Update 3: Good reads by mobile and 3G expert, Tomi T Ahonen, in an open letter to Apple as to what the real killer app is (it ain't voice or music) and what Apple is up against in the mobile market (via Smart Mobs). And also Doc Searls has a bit of iPhone news from the future.
Update 2: Check out ktula's comments below for some corrections on my post about US carriers not having unlocked phones for sale.
Update 1: Popagandhi says those knocking the iPhone are missing the point. I think she just wants the iPhone to update her Twitter more often, hahaha!
You can almost hear the Mac faithful cream in their pants at the announcement of the Apple iPhone. What's not to like? The big screen iPod, the Multi-touch technology that lets you navigate with your fingers and resize an image with a pinching action, and the built-in WiFi. The phone is supposed to be running OS X even, though I am not sure what that means. You mean, really OS X or some kind of OS X lite?
For all the innovation that was certainly present in the unveiling of the iPhone, I have to say, even as a Mac addict, it was a little disappointing. Especially after the Steve Jobs drug I smoked with the others wore off.
For one thing, the iPhone battery life does not look so hot. More importantly, the iPhone battery does not look like something you can swap out. High-drain smart phones without the ability to swap batteries have another name: Bricks.
There was also no demo of the image quality on that 2 megapixel camera. Mobile phonecam users care about image quality. So it would be nice to know just how good the photos are on the iPhone. Instead of showing us all those lovely photos in the iPhone taken off some cute Asian chick's Mac iPhoto library.
Another thing that struck me was how such an innovative product is being launched in the such a mobile backwater like the US. Yes, I know this sounds shocking to hear. But we in Asia have been buying our phones unlocked since we started GSM, and in the US, many are still buying phones from telcos, with phone numbers locked in to these telcos. Only recently has the notion of being allowed to unlock the phone you bought from Cingular so that you can use same phone on Verizon's network, become legal.
I know, this is like Dark Ages liddat. Americans cannot go Sim Lim and just buy a phone and use it with any old telco they like. They have to throw away their Cingular phone to pick up another telco's phone if they switch plans. How quaint is that?
Steve, come to Asia first. We will buy your iPhone like there is no tomorrow, and you don't have to partner with the likes of Cingular here to sell one. Because we can do this cool thing called buy unlocked phones.
And for all it's connectivity, iPhone only comes with Wifi and EDGE. EDGE? Hello? US customers like their mobile broadband slower, is it? Steve Jobs made a passing reference to 3G in his keynote (akan datang, he said), but EDGE? I will wait for version 2, thank you (but if you give me the first iPhone free, I won't say no, lah).
And then there is the price. US$499 for the 4gb model, with a 2-year plan? That's about S$800 to S$1000 if you get it here, with a plan. Expensive leh. Sure, got iPod built in etc, but still, a lot of moolah, ok? Not that it would stop us from splurging (cf. what we paid for iPod in the early days), but it is still not going to be cheap. God help you if you try to buy this without a plan.
The iPhone is going to be launched in June 2007 in the US, and 2008 (didn't say which part of 2008, ok) in Asia. That is a long time in mobile phone terms. With the average replacement cycle of 6 to 12 months in Asia, you probably will have two other phones before you get to buy a first generation iPhone. But then, at that price, you probably have to save your pennies, and not buy phones for 6 to 12 months in order to afford one. So maybe Steve Jobs was helping you to be able to buy one, by making us wait that long in Asia.
Maybe I am just jealous. Rant here rant there. And when it comes, I am sure I will want one too. But we are hardened and cynical mobile phone users here, and we have Sim Lim to buy gadgets from.
Now if you will excuse me, I go to Apple's site again to drool over the iPhone.
Meanwhile, you may wish to read this oldie but goodie post: The Apple Product Life Cycle