the news? If they have a 3.5" screen, it should have been bigger but the phone itself smaller. The screen, which nobody but about 12 people have touched, is no good. It's no good because it doesn't have shiny little buttons like my Blackberry. It doesn't have an alt-delete key??? What's it got, a one-button mouse???? How dare Apple have something popular, they're just for the artistic set. How dare they have a computer which hasn't, of yet, had any serious viruses? Who the hell do they think they are, anyway?

That's why I go to Digg.

Re:Jesus (1)

Imexius (967514) | more than 7 years ago | (#17705886)

What part of discussion do you not understand? If Slashdot was just a facts site there would be hardly anything worth discussing. If you can't handle debating and accepting other peoples opinions go read an encyclopedia, until then quit your complaining.

Yeah, but see the other side of it... (1)

kiwioddBall (646813) | more than 7 years ago | (#17705800)

The public had a extraordinarily high expectation of the keynote. If Mr. Jobs hadn't announced the product there would have been disappointment anyway. This probably would have hit the share price as the iPhone was factored in already.

Secondly, he couldn't keep it secret anyway. He has to go to the FCC anyway and their disclosures would have announced the product instead.

WRT to Apple TV, on the surface the dilution of that announcement does not appear to have hurt sales in any way. If he had announced Apple TV only at the keynote, public disappointment may have killed it. It is quite likely that the iPhone announcement has reinforced the Apple brand and this is the reason for high Apple TV sales. The psyche is : I can't get an iPhone now, but I'll buy an Apple TV in the meantime to tide me over.

Yeah, and the first ipod "just" played mp3s (2, Insightful)

xtal (49134) | more than 7 years ago | (#17705802)

Apple's brilliance is often in reducing the cruft and useless features from common, everyday gadgets. The ipod wasn't first, it wasn't second, and it STILL isn't the most featureful. Features are added as they mature and the right way to do it (according to apple) is found.

You're free to use whatever phone you want - but a lot of people will take a look at the iphone because of Apple's track record in the past. I love my Razr, but there's a lot of crap on there I'll never use.

Sometimes, less IS more, reality distortion fields aside.

I wish I would have 10 cents for everyone (5, Insightful)

porky_pig_jr (129948) | more than 7 years ago | (#17705804)

who knows how to run Apple better than Steve Jobs.

Major competition (2, Insightful)

brainplay (993187) | more than 7 years ago | (#17705824)

The Ipod dominates because there really isn't that much that can really challenge it. Its that good of a player. If the Zune was really as good as its hype you'd probably see Ipod sales drop. Unfortunately the hype was just...well hype and the Zune sucked. Nothing else on the horizon either.

The Iphone on the other hand is jumping into a saturated market with plenty of REALLY good competition. Its not going to dominate and to be honest as I go over the features I can't really see anything really special about it other than the apple logo or the virtual keypad. The latter might turn out to be a more of a hinderance for some people and the single carrier is really going to put off alot of others. And to top it off you can't even change out the battery (sound familiar fellow Ipod users?). I guess if I buy it I'll have to get a new phone when my service is up in 2yrs...sorta like my Ipod. Sheesh!

Jobs put alot of hype on this thing because it would create a media frenzy. And it worked. Stocks are up and people are buzzing. The buzzing is already starting to fade and will be flat by the time it actually starts to sell. After that point is when it will really be held up for measurement and the buzzing starts again or the bitching begins.

iPhone will suck, moderate market share (3, Interesting)

WhiteWolf666 (145211) | more than 7 years ago | (#17705838)

Why will the iPhone (rev 1) suck?

Simple. It's an EDGE "smartphone". And you have to deal with AT&T come Cingular. And you have to pay $$$, in addition to signing a 2 year contract.

I must admit, I'm very attracted to the idea of an Apple phone; but EDGE really sucks, and AT&T sucks worse. Once you've gone EVDO, HSDPA, or even UMTS, you'll never go back to EDGE/GPRS. It's a gigantic step backwards, and considering that Verizon/Sprint now have an additional 6 months to pursue a high-end smart phone, I would be shocked to see the iPhone succeed in any big way.

Certainly a phone utilizing yesterday's data technology will not muscle it's way to the top of the market. No video downloads over EDGE, and audio downloads will pause while you are speaking on the phone. Furthermore, it doesn't even seem that it will have a J2ME stack.

I don't have high hopes for this phone, and I'll be damned if I have to deal with AT&T to get one.

"...will do far less than most existing phones." (2, Insightful)

crackeriah (1054236) | more than 7 years ago | (#17705874)

But will real-life iPhone users do more with their phones? Personally I've never used more than a handful of the "bullet-points" of any cellphone.

Too expensive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17705880)

At $500, there won't be too many disappointed customers.

Awaiting the iPhone (3, Insightful)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 7 years ago | (#17705918)

On the other hand, there are now people who are putting off buying another phone and are waiting for the iPhone. This has to be good for Apple.

Of course, the wait in the UK for this phone is excessive as ever, we're always behind the US and Japan even though mobile phone ownership here has been ahead of the US as a percentage of the population. In Europe 70% of the population use mobiles, 63% in Canada and in the US 55%.

I think he completely missed the biggest issue (5, Insightful)

McFadden (809368) | more than 7 years ago | (#17705942)

For me, it's not that Jobs didn't focus on the iPhone. It's the fact that he DIDN'T focus on Macintosh. This is a fundamentally bigger point than hyping the device, or building expectations too high. This is more or less a copy of post I made on another site, but I think it's worth repeating.

The launch of Vista is literally days away. What does this mean?

1. Average Joe is going to start thinking about whether he needs to upgrade.
2. If he decides to upgrade to Vista, he may consider buying new hardware.

Apple should be adding a third point to this:

3. Since he's upgrading, and considering a new hardware purchase, why not tempt him to look at some of the alternatives out there?

The Vista upgrade release is a fundamental, time-lined opportunity for Apple to win converts. With Bootcamp they can even offer that upgrade with the comfort of knowing that you can still run Windows if you need to. Macintosh should have been absolutely FRONT AND CENTER of the keynote.

If a consumer upgrades buys new non-Mac hardware, that's it. Apple has lost them for *at least* another couple of years until they decide to go through the process again.

Jobs missed a golden opportunity at this keynote. Given the momentum and the increased buzz around Apple, their slowly increasing market share, more developers on board, Bootcamp etc. he could have finally presented Apple as a serious and viable alternative to Microsoft. For everyone. But instead he decided to go with a f**king phone, which doesn't even launch until the summer in the US, end of the year in Europe and 2008 in Asia.

Re:I think he completely missed the biggest issue (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17706092)

And the message to the Mac faithful is that they're now secondary or even tertiary to the company that makes their computers. It's as though being second or third in the eyes of software vendors and IT departments isn't enough of an insult.

I used to go to Macworld SF every year when I worked for a Southeastern US manufacturer of Macintosh acceleration products. I really enjoyed the show. Now each January I wish I'd ponied up the substantial bux to get myself out there and house myself in a motel within walking distance of Moscone. Each year I say I'll do it next year.

This year, I'm glad I kept my wallet in my pocket. What a disappointing theme for a Macworld Expo.

I'm not considering attending for January 08. And am reevaluating whether I can make my previously planned hardware upgrade, considering that Apple has just demonstrated that they're not as committed to the platform as we've previously imagined, turning the keynote at its spotlight trade show over to a telephone.

People, it's a telephone. You get 'em free with cellular service...

Cardinal Rule Number One was broken .. (3, Insightful)

torpor (458) | more than 7 years ago | (#17705946)

All the other "mistakes" of the keynote can be forgiven; except this one rule, and Jobs broke it.

In the hardware world, and I say this from the perspective of the music-hardware (synthesizer) segment, where the rule has been proven again and again and again, there is a Cardinal Rule:

Never announce a product until you can actually ship it.

None of these other factors mentioned in this article would have any effect on Apple in the short, mid- and long-term, if but for the fact that there was a huge, deeply felt "Awwwww...." on the part of the audience when he announced the shipping date. That moment was when the hype balloon lost a lot of its gas.

And no, I dont think the FCC-would-announce-it-for-us is a good enough excuse to pre-emptively announce a product. A company like Apple should be ready to take orders the day the FCC approvals have been aquired .. 48 hours from the "FCC discovery", Apple can be in a position to announce the product itself, and ship and take orders then and there.

Big mistake, but courtesy of us mac fanboix, maybe not a ship sinker .. nevertheless, I personally still look forward to seeing Apple get some competition in the iPhone space ..

waiting for iPhone (1)

tgibbs (83782) | more than 7 years ago | (#17705982)

I was in the market for a new phone, but decided to delay a decision until I heard whether Apple announced anything. If Apple hadn't announced, I was ready to buy another model. Now I'm waiting for iPhone.

No thirdparty apps no deal (1)

Captain Perspicuous (899892) | more than 7 years ago | (#17705998)

Well I'm not gonna buy one. Just promised us the future that looked like having a single device being used for all kinds of neat purposes, but since the iPhone won't run third-party apps, it will actually do far less than most of todays smartphones. If you look at it objectively, this is just a combo of phone/browser/ipod with a really nice interface. The iPhone is kind of the Pamela Anderson of mobile phones: Damn nice to look at, but after a few hours it becomes really boring.

Steve, open up the iPhone! There would be so many great things we could do with it! And then I would buy one, too!

The Reality Distortion Field Backlash (2, Insightful)

Infonaut (96956) | more than 7 years ago | (#17706008)

If I were a columnist for a computer publication, I'd sure as hell be writing about the iPhone. It's an easy target. Fantastic intro by Jobs, lots of oohs and ahs, and plenty of time to come up with reasons why it's going to Suck Like A Hoover.

I don't know if the iPhone is going to be a success or not, but all of the back and forth about whether it will revolutionize the world or be the biggest flop since the Cube are rather irrelevant. We don't know how durable the iPhone will be in actual use. We don't know if the spiffy interface really will be that much of an improvement over existing phones. We don't know what Cingular's iPhone plans will be like six months from now.

I am not at all satisfied with existing cellphones, because I always feel like I have to relearn things that should be simple every time I get a new phone. If there was ever a device crying out for an Apple makeover, it's the cellphone. I'd like it to succeed, if only so I can enjoy using my cell the way I enjoy using my Mac. If it doesn't succeed, at least Apple is trying something radical, instead of sticking with the same annoying interface standards that have made cellphones such a pain in the ass for so long. Apple doesn't need to own the market in order to succeed, either. Just look at the Mac. Microsoft beat Apple handily in the marketplace, but where are all the MS-DOS fanboys now? They're using an interface remarkably similar to Macintosh.

It is also rather appalling that a journalist missed the obvious fact that Apple merely wanted to control the unveiling of the iPhone. They're all about controlling the message, and it seems to me that Steve giving the iPhone keynote was better than Apple going after the countless bloggers who would have taken the FCC filing and run with it.

Can Apple do anything right? (1)

edwardpickman (965122) | more than 7 years ago | (#17706010)

It's amazing the Apple bashing given they are the only real consistent innovators among the major computer companies. This from a long time PC user who still does 95% of his work on a PC.

If Apple doesn't release information early enough they are being secretive and harming customers that might have waited to buy if they had more information. If they release information ahead of time they are seen as foolish for revealing too much too early and there's no way they can meet expectations.

I was shocked at the statement that there are smart phones now that do more better. Name one? I've heard complaints about the interface but I find most phones a major headache to use. I haven't bothered to add more than a couple of numbers into the autodialer in mine because it's such a hassle. Name one that plays wide screen movies? Name one with a full web browser? Name one with a full desktop OS? Name a current one with a screen that size? There are dozens of other features I've never seen in a cell phone.

Look if you don't want one fine but knocking them sounds like sour grapes. People before Vista came out were claiming the Mac OSX was just a rip off of Vista. Bizzare given how long OSX had been on the market especially considering Vista does less than Tiger and Leopard when comes out soon and does drastically more.

Personally I'm a heretic and will use whatever works best. I just find it odd all the Apple bashing since they seem to be the driving force in a lot of the new technology. Most of Vista is under the hood where as most of Tiger/Leopard's features are user oriented. After waiting six years Vista seems to be a major letdown. The biggest thing I hear about is that some features are really slow. My sole interest in it is Direct X10, otherwise I'd avoid it. I find XP a hassle and the very things I find a hassle about XP are supposed to be drastically worse. I really hate getting prompted all the time and from what I hear it's a constant thing in Vista. People have for years been speculating and complaining about the lack of an Apple phone. The day it's anounced they start complaining about the phone itself inspite of it being a major innovation in phone, media and computer intergration. Given it has a full OS once the hardware catches up they can seamlessly turn it into a portable computer. I really question whether the detractors have done their homework or is it more that Apple is about to take the technical high ground and people are starting the king bashing early? Will they take over the cell phone market? No. They admit that was never the plan. What they have done is in a first generation smart phone set a very high mark for the other companies to hit. Give it two more generations and I think people will be stunned with what it can do.

The grapes may be sour but have the decency to taste them first, or at least wait until they are picked, to declare their shortcomings.

Does Apple really need iPhone name rights? (1)

tgibbs (83782) | more than 7 years ago | (#17706024)

I don't agree that this gives the power to Cisco in the negotiations. Even if Apple can't get the rights, either in court or in a reasonable deal with Cisco, they could simply change the name to ApplePhone just before release, exactly as they did with iTV...I mean, AppleTV. And even if they change the name, everybody will keep calling it iPhone, anyway.

Whet my appetite.. (1)

xwizbt (513040) | more than 7 years ago | (#17706034)

So I've just bought a Sony Ericsson p990i. It's slow and clumsy. At least it's not crippled, as far as I can tell. And from what I can tell the iPhone won't be crippled, and it looks fast and... hey, is everyone forgetting the blow-away graphics and the iPod stuff? I mean, this replaces two gadgets in *my* pocket, I don't know about yours.



Of course, I'm here in the UK. Well, look - I'll get the iPhone version 2. Prices will drop, market share will grow... blah blah. I've heard this stuff before. This is just another journalist trying to get readers - maybe even trying to get slashdot coverage - by saying something controversial. From what I see, the iPhone is better than what's in my pocket now. So where's my money going next?

And if they hadn't announced it... (1)

SwashbucklingCowboy (727629) | more than 7 years ago | (#17706048)

The stock price would have tanked because there were no major announcements from Apple.

Poor Points (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 7 years ago | (#17706062)

1) Expectations too high?

It seems like a lot of people now seem to have rather low expectations of the device feature wise, with not many other specific details ironed out. And so what people are really looking forward to with the Apple iPhone is a well designed product with intuitive gestures, which they will probably deliver on from hands-on accounts. Does no-one think what expectations would have been like with only FCC leaked rumors abounding?

All of the points he raised are valid (as far as well know) in terms of other smart phone features the iPhone does not seem to have (ignoring what the iPhone does have the others do not) but refute the point that announcing the iphone at the keynote raised expectations too high; instead it seems it set them to a reasonable level instead of stratospheric guesses.

2) Sales expectations too high?

Possibly, but perhaps the real internal projections are higher and Apple is giving a conservative estimate, just as they do with iPods every quarter. In fact ten million units sold in a year and a half does not seem like an overly unrealistic goal given than the iPhone can create "cross-switchers" - people who are tired of a phone and an iPod being seperate, and want both in one. Or people who want a smart phone and dislike the current selection. People keep harping on the price yet Apple sells way more iPods than that at pretty high prices every quarter, so even with a service plan you know a lot of people are going to go for it.

3) Jobs gave competitors a head start. Yes, the same head start they would have had anyway from FCC leaks. A non-issue, and a negative spin on the impact unveiling the phone has on other people in the phone space - consider a recent concept video [esato.com] from Nokia that was recently floating around Digg that showed a dual-screen smart phone that they said was a "idea, an example of a phone that might be three or four years off". How is Nokia supposed to compress four years of development into five months and get it FCC approved? The keynote only served as a swift kick in the ass to phone companies that really needed one (Treo, I'm looking at you!!!). As a consumer, I am more than happy at any "head start" that leads to good products sooner rather than later!

4) Jobs undermined Apple TV hype?

This one I kind of agree with, but it was sort of unavoidable really. They had to announce the iPhone to build it, and the iTV release coincided... it won't matter much though if it has good marketing behind it to let people know why they would want or need one. This is where Apple stores are going to have to play a key role I think because people are going to have to see it in action.

5) Jobs put iPod sales at risk?

So which is it man, unrealistic expecations of ten million units sold by the end of 2008, or that it will cannibalize existing iPod sales? That the device is so different means it more expands the realm of iPod buyers rather than clearcuts any particular category of existing iPods. People buying the 30/80GB iPods won't care - the storage is too smal. People buying Nanos and Minis for the gymn or purse will not care, as they are a lot cheaper. It's really for people that want a PDA with an innovative interface that also happens to be really good at playing music.

6) Jobs wrecked Cisco talks

Perhaps - but perhaps Apple lawyers came to the realization the night before that Cisco doesn't really have a valid claim on the name [zdnet.com] after all! Why pay now if there's a chance you don't have to pay at all? That may be a correct observation - but deliberate.

short movie mocking Kim Jong Il (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17706116)

I recommend this short movie mocking Kim Jong Il and his secret agent buying Hennessy XO wine from Chinese black market :=)

http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=EE52D9ED01 495685 [youtube.com]
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