Article: Who's afraid of the iPhone?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Stella, Nov 7, 2007.

  1. Stella macrumors 604

    Stella

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    #1
  2. Jarcrew macrumors 6502

    Jarcrew

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    #2
    I don't think the iPhone is anything to get scared about right now, just like the iPod wasn't anything to worry about when it was 5GB and $500. Give it a few generations, mind, get 3G in that thing, knock the price down a few pegs and bump the storage, plus - hopefully - an active dev community and an even slicker hardware/software combo... then you'll see the phone companies start to sweat it out. I reckon in five years time, the iPhone is going to be the option for contract phones.

    That article's right though, the iPhone's made me a lot more aware of what's already out there in regards to mobile internet. I'd be lying if I said I didn't once consider a N95 or something in the months before the iPhone announcement. And I'm extremely glad of it - this can only be good for an industry that has, up to now, been dragging its heels in a big way, on both the carrier and manufacturer end. You watch the tariffs fall over the next three years (especially for mobile internet, something that's cost far too much for far too long), and the handsets get better and better.
     
  3. Stampyhead macrumors 68020

    Stampyhead

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    #3
    Those Samsung and LG phones they showed made me laugh. Their idea of an "iPhone killer" is a phone that tries to look like an iPhone but doesn't quite make it. If the other manufacturers aren't scared of the iPhone why are they all trying to copy it?
     
  4. gr8ful macrumors member

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    #4
    I think that many in the mobile phone industry are very scared because they realize that they are possibly 3-5 years behind the iPhone's potential. I say potential because the iPhone still has a number of improvements to add to fill some of the functionality holes everyone on this forum has complained about (IM, copy/paste, upgrade email, disk use, more storage, poss GPS, etc, etc). But its true potential is in it's ability to integrate with the web and your desktop seamlessly.

    The iPhone is more than a phone, it is an integrated computing platform. Consider what Apple has the 'potential' to do with the iPhone just through software updates:
    1) Mobile version of iWork
    2) Mobile version of iChat
    3) Finger tip file browsing on the phone with Coverflow
    4) Sharing one calendar between all Macs & iPhone through iCal
    5) Seamless integration with online account (.Mac)
    6) Back to My Mac feature could allow you to access your home Mac from your iPhone and access any content you have stored there

    What other phone manufacturer is even close to providing this level of functionality (seamlessly) in the next 3 years or so? Apple just has to start pulling this all together with software and it will be the most powerful and flexible mobile computing environment we've ever had.

    Many will copy the touch interface and do a good job at it by 2008, but the real gap that will take them years to catch up to is the ability to make the phone a true extension of your existing computing environment. Apple is way ahead of the game.
     
  5. Oh-es-Ten macrumors regular

    Oh-es-Ten

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    #5
    Spot on!

    Agreed 100%. Companies are rushing around trying to copy Multi-touch or add extra eye-candy, but the real strength is integration in software. This is a whole ecosystem of both hardware and software that works together seamlessly.

    As I don't expect handset manufacturers to start designing their own desktop apps and full OS's - that gives Apple a significant head start in this race.
     
  6. Hellenek macrumors member

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    #6
    And that's exactly what made me drop my Treo 680 for the iPhone (and also why the hacking makes it worthwhile). No more messing about with my address book and calender just because two different systems are trying to talk to each other - and not doing a good job either. Now I can focus on being more productive instead of removing double contacts and events. Aaaah the bliss :D
     
  7. Bernie-Mac macrumors 65816

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    #7
    Me too, i even went out and bought an AT&T 8525 a few months before after shopping around looking at other smartphones....only to sell my 8525 to get the iphone:D

    And i agree with everyone else, i think people forget sometimes that this is only a first generation iphone, there are still years of new models and upgrades coming and if this one already has all these groundbreaking features that are worring the other cell phone companies, i cant wait to see what Apple has up their sleeve next
     
  8. infosprt macrumors regular

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    #8
    Many excellent points here. The last one though I think that Windows Mobile given a touch interface similar to the iPhone will be a big competitor. Windows Mobile already has many similar features. Its big downfalls are lack of a full web browser and the touch interface. Possibly they will be a competitor in 2008. If nothing else my guess is they will have beta versions out there to try to hold onto some of the market.

    The new Google cell phone initiative is also a big question mark. I can't wait to get my hands on the developer SDK next week. My guess is that the first phones using it will be in the September time frame of 2008. It must have a touch interface to be a competitor.
     
  9. Stella thread starter macrumors 604

    Stella

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    #9
    Whilst good points, I really don't think the iPhone is 3 to 5 years in front. iPhone's main asset is its UI and not software. Many people repeatedly 'years head' this because:
    (a) they just don't understand what other phones are capable of - they seem to think the iPhone is the first to offer such functionality.
    (b) SJ's RDF - if SJ says it, it must be true.

    Its blindly obvious when reading through iPhone related posts on MacRumours that (a) or/and (b) is the case.

    Many Smartphones can *already* sync up to users email and have mobile versions of Office, for example.

    The points you list, whilst great functionality for Mac users, aren't so interesting for the majority ( Macs having a marketshare of around 3 to 5% ). dotMac isn't for windows users, its for Macs only. Apple could alienate potential iPhone customers because its too focused on Mac integration - but then, could attract more Mac users... but the disadvantages probably outweigh the advantages.


     
  10. TonyHoyle macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    Apple primarily sell hardware... hence the hope that the ipod would increase mac sales (which it has somewhat - apple were a virtual unknown outside the tech world before the ipod). I bet they hope the same with the iphone... a 'back to my mac' function is a near certainly. "Oh you have windows? How sad. You know the mac mini is really cheap right now..."

    Microsoft are going to be doing the same with the Zune, Windows Mobile, etc. It'll be more of the same - you buy *only* our hardware and everything works peachy.. step out of line by buying from a competitor and you're on your own.
     
  11. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

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    #11
    I don't think the iPhone is something scary.

    On the contrary, it has raised the general awareness of smartphones and that translates into more sales for everyone.

    It has moved touchscreen friendly and easier-to-use apps into the mainstream, and that aids all buyers of other such devices.

    Cool ideas that have been sitting in labs all over the world, are getting a chance to come out and play.

    So I think it has been a win-win for everyone.

    Except, I would say the whole thing with third party apps, unlocking, bricking, etc, has been poorly handled for general Apple PR and trust, no matter how their stock and sales are.
     
  12. chr1s60 macrumors 68000

    chr1s60

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    #12
    I honestly don't think Apple cares about this. Apple has a maketshare that is continuing to rise, year by year and even though the marketshare number seems small, the number of Macs sold per year is in the millions. Anyone who knows about Apple knows they have an extremely loyal fan base, more so than pretty much any electronics or computer company has ever seen. Those factors leave millions of loyal customers who are willing to buy new iPhones. Then add in the people that would be willing to switch to Mac in order to use the iPhone with added functionality and the amount of profit is plenty and Apple would not need to worry about those who are strictly PC and would not want to buy an iPhone. I don't think adding Mac specific features does any more to push away customers than a smartphone using Windows Mobile does to push away people who hate Windows. In the end it is an Apple product and of course they are going to cater to their own Mac users before those who use other systems.
     
  13. extraextra macrumors 68000

    extraextra

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    #13
    I still think that there's a sizeable amount of the population that just doesn't care about the iPhone. Would they like to have it? Sure, who wouldn't - but they're not going to shell out $400, or even $300 if the price drops for a phone. A lot of people just go to the store and look for a phone that they can get for free or for less than $50. They just need a phone to talk, or to give to their kid, or whatever.

    I think the demographic is changing though, and high schoolers want the latest and greatest phones, and regular users are starting to find that a phone that can do other things is in fact a bonus and something worth paying extra for.

    While I don't think that the companies have to worry just yet, in a few years that will change.
     
  14. Jarcrew macrumors 6502

    Jarcrew

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    #14
    I know that my outlook on phones has changed a lot - prior to January they were just something you had to have, a necessary evil that you don't really want but need. Now though, the real value of some of these phones is coming to light, and I would never have thought to look into it had it not been for the iPhone.

    Sadly for Nokia and T-mobile, the iPhone still looks like a better deal, but for some people that surely isn't the case.
     
  15. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

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    #15
    Well, there is one huge difference between the iPhone and most all other phones:

    The others don't require a host computer to be activated.

    They can be more useful with one, sure, but they don't require someone to own one and/or have broadband access.

    My wife, even though she has a computer, would never dock a phone. Her computer is upstairs, for one thing, so she wouldn't want to take the phone up.

    So that's a whole set of people who might want some of the functionality of smartphones (maps, etc), but don't have a computer or want to use it in conjunction.
     
  16. gr8ful macrumors member

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    #16
    Though the iPhone UI is an asset, I believe the main asset is the OS. From what I understand, it is running OS X correct? Scaled to the phone but OS X none the less. So, unlike any other phone on the market today, you have the 'potential' to move whatever is being done in OS X on the desktop to the phone, with minimal effort.

    Use Case: I'm out taking pictures and using the voice recorder (I know, not there yet). Because I have limited space on the phone I have an Automator workflow taking my recordings and pictures and syncing them with my online account and then deleting them from the phone.

    I really believe that because the iPhone is running a much more sophisticated OS under the hood than any other platform, the things that can be done with it will take "years" to be matched by competitors. Though SJ may have made that statement about 'years ahead', I believe there is merit to it.

    I just hope that developers aren't handcuffed in any way when Apple releases the SDK in February. Looking at what people have done hacking the phone, imagine what they will be able to do with a good SDK and Apple moving more desktop OS X capabilities to the phone.
     
  17. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

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    #17
    I hate to defend Microsoft, but Windows CE is no slouch of an OS, and Windows Mobile 6.5 or 7 or whatever they will call it, soon based off CE 6.0, will be quite good compared to the older WMs.

    That said, neither OSX nor CE were originally built as realtime embedded systems, although CE was written originally for limited devices.

    So I see both OS's at a disadvantage writing for phones, or the other way, both are equal in capability.
     
  18. chr1s60 macrumors 68000

    chr1s60

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    #18
    I personally do not find $400 to be too much money for a phone. The users you mentioned who simply want a phone that can call and accept calls are becoming more and more rare. I have noticed of the past two years that the number of "normal" phones compared to smartphones continues to drop. Three years ago you could go into an ATT store and see 15-20 normal phones and 3-5 smartphones. I was just at ATT two weeks ago and there was about 8-10 normal phones and probably 15 or so smartphones. This tells me that within the next two years that number will likely be 3-5 normal phones and 20 smartphones and eventually it will be all smartphones.

    I have never liked "free" phones because I had bad experiences with the one free phone I have had. There is a reason the phone is free. People are starting to realize that usually a phone you pay decent money for is a much nicer phone. Not only in the added features, but in the quality of the phone itself and how it is made. I know multiple people who 4 or 5 years ago refused to pay more than $50 for a phone... today they are walking around with either a Blackberry or an iPhone. Not only is the technology changing, the attitude people have toward technology is changing and more and more people are starting to accept the changes and take advantage of the great technology at their hands.
     
  19. Stella thread starter macrumors 604

    Stella

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    #19
    Actually, that is false. There have been numerous articles over the past few years that suggest the opposite - they want basic phones. The industry have been responding to this. The trend is that people are fed up with phones than can 'make the toast' - much like people tired of digital watches - they want the basics - a phone to make phone calls and SMS. A phone first.

    ( The rest of your post is antidotal - one person's experience isn't a survey - so I won't comment ).
     
  20. lilnyc macrumors 6502a

    lilnyc

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    #20
    I had the 8525 also before the iPhone. I found that I missed the high speed access and MS Office apps though, so I bought the OQO 2 as a supplement. Together with the iPhone it is fantastic.
     
  21. alFR macrumors 68020

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    #21
    That only makes any sort of sense if she has one of those original "mobiles" that had a massive battery brick under it....

    Are they based on surveys? If so, links? Otherwise that's looking pretty anecdotal as well. :)
     
  22. boss1 macrumors 6502a

    boss1

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    #22
    If Apple wants to really start to compete they need to introduce iPhone models to suit different markets. I'm sure they will just as they did with iPod models ie, nano etc.

    I could easily see Apple selling 60 + million iPhones per year if but only if the model lineup were broader, as well as software to match the model and market. ie, simple choices for the cheaper phone and iWork like suit for the high end phone.
     
  23. gceo macrumors 6502a

    gceo

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    #23
    Some people miss this point:

    The iPhone doesn't need to be 3-5 years ahead. Only one year ahead will guarantee success. As long as Apple keeps moving (which they have an excellent record on the iPod) and they maintain their lead, they will emerge as the leader.

    Lot's of other companies are making their future plans public. Noticeably absent is Apple. That's called confidence in what they are working on. When they announced the iPhone in Jan, they didn't have the confidence that they have now.

    It's tough to play catch up to Apple, when they are moving just as fast as you.
     
  24. gauchogolfer macrumors 603

    gauchogolfer

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    #24
    I would submit that I was one of those people, before the advent of the iPhone. The sheer cumbersome-ness of using other smartphones made me not want to bother, but the UI of the iPhone changed all that for me.

    One more anecdote.

    ;)
     
  25. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

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    #25
    So it would seem. But she's over 50, and her computer upstairs is via a circular iron staircase. Not everyone lives in a one-floor home or likes to play computer every day.

    I suspect that most people who work all day, like to just come in and throw their cell phone on a charger in a room nearby, as she does.

    Cheers, Kev
     

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