Thursday, July 10, 2008

It's Only A Phone, People!

Well, the iPhone 2.0 goes on sale tomorrow in the US - and if the response is anything as big as it was in London and Hong Kong - tomorrow is going to be a banner day for iPhone and AT&T.

Or not.

My prediction is that everything is going to go horribly wrong - and that servers will crash (like they did for the big Firefox download) - and that people will go home with a nice looking brick that they won't be able to activate for a day or two.

But hey - I'm always Mr. Glass-Half-Full. It might work wonderfully well with happy iPhone people holding hands and singing "It's a Small World After All" as they gleefully walk out of the stores with fully functioning and activated phones.

Regardless of whether they're activated or not - there will be certain places where the Mac faithful will stand in line, and there will be the usual reviews and "unboxing" videos from people with nothing better to do made expressly for other people with nothing better to do.

The larger picture here is that Apple has managed to create such a huge demand for a here-to-fore commodity device - a cell phone - that people everywhere are talking about it, writing about it, standing in line for it, and have been waiting with bated breath just for the opportunity to spend money to buy one!


The iPhone isn't the best-equipped, or most feature-rich, or have the best camera, or have built-in turn-by-turn GPS, or even have copy/paste! But it does have a few things that other companies, try though they may, are not even close to:

  • First move advantage
  • Excellent industrial design
  • Excellent GUI design
  • Stuff that's included just works
  • Revenue model for sustained growth beyond just a kickback on airtime

I have to hand it to Apple - they seem to have a winner on their hands - a 2.0 sequel that about 100% better than the first revision - and they created it, marketed it, hyped it and delivered it about 370 days after the launch of the first one.

That's remarkable for a company the size of Apple. My hat's off to you guys.

We'll see how the implementation goes tomorrow...

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