iPhone: Running on vapor

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by MacbookSwitcher, Mar 27, 2007.

  1. MacbookSwitcher macrumors 6502

    MacbookSwitcher

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    #1
    While the iPhone has some innovative ideas (I like the 3d effects, I like the auto screen off when you put it up to your ear, I like the auto rotation)... it is mostly hype.

    I do not believe a device without a keyboard will be a success with users, at least the kind of users willing to spend $500-$600 on a smartphone, as the lack of tactile feedback while typing will introduce massive usability issues. Also, it lacks other key smartphone features, such as the ability to view and edit Office docs, and no support for exchange activesync or a blackberry client. Now all of this is fine as long as the device is a consumer device. But the problem is the iPhone does not have a consumer pricepoint or a consumer form factor.

    So now what? Ahh yes. The price drops about a year out, then it drops further. And more features are added. But wait. What happened to Motorola when the RAZR's price dropped? They stopped making money on it. Yet Apple has more hubris than a Motorola, so the price wouldn't drop as much. But then how are they going to get market share without dropping prices? You see the conundrum? Think about it: this thing is $500 without 3G. What happens when you add EVDO and UMTS into the mix? (You are not going to sell into Europe without UMTS. And BTW, CDMA licensing fees are MORE EXPENSIVE than GSM, so how do you make the Verizon version cheaper??)

    At this point, the iPhone is a product running on vapors. Most people do not even know what the day-to-day experience will be like, what the reception will be like, how many bugs it will have, how easy it will be to type on flat glass, what happens if a phone call interrputs your music...is it handled gracefully? Does it still work if you drop it? What if that big ol' glass screen cracks or warps under heat? How greasy does the screen get after a week? What will the battery life be like when browsing the web with Wi-fi, listening to music, and talking on the phone, near simultaneously? (60 minutes That's my guess) Anyone? Anyone?? Oh, that's right. No one has used it yet, so we don't know. (Mossberg and Pogue don't count..they only had it for a couple minutes)

    Another thing. How many Blackberry or Palm patents do you think they're violating with this thing? If you think Cisco was bad, just wait; I can guarantee you that half of what is being done on the iPhone has been done before! I bet the lawyers are salivating and having dreams at night about this thing.

    Let me tell you, making a smartphone is SIGNIFICANTLY harder than making an iPod. The iPod software could be written by a computer science student as a senior project. But smartphones run advanced OS's that need to handle multiple unrelated functions, (phone call / play music / connect to wi-fi / connect to cellular network / web browser / email client / advanced memory and process management / windowing system and UI management). Apple has been working on this for years (probably 4 years, which is significantly longer than Blackberry has spent on any product, for example) and has probably learned all this the long and hard way, but they are going to learn even more once the bugs from users start coming in, and the carriers start demanding that they fix bugs!

    Welcome to the game, guys. Take a seat next to Mr. Palm and Mr. RIMM. May the best man win.

    P.S. All that being said, I am a happy new Mac switcher with a white Macbook self-upgraded to 2 GB of RAM hooked up to a nice Gateway 24" monitor. I'm looking forward to Leopard. I might even get the iPhone if the initial reviews turn out alright and there are no major bugs! I love gadgets.
     
  2. CHROMEDOME macrumors regular

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    #2
    Everything that apple makes is hyped to the -enth degree...

    We will see when it comes out but I'm going to bet that it sells well just because its like an ipod and a phone and kids what that.
     
  3. MacbookSwitcher thread starter macrumors 6502

    MacbookSwitcher

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    Mar 13, 2007
    #3
    I agree with you for the most part.

    One thing I failed to mention is that, despite all the problems I addressed, there is one part of the iPhone that was executed flawlessly: the marketing. It is estimated that the iPhone got $400 million of free advertising due to Macworld and it's aftermath.

    Apple has done a wonderful job of making people think they have to have the iPhone, making people think it's uber-cool, and making people think that everything it's doing has never been done before.

    This will probably translate into high initial sales, but the important thing to look at will be return rates, and sales after 3-6 months. Those are the data points that will tell us whether or not people who bought based on lust will be kept happy based on quality and usability.
     
  4. suneohair macrumors 68020

    suneohair

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2006
    #4
    1. You haven't used the iPhone. Therefore you have no idea how "usable" it is. I have a Treo 650 and pressing those little keys is tough. The buttons on the iPhone seem much larger, albeit with no tactile feedback. It does give visual feedback and auto corrects. I don't think it will be an issue.

    2. iPhone isn't out and the you don't know what apps will be on it or will be a available later. I am sure an office document viewer will be there or follow shortly. He didn't even show the calendar or the notes app, the iPhone is still a work in progress (as of the keynote at least).

    3. It isn't a blackberry. It has exchange support, just not in the corporate push sense I believe.

    4. There is tons of room for the price to drop, there is a $250 markup at least. Treo 750 is $400 with rebate and doesn't have nearly as much as the iPhone does.

    5. It is safe to assume that 3G isn't possible right now with the iPhones size.

    They could however, release it with 3G when it comes out in June. The iPhone isn't out yet. They won't release in Europe without 3G. Hence the later ship date.

    6. There will never be a Verizon version unless everyone goes to WCDMA.

    7. Yes no one knows what it will be like, and you don't either. It is an exciting piece of tech of course but don't let the people who think it is the second coming fool you. We will see when it comes out what it is like. No many knows how many bugs. Your point here is really moot. Until it is out, what is the point of ranting about possible bugs?

    8. We saw how the music to phone call was in the keynote. Maybe you should watch it.

    9. If the screen cracks or warps under heat, they will fix it. Duh.

    10. Battery life is given on Apple's website. If you are doing all those things at once, it will die quicker. Just like when you browse the web, use bluetooth and have the screen on max brightness on a Mac. And again, who is claiming it will last forever? You come here as if you are responding to something, but I don't see anyone saying that. It is pretty clear that it won't last long if you are using its features to the max. Again, duh.

    11. If they were violating patents, they would already be on them. And why don't you give us an idea of what they would be violationg since you seem to know so much. If it has been done before, show me.

    12. Let me tell you, making a smartphone is SIGNIFICANTLY harder than making an iPod. The iPod software could be written by a computer science student as a senior project. But smartphones run advanced OS's that need to handle multiple unrelated functions, (phone call / play music / connect to wi-fi / connect to cellular network / web browser / email client / advanced memory and process management / windowing system and UI management). Apple has been working on this for years (probably 4 years, which is significantly longer than Blackberry has spent on any product, for example) and has probably learned all this the long and hard way, but they are going to learn even more once the bugs from users start coming in, and the carriers start demanding that they fix bugs!


    Do you want a medal for coming to the conclusion that is tough to make a phone? If you watch the keynote, the iPhone promises to do all that you state and wonderfully. I reiterate *promises* as we don't know. But it looks great from where I am sitting.

    Apple has been working 2 years they say, so why the probably? Are you really that oblivious to the information already available to you?

    So when there are bugs... they fix them?

    Seriously. Are you that threatened by the iPhone? You didn't offer anything here that isnt already known. There is no point to this thread. And if you are that biased that you can't even do maybe an hour of research to the facts please don't post here. Thanks!
     
  5. ricksbrain macrumors regular

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    Aug 31, 2005
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    #5
    If Apple is still Apple-- and it is-- the iPhone is going to be a lot of fun to use. That in itself will make it different. And, as a 1.0 device, it has a lot of room to grow. Its growth is also a certainty.

    It's not a business guy's smartphone, anyway. It's a smart regular guy's phone. This isn't trying to dislodge the Treos and Blackberries (though it might somewhat)-- it's raising the bar for common phones.
     
  6. JNB macrumors 604

    JNB

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    #6
    Without going into point-by-point comparisons, examples of why the iPhone is better or worse than whatever already unsuable crap there is out there, or why it is destined to be a paradigm-shifter or doomed to failure (I've already explained my reasons in other posts), I will state this:

    I am a business user, and a heavy business traveler. I depend on connectivity and communications to an absurd degree. I require functionality, reliability, and consistency in my devices. I must be able to maintain a synchronicity between all my appliances.

    I'm getting an iPhone. Day 1. It does what I need, the way I need it, in a business environment.

    But what about...

    3G? Already yesterday's technology, campers. I'll live with EDGE and Wi-Fi just hunky-dory for now. Better coverage with EDGE, anyway. By the time I upgrade the unit, 4G will be GA worldwide, anyway.

    No "real" keyboard? Well, i"ve had five of those die slow, painful deaths on me between my Treo 300 & 650's. Given a choice between mechanical or electronic, I'll take the latter. If I don't kill it in the first 100 hours, it ain't gonna die. Mechanical/membrane switches? Oh, the agony!

    Y'know what? Apple will get my money simply because I trust them to get it. Handspring/Palm lost it. RIM had a flawed UI from the beginning, but push has kept them alive. Nokia, Motorola, LG? It's all commodity crap.

    I have more faith in Apple to do a better 1.0 product than any of the others on their 25.0's.
     
  7. MacbookSwitcher thread starter macrumors 6502

    MacbookSwitcher

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    #7
    suneohair..you basically just made every point I made, but from the perspective of an iphone fanboy: "It's not out yet, so we don't know anything". My conclusion from that is, we can't say it's awesome/great user experience/will cure cancer, yet. Your conclusion is that we can't say it's bad yet. Let's wait and see! Alot of the hype is unfounded.

    ricksbrain..You're right. It will be interesting to see how it evolves in the 2 years after the initial release. Contrary to suneohair's incorrect information, they will definitely release a CDMA version. If it has an EVDO radio, which it should in order to be competitive at that time, it will be both bigger and more expensive to produce.

    As for being a "regular guy's smartphone", that phrase is somewhat of an oxymoron. Regular people don't buy smartphones. Only people who like gadgets and who have alot of disposable income, or who get their companies to buy them, use smartphones. It's hard to see this changing dramatically, and if it doesn't, the iPhone will not really have a niche market to cater to. For example, my friends do pretty well financially, yet they are hard pressed to spend more than $50 on a phone (they prefer free). I can't see even the smartphone guys shelling out $500 post-discount.

    I think alot of people will think the iPhone is the coolest thing since sliced bread. But how many of those people will be ready and willing to shell out $499 or $599 come the day of reckoning?
     
  8. suneohair macrumors 68020

    suneohair

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2006
    #8
    On the contrary:

    I do not believe a device without a keyboard will be a success with users, at least the kind of users willing to spend $500-$600 on a smartphone, as the lack of tactile feedback while typing will introduce massive usability issues. Also, it lacks other key smartphone features, such as the ability to view and edit Office docs, and no support for exchange activesync or a blackberry client.

    Ok. So here you just made a judgment about a device you haven't used. You don't know how the keyboard will be. You didn't follow with a "no one has used it."

    What will the battery life be like when browsing the web with Wi-fi, listening to music, and talking on the phone, near simultaneously? (60 minutes That's my guess) Anyone? Anyone?? Oh, that's right. No one has used it yet, so we don't know. (Mossberg and Pogue don't count..they only had it for a couple minutes)


    Here you admit that you haven't used it. And so no one knows (they do know how the keyboard was though, but thats beside the point).

    I know didly squat about the phones usability. I do know the details that have been given by Apple and what I have seen in the keynote. Information that would have answered a lot of your "questions."

    Most of you statements are, Duh statements. I am no "fanboy" I simply like what the iPhone promises. At no point did I call you a "everything else fanboy" so lets not resort to that bull. I like what I like, if it turns out to suck. Well I won't like it anymore. Also, how can you possibly spin something negative that isn't even out yet. Most of the "concerns" you bring up cannot be answered or already have been by Apple.

    Plus, saying something is great is my opinion. Is it your goal to convince that is sucks? I can make my own decision without your useless rants.

    I suggest you shutup and wait til you can use it. Then all your "questions" will be answered and you can go away. You post is pointless and offers no new insight or new concerns. Try again.
     
  9. MacbookSwitcher thread starter macrumors 6502

    MacbookSwitcher

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    Mar 13, 2007
    #9
    Guess what...an argument consists of statements. I will be making many of them. There is no need for personal attacks or telling anyone to "shutup".

    And guess what else? You have just been added to my ignore list, so this is my last response to you. Goodbye.
     
  10. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

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    May 28, 2005
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    Pa
    #10
    What about the people who are willing to spend $500 for a flip phone? because my phone was $500 ($300 with contract) when I got it, and it wasn't even a smart phone. Just a plain ol motorola flip phone. Granted this was before the RAZR came out, and it was all cutting edge technology, but that's exactly what the iPhone is too. I don't think it's a smartphone at all. It's a cellphone. and an iPod, and an internet communicator.. but it's not a smartphone, and it's damn cheep too, for what it does.
     
  11. suneohair macrumors 68020

    suneohair

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    #11
    Aren't you special.
     
  12. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

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    #12
    Seems your are, because the rest of us aren't on his ignore list yet.

    Which sort of sucks. :(
     
  13. suneohair macrumors 68020

    suneohair

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2006
    #13
    Haha yeah. No real loss though. He is a newbie with 4 posts. I doubt I am missing much, besides like I said he offers nothing that hasn't been said before.

    And most of the things are obvious or plan stupid. HE goes from saying "it isn't going to work and it vapor" as if he had used it to "you can't say anything good about it because no one has used it." Please. :rolleyes:
     
  14. MacbookSwitcher thread starter macrumors 6502

    MacbookSwitcher

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    #14
    You bring up an interesting point. I believe the success of the iPhone will depend on the number of people who are willing to spend $500 (that's with contract, mind you), on a phone that is not considered to be a "smartphone" in the traditional sense of the word. Motorola got strong adoption of the RAZR first by the groundbreaking form-factor, then continued the momentum by aggressive price cuts to bring the device to the mass market. As I said earlier, presumably Apple will follow a similar path, but Apple does not sell anything cheap, so the picture will be different. It will be more of convincing people to pay a premium as opposed to cutting price for market share (This is how Palm's Treo became successful). This works well with enterprise customers, who typically have money to spend, but let's see how well it flies for the consumer market.

    Apple's strongest point is perhaps not engineering, but marketing, so if anyone can pull this off, it's them. It's a big hill to climb, though.

    Perhaps you will be right. Either way, I'm dying to see how this thing plays out.
     
  15. Cepe Indicum macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2006
    #15
    I really want to know what this thread is all about. I took the time to read the whole first post, and was looking forward to debating the points with you, MacbookSwitcher, but then you seemed to answer all of your own "questions", and in the PS you say you'll probably get an iPhone anyway...

    Please clarify your arguments... that is if you don't add me to your ignore list first! :rolleyes:
     
  16. MacbookSwitcher thread starter macrumors 6502

    MacbookSwitcher

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    #16
    I was just tossing around a bunch of ideas....for some of my questions I may postulate my own answer, others, I ask people for input. It's all up for debate. I think my argument is pretty solid based on what I've posted, so feel free to dig in! :)

    No one really knows anything yet, so anyone's opinion is as good as anyone else's.
     
  17. killr_b macrumors 6502a

    killr_b

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    #17
    Hmm, well I'd have to say… no.

    Mostly because the iPhone won't be marketed as a smart phone. It will be marketed like the iPod. A better user experience with something you already do everyday. That's what the iPod did. Then, through iTunes, they expanded the possibilities of what a music player could do. This will be exactly where the iPhone comes in. The expanding of your mobile possibilities through the consolidation of devices and basing it off your home computer.

    It's the thin client of the future for consumers, kinda.

    I'm sure we remember the iPod scratch line, and I would guess Apple has learned their lesson, but I have to admit that the plastics have been shoddy recently. So I have to be concerned about the ability of the phone to scratch. We'll see.
     
  18. Scarlet Fever macrumors 68040

    Scarlet Fever

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    #18
    the iPhone does have a keyboard... its a touch keyboard...
     
  19. Max Payne macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    iPhone will flop badly.

    What Apple can do to make it successful is by adding two more 25MP cameras, 500GB Hard Drive, Adobe CS3, Free line rental, 3000 free minutes per month, 20GB free internet download & usage, 2 years free McDonald's meals and a MacBook Pro, all with a price tag of $20. This way and this way only will the iPhone succeed.

    :rolleyes:
     
  20. Passante macrumors 6502a

    Passante

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    #20
    Just another Newbie post

    All

    Never respond to a negative newbie opinion post (NNOPTM) ;)
     
  21. Scarlet Fever macrumors 68040

    Scarlet Fever

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    #21
    i don't know about that... i mean i really don't like maccy Ds

    If they could make it 5 years supply of Strongbows i'd be more satisfied :p
     
  22. whooleytoo macrumors 603

    whooleytoo

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    #22
    I'd have to agree with suneohair on the keyboards - the miniature keyboards on all smartphones are terrible. The buttons on my N70 are wedged in so tight, I'm continually hitting 2 keys at once. At least the iPhone has space between its (virtual) keys to avoid this.

    So I don't think the iPhone's keyboard is likely to be comparatively poorer than the competition. But whether it's good enough to enable people to easily use it for typing txts and email messages remains to be seen - even though every recent phone I have can send email, it takes so long to type I never bother. If the iPhone's keyboard not easy/quick/accurate enough, people won't use those features.

    Fast, accurate text entry is, to me, the Holy Grail of portable computing/communications devices. Whoever perfects it will make a fortune. I was hoping the Apple's approach would be more revolutionary, but was disappointed. Still, it doesn't appear to be any worse than the competition.
     
  23. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

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    #23
    I agree with our "newbie" :rolleyes: friend. He's not putting it down without giving reasons. IMO he's given very valid ones. The cost and the lack of certain features could prove to be a huge turn off, then again pure marketing may sell it regardless of if it's actually any good.

    As the OP said, no one knows yet, all he was doing was making an observation and pointing out a possible route the iPhone might take.

    Stop getting your kickers in such a twist, anyone would think MacbookSwitcher just insulted your mothers :rolleyes:
     
  24. netdog macrumors 603

    netdog

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    #24
    The iPhone will be a great tool and will sell on a scale that the Mac has never seen.

    Until its release (in only 2.5-3 months), the OP's arguements are equally vapor, as would be a lengthy rebuttal, but I predict this...when the iPhone is released, the OP is going to be eating crow.
     
  25. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

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    #25
    With 3G and push e-mail, maybe, otherwise, I'm not so sure. Of course they will sell a bunch the second it is released to all those desperate to own the latest Apple gadget, but beyond that changes will need to be made for it to be a success.
     

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