Now that excitement of the discovery is gone, I take some time to have a deeper analysis of the announce. Beyond of what seems to be one of the best UI, there are many issue that are still open:
- WiFi, but no 3G. Both are complementary, and it’s so hard today to find a WiFi hotspot than 3G remains frequently the best alternative. Anyway, it might be the reason why the phone is only expected Q4’07 in Europe.
- Not extensible by third parties (only Apple or Cingular probably)! So, why putting Mac OS-X if you can not add any application? Seems that we are back to the closed garden!
- No iTune sync OTA or through WiFi? Is it a phone or not??? Not sure that operators will be happy with this, or may be it’s an attempt to sell more Mac?
Another question, is it a “real” Mac Os-X, or a “Mac Os-X mobile“. Apple claims that it’s real, but remembers that there are versions of it without any hard drive. Can you put a full Mac OS X on a device without hard drive? It will be probably in the 512 Meg to 1 Gig range, without any ability to easily be expanded. I am not sure, but I guess that it’s the equivalent of Windows Mobile for Windows….
The other strange statement is the “support for Cingular“? Does this mean that it won’t be supported for other operators? Do I have to wait for Apple to get an agreement with all operators to get such phone?
Other annoying things, but that are less important:
- No expandable memory (does this mean no memory card?)
- No removable battery (still incredible)
- No exchange or office support (I do not care of this, but it just gives some clues about the fact that it might be a closed approach)
Now, what is sure, is that Apple pushed the expectation to the next level, but I am not sure than they will get all the benefit of it. I guess it will be much easiest now for a third party to “copy” some of these features (or to be inspired by it). On the MP3 market, it’s already the case: Apple is not any more a real innovator, and many third parties players are much easiest to use, and cheaper than Apple one. Apple seems to have a lot of patent here, but will it be enough to block their competitors? Having a closed garden approach might prevent huge platform adoption….
Look at the iPod games: as far as I know, no extra games has been
deployed since the initial announce…. Too complex? Too closed? Too
Of course, the first “iPhone” clones will be disappointing. The will look the same, but won’t have the same usability. Biggest player will make efforts, and will try to differentiate. They make money from hardware, not services, so they do not have any interest to “close” their phones. In fact, I think that this will open doors for software provider to team with manufacturers to quickly provide some features of this level.
But I still think that it’s a great device (I want one!), that contains a lot of really cool innovation. I am just questionning the Apple strategic choices….
A few interesting links:
Apple Missed Opportunity
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