Friday, June 29, 2007

iPhone It In...

Well, this is the big day for Apple. The iPhone is hitting the streets after a lot of hype. Will it be worth it? The jury is going to be out on that one for a while I would think. The $500 price point and minimum 2 year contract is enough to probably turn a lot of people off right from the start. It's really only for true geeks and early adopters at this point, although everybody seems to want one.

It's an intriguing concept for a phone. The fact you activate it through iTunes and Apple is handling all the customer service rather than the provider is quite the departure from normal cellphone procedures. The "multitouch" interface is fascinating too. Watching the vids over at Apple of how it works looks great, but I'm still leary of it. I like the concept, but that screen is going to be taking a lot of abuse - how long will it last? Still, it's probably the future for devices. All touchy feely. The small 4-8GB storage is also a letdown. For something that's supposed to play music, video, and hold other data, that's small. I suspect they'll be increasing that in due time though.

I still think though, what will make or break the iPhone isn't the product itself. Even if Apple did a fantastic job on it and it does everything they say it will do perfectly and the screen and battery lasts, the problem is that Apple isn't the only part of the equation on this. The exclusive carrier (AT&T in the States) will be the biggest factor. Because at the end of the day, it's a phone and it's got to work as one. If you don't like AT&T, then what? And whenever the iPhone gets to Canada, it'll probably be exclusive to Rogers, and does anybody want that? Their rates aren't great, but it's really the only option for a GSM phone. Fido is owned by Rogers, so that's a moot point. With no competition, they can set the rates to whatever they want.

So yes, I do want one, but I think it's about a year or two away from being close to a practical investment (especially in Canada). The storage has to get bigger, the unit has to be proven dependable, the price must drop, and we have to hope that Apple will pressure Rogers to put out a decent rate package. They did it with iTunes and the Music industry, they're going after the Movie industry, and now the Cellphone industry. Who knows, they just might do it. Either that, or they'll have a flame out and all the early adopters will have a fancy $500 paperweight.

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