I have run across a couple of interesting articles on the iPhone on slashdot. The first article discusses the pricing of the product and specifically consumers willingness to pay the premium pricing that Apple is suggesting. The short summary is that it is unlikely people will be willing to pay the premium. As a reminder, the iPhone is supposed to be available two configurations: 4 GB of RAM and 8 GB of RAM, and the two versions are expected to be priced at $500 and $600 respectively.
The second article compares the iPhone to the ill fated Apple Newton. Who knows whether it is a valid comparison, but it is certainly an interesting perspective. This author believes that the iPhone will initially sell very well and then demand will dry up rapidly due to the excessively high cost.
The Blackberry 8800 has been seen again in the wild and it sounds like the product will be launched shortly by Cingular. There are a number of hands on pictures available. According to the Boy Genius Report, the 8800 will ship on February 20th and will cost $299 with a two year contract or $500 with no contract. One disappointment is that the report confirms that the 8800 will not come with WiFi.
On another note, the same site also has a review of the new browser in the 8800. It looks like RIM has spent quite a bit of time improving the browser from the the 8700 and 7290 which is a good thing because I do not like the current browser.
Boygeniusreport.com has an update on the new Blackberry. He indicated that the 8800 won’t come with WiFi and will be released in February. The next version release on the platform is th 8900 which will include WiFi and a camera. I am not sure what to do with this because it is unclear what the benefits of the 8800 really are. How much of an upgrade is it over the 8700?
There is a bigger issue that I am pondering which is where RIM is going with this platform. My issue is that the 8700C is not that much different from the 7290 which is not that different from the previous versions. It seems to me that RIM is just evolving the basic platform with little true value added enhancements. For example, there still is not a good web browser or media player for the platform. What is up with that? When you can get a phone for $30 from any carrier that exceeds this.
I think that part of the issue here is the iPhone. I previously posted on the iPhone and how it looks to be a consumer oriented device. It is clearly a multi-functional device and it makes the Blackberry look like a basic rotary telephone by comparison. Now I understand that the two devices target different markets, but I do not believe saying “this is a business device” gives RIM an excuse to produce phones that are so lacking in features. I am not sure why this is and am wondering if part of the issue is the Java platform that all the BB’s run on. Who knows, it is interesting to see how RIM reacts to the iPhone and whether we finally begin to see more feature rich phones.
It is amazing that Apple managed to keep the iPhone under wraps until its formal announcement yesterday. There were so many parties that needed to be involved in the process of designing and building the phone and yet with all that, the secrecy was maintained. Kudos to Apple on that and Fortune has a short article on how Apple did it. It is an interesting read.
For those who did not see it, Apple announced the iPhone at MacWorld in San Francisco today. Here are some links to articles:
This is a very interesting announcement that has been rumored for a while. The interesting thing about the phone is that it is a new smartphone design that combines phone functionality with media player functionality. The other interesting element is that it runs Apples OS X, and is not running a specialty phone-only OS. (Of course, it must have cell phone optimizations.) The device is touted as one that can handle many of the tasks of a standard computer including web browsing, email, and the like. The other interesting element is that it does not include a keyboard, and instead the face is entirely one high resolution touch screen. It certainly looks very cool and the early reviews are positive. I am interested in how it actually works in practice.
In some respects, I would love to have this phone. My issue is that it looks to be primarily a consumer targeted device. While it does support email, it is only one feature of many. (Jupiter highlights these criticisms.) Compare this to a Blackberry where email is a key, if not the key, feature of the PDA. The Blackberry is primarily an email device that does other things while it looks like the iPhone is primarily a multi-media device that does email. Since email is the killer app for me, I need an email centric device. (I spend a heck of a lot more time doing email than I ever would using multimedia features.) Still, this product may delay any phone upgrades because I may want to wait until it is released to validate my thoughts above. One a side note, the downside of the device is that it won’t be available until June and is extremely expensive. (Including a 2 year Cingular contract — 4 GB of memory, $499 – 8 GB of memory $599.)
In the end, the phone is very cool and I predict that it will be a big success. However, I think that the success will come from mainstream consumer sales and not business customers.