Apple’s Colossal Mistake?

You’ve probably heard about Apple’s much touted Apple iPhone — a device whose announcement sent Apple stock shares soaring 12% the day after it was announced. Apple claims it will sell 10 million of the devices in the year and a half of selling the phone. I’m simply not convinced.

Today I read an article on Computerworld’s website on how Steve Jobs blew the iPhone announcement. Reading this article solidified some thoughts I’ve had about the iPhone since its announcement.

First: 4GB or even 8GB is pitifully small for a device that seemingly was built for mobile video. I own a 60GB 5th generation iPod. I’ve put a couple of movies on it, price and my experience mirrors that discussed in the Comptuerworld article: each movie takes around a gigabyte. Not to mention my music and podcasts and photos. I’ve got 9 GB of audio, stomach and 3 GB of video, in addition to the movies I’ve loaded onto my iPod. Who is going to pay more than the price of a 60 GB iPod to only get 8 GB of storage? I mean, serious audio users would need a gen-5 iPod in addition to the iPhone. Doesn’t that defeat the purpose?

Second, with the iPhone, Apple is trying to go head-to-head with the Blackberry. I know that there are a lot of people who have decided they can’t live without their Blackberry’s. They can even make a legitimate business use case. I’m not convinced that the iPhone will be as useful in a business setting: you can’t edit your Word files; You can’t synchronize your task list and e-mail with Microsoft Outlook. I mean, hey, the interface is beautiful, but, I’m guessing beautiful won’t be enough if users determine the iPhone doesn’t do what they want it to.

Finally, what is the deal with only pairing with AT&T/Cingular? Does Apple really think that they are going to sell 10 million units by getting the whole world to switch to AT&T? I’ve been there, and I’m not going to do that again. Just because AT&T dropped “Wireless” from their name, doesn’t mean service has improved. But that’s a different rant for a different post.

With the iPod, Apple got a lot right, and they improved over time. Early iPods didn’t support synchronizing with Windows-based machines, and it wasn’t until the 5th generation that they supported video. With the iPhone, Apple may get there in a few iterations, but I don’t think they are there yet.

My bet: If you’re looking for a sleek interface, be prepared to be amazed. Just don’t be surprised if the iPhone doesn’t do as much as a Blackberry. Just wait a couple of generations. Apple may get it right yet. If they don’t get beat to it.

2 responses to “Apple’s Colossal Mistake?”

  1. Can’t say much about comparing the iPhone to an iPod but I agree that the minimal memory in those for the outrageous prices they will sell them for is ludicrous.

    About AT&T being the only carrier to offer the iPhone that’s the exclusive release provider. Verizon backed out of offering it first when Apple wanted 1% of revenue from the wireless contracts. I don’t blame them.

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