June 17, 2007

iPhone iLike iScared

So, have you seen the Apple iPhone? It's beeeeeeaaautiful. It also comes out June 29th.

It has a big, color touch screen. It has the global intarwebs in there. It has music. It's SO pretty. It has the blueteeths and

My roommate, The Actor, and I were talking about it and he thinks it's going to be a flop. Not that people won't spend $499 for the 2GB version or $599 for the 4GB version, but he thinks there will be lots of complaints.

The biggest problem he sees is that iPods break a lot when people drop them and people drop their cell phones all the time. So, people are likely to drop their iPhone a lot and they'll break.

He also questions the talk time. He told me last night that it has less than 2 hours of talk time, but according to Apple and other sites, it has 5 hours, which is apparently better than other smart phones.

The Actor also thinks that 4GB is WAY too small and that you'd have to carry both an iPod and an iPhone in order to be completely satisfied. I have to agree on this one because I hate carrying gadgets around. I just want the internet in my brain.

So, the iPhone isn't for me.
- I hate carrying lots of gadgets.
- I put my gadgets through a LOT of wear and tear.
- I drop them.
- I am not willing to spend $500 on a phone/intarweb machine/empty3 player.
- Verizon doesn't have the iPhone

I hope the iPhone is really cool and doesn't break or mess up because it's 2007 and it's totally time for pretty, slick, fancy machines like this. The iPhone world is the world I want to live in.

Update: Tom Rexton informs me that The Actor got the memory wrong on the iPhone as well. It's 4GB and 8GB, which is the same as the iPod nano. That makes a huge difference to me.

I still won't buy one because it's expensive and I do think I would break it and because Verizon won't have it.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at June 17, 2007 07:14 AM | TrackBack

It's actually 4GB for $499 and 8GB for $599. It may be a minor error, but it's a big difference.

Is your friend versed in logic? Because if he thinks the iPhone will flop since the iPod breaks a lot when people drop it and so will the iPhone, then it must follow that the IPOD must be a flop as well. That's hardly true. The iPod has some flaws, including the one mentioned, but those have hardly made it a "flop". Furthermore, the 4GB and 8GB models are the same size as the iPod nanos, which are selling quite well, to say the least, as many people are rather content to carry only a couple thousand songs in the pocket at any given time. :P

I'm not saying the iPhone won't flop. It's just the reasons given by the Actor are nonsensical.

Posted by: Tom Rexton at June 18, 2007 01:11 AM

The difference between a music player and a phone is the way that people use it and that is what increases the odds that the iPhone will be dropped over the iPod.

People find their music on an iPod and put it in their pocket. People constantly fiddle with their phones and wind up dropping them.

He doesn't doubt that people will buy the iPhone and he wants it to work, but he think a lot of people are going to break them and that they don't hold enough music to allow users to carry just one gadget and not two. Of course, he's also made mistakes about the memory and the talk time, soooo...

I think his best argument is the clutz factor. I do think people will drop them and they'll break. I don't know that this will inhibit sales appreciably.

Personally, I'd buy one if it weren't for the price. They're so pretty!

Posted by: Flibbert at June 18, 2007 05:27 AM

I'll be getting mine soon after it comes out (assuming they don't completely sell out). It should be noted that iPhone, like Nano, uses Flash memory, so it won't break as easily as the big iPods with all their moving parts.

Also, a lot of people don't remember that it took a solid two years for the iPod to even start getting popular. If the iPhone takes a similar track, many may be quick to judge it as a flop.

Posted by: Matt Chancellor at June 18, 2007 09:03 AM

Cool. Let us know how you like it.

I absolutely adore its appearance and I want my next phone to be one of these super-gadgets that will let me do all kinds of fancy stuff. But I will wait a while -- at least until Verizon gets it, cuz I'm married to Verizon.

Posted by: Flibbert at June 18, 2007 09:49 AM

I wouldn't be surprised if there's never a Verizon version. It sounds like Apple's next version will be a 3G model. As I'm sure you're aware, Verizon's network uses antiquated technology.

Also, ATT is specifically tuning their network to accommodate the iPhone. I don't see Verizon doing that any time soon (apparently, Apple actually approached Verizon with the deal before ATT).

Posted by: Matt Chancellor at June 18, 2007 11:16 AM

Yes, I do know that about Verizon, but Verizon's coverage here in the city is incredible. I even get calls and text messages in the subway sometimes.

By contrast, a friend of mine has AT&T and her reception SUCKS.

It is comforting that AT&T is taking steps specifically for the iPhone though.

I will be watching the reviews carefully. If I invest in this machine, I want it to satisfy my every whim and desire.

Posted by: Flibbert at June 18, 2007 12:19 PM

You're absolutely right. I have two phones: One with ATT (my personal line) and one with Verizon (my office blackberry). I use my Verizon phone almost exclusively... and by almost, I mean I only use my ATT line about once a month... and it all comes down to the network. West of the Hudson, Verizon isn't any better than ATT... but of course, I don't live West of the Hudson.

The network is the only thing making me nervous about the iPhone... but from what I can tell, Apple is pushing ATT to improve things, so I'm hopeful.

Posted by: Matt Chancellor at June 18, 2007 01:13 PM

For some reason, I thought you lived in Jersey.

I was just looking things over and it looks like I probably won't be able to get a new phone until January, so it'll be like a late Christmas present to myself, whatever I wind up getting.

Posted by: Flibbert at June 18, 2007 01:21 PM

That's definitely a valid iPhone issue there--the ATT network's reliability. Verizon definitely has the superior network, but this affects all cellphones with ATT, not just the iPhone. I doubt it would be enough to make the iPhone a "flop".

The Razr was easily damaged when dropped (which was far more frequent for its slim, slippery shape). Again, that was not enough to stop its runaway success.

BTW, Steve Jobs recently announced that the iPhone's touch screen has been upgraded for strength and scratch resistance, and the battery life extended to a max of 8 hours of talk-time.

In any case, I won't be getting an iPhone for a long, long time because I just don't need one, and certainly can't afford one while I'm going through college. I don't even have an iPod. (Gasp!) The huge upfront cost and then the gargantuan monthly bills would make it more expensive in the long run than a laptop.

Now there's a real problem for Apple--they made it too expensive!

Posted by: Tom Rexton at June 18, 2007 01:57 PM

Actually, I tend to find Apple charges what something is worth. After all, if one were to buy a smartphone and the iPod Nano of ones choice, the price would come out to the same as an iPhone.

The press release on the upgraded surface and battery life can be found here. There's a nice chart comparing the specs of all the big smart phones with the iPhone.

Posted by: Matt Chancellor at June 18, 2007 02:26 PM

I want a new phone right now because I am finding that more and more my life could be made better by being able to carry a phone, calendar, to-do lists, and music all in one gadget.

By the time January is here and I am ready to drop a buncha cash into a gadget, I am going to be VERY ready for the iPhone. I hope it is as good as it's starting to sound.

I'm going to show this other info to my roommate and see if he'll change his mind.

I've been pointing out to him that I don't think it will *flop,* but that I did think there was a chance that sales would be hurt if they break too easily or if the battery life isn't long enough. This news that it's been upgraded to be more durable and to extend the battery life is very welcome news.

Posted by: Flibbert at June 18, 2007 02:33 PM

So glad you brought this up. I'm dying for the iPhone. But I too have Verizon and love their service. I have heard the argument that it doesn't have enough memory to satisfy music lovers, but honestly I never considered this as a replacement for my iPod simply because I would never take a $600 phone into the gym and go running with it. I drop my iPod all the time and it still works, but I'm not taking the chance with that phone. I'm completely divided right now. I think it's fantastic like most things Apple creates, but I am not sure I want to spend the money and on top of that, switch to AT&T. DC is also very much a Verizon city with full coverage everywhere including on the metro.

Apple and AT&T are contractually linked for two years for the iPhone so it'll be at least two years before Verizon sees it. People said Verizon would never get the RAZR too but they did. If this phone takes off like the iPod, you can bet Verizon will work with Apple to create a tri band version that will work with CDMA technology.

I guess we'll see in 11 days. If I don't fall prey to its fabulousness on day #1 of its release, I might be able to convince myself to stay put until I find another phone on Verizon I like better than my shitty RAZR.

Posted by: Britton at June 18, 2007 04:09 PM

Matt, I was only half-serious when I said it's too expensive. :P It's a widescreen iPod, a highly advanced touch-screen cellphone, and it has almost all the functionality of a mobile computer, so the price is quite reasonable. But it's still out of my reach--for now. :(

Posted by: Tom Rexton at June 18, 2007 05:19 PM

Actually, I was looking at complaints about the iPhone today and one of them is that it isn't marketed properly. The argument is that since it offers so much easy-to-use functionality, it should be positioned as a mini-mac or a mega-iPod and not a phone.

I find myself uncertain about that question. On one hand if it were marketed as a little computer, I think the appeal would be much much narrower. As a phone, it has a wider appeal, but the price point is so high that it runs the risk of evincing a high level of buyer's remorse for people not realizing the power of the machine they bought.

I take this confusion as a good sign, though. I'm a person who is opposed to carrying lots of gadgets. I fail to see why it is necessary (apart from technological limitations, of course) for me to carry something for talking, something for listening, something for writing, something for watching, and something for reading. Why NOT do all of them?

The iPhone is the closest thing we have to offering all of those things effectively and it's exciting.

With that in mind, I am much less inclined to quibble over whether or not it should be called a phone or not.

Posted by: Flibbert at June 18, 2007 09:43 PM

You're right, it should be simplified. The cell phone is well on the way to becoming the all-purpose hand-held device, incorporating the telephone, the computer, the mp3 player, the camera, and now in some countries the wallet! The cellphone in Japan is used frequently like a debit/credit card, and telecoms are planning to introduce the same functionality here. Now they just need to incorporate your keys and soon your pocket will carry nothing but a cellphone!

Posted by: Tom Rexton at June 18, 2007 10:13 PM

Oh *I* don't want it simplified. I think this is a great trend. I was just pointing out that some people say that the iPhone is mis-positioned as a phone due to all the functionality it offers.

No, I definitely don't want less; I want more. I can't wait until I get get all this stuff implanted in my brain.

Posted by: Flibbert at June 19, 2007 05:10 AM
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