Now, introducing the greatest thing to hit the market since sliced bread, the best electronic device your eyes have every laid eyes on, the revolutionary new product from Apple, the second coming, the device geeks everywhere have been drooling over since Alexander Graham Bell made the first phone call, the……..i Phone! And the survey says….wah wah. (Insert fog horn here)
I was led to believe that January 9th would bring a product worth waiting for. I was told the only thing worth buying from Apple was stock. I’ll admit that this was a good piece of advice, but I, for one, am disappointed in the announcement of the G6 iPod/iPhone. (As a side note, I’m very excited about the other product elaborated on today – the iTV. This is a very very cool product and I think it has a huge future, but that’s another post) Why, you ask? Well, for a few reasons:
- What the hell am I going to do with my other 78 gigs of music that don’t fit on the 8 gig model, or for that matter, the 82 gigs that don’t fit on the 4 gig model? They call it an iPod/phone/internet communications device (which is fancy tech-talk for web browser), so you’d think it’s 1/3 iPod. Well, 1/3 of my iPod is still 10G, so I’m not sure where the missing 6 gig went (on the 4 gig model). Maybe it’s in the other 2/3.
- Uh…Zack Morris called. He wants his phone back. I thought the idea of developing technology was to get smaller, but according to this convenient Flikr stream, it’s not getting any smaller. I haven’t seen any weight comparison, but what difference does weight make if you can’t fit it in your pocket anyway?
- This is supposedly the second coming of the smart phone, “5 years ahead” of the other phone/mp3 players on the market. Well, I know exactly one person who has a smart phone, and I don’t know any that need one. (BTW, if you don’t know what a smart phone is, you don’t have one.) It may well be the best smart phone (alternative) that’s on the market, and it could be for the next 5 years, but what the heck do I care? I don’t need one, and neither do you. I’m not against buying one just because it’s a smart phone…if it were a good replacement for my phone (which is probably on its way out), I’d be open to getting one. But the fact is that it’s not a replacement for a normal phone used by normal people (who also want an iPod), it’s a replacement for someone with a smart phone.
- Cingular? C’mon…are they the only carrier who would agree to play by Apple’s rules? I know very little about cell phones and carriers, I’ve been a loyal Sprint user since Pedro was throwing the heat back in ’99. But of the little I know, Cingular has always been on the bottom of the list. I often see quotes like “Less dropped calls? That’s because I can’t connect to make a frigging call to begin with!” An open CDMA phone seems like it would have been more of a effective choice for grabbing more customers…of course then the Cingulapple users would lose their pompous bragging rights, a comfort zone for so many (not all) Apple users.
- The design. Yes, the phone is sleek and minimalist, very typical of Apple products. Looks like it has a very nice interface and is really easy to use. That’s why all Apple products sell so well, and rightly so. Apple makes great products for their target consumer (like for example: everybody!, who was their target consumer for the iPod). However, I see some major flaws with this design in its robustness. Maybe creative thinking will solve these problems, but how is that screen NOT going get scratched when it’s in my pocket? As it is a touch screen, the screen cannot be encased in hard plastic like the G5 iPod, and my iPod somehow finds a way to scratch itself, even while encased in a hard
candyplastic shell. So does my phone, just from being in my pocket. Where am I to keep this iPod to protect it…a safe deposit box? How is it NOT going to smeared with my fingerprints the first time I use it? Do I have to wash my hands before making a call, or should I buy a box of rubber gloves? I suppose existing smart phones have this problem, but as they are not touch screens, they can be protected. We’ll see…I guess I’m not the target audience.
- $500 for 4G or$600 for 8G? Are you crazy? Maybe this is typical of phones of this technology, but I wouldn’t know. Again, I guess I’m not the target consumer. And when they say “$500, with a 2 year Cingular contract”, I would imagine what they mean is “$500, in addition to a $65/month and a 2 year Cingular contract.” I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t think you get 2 years of service with the $500 phone, which was my first impression when I read the keynote. A little misleading, if you ask me, but what phone company isn’t? (Sidenote 2: If this were the case, I’d be first on line…my current plan costs me $480/year. This would be a no brainer, provided Cingular is better than what I’ve heard about it)
So, that’s what I think is bad about it. But to be fair, it does have a couple of really nice features, from what I’ve seen so far:
- Visual Voicemail is a great feature. This lets you see your voicemail on the screen, and select which one you want to listen to first, as opposed to having to listen to 3 new messages in order to get to the 4th new message (which is always the one you want to hear). I like this feature a lot…it makes voicemail more like email. I hope this technology will make its way to other phones.
- Like I said, the user interface looks really nice and easy to use, provided you can get around the smudges on the screen. I love the Web 2.0-ish icons (also very typical of Apple) and the creative things they have designed to navigate the system. Multi-touch touch screen that allows you to shrink or expand a pic by “pinching” it or “whatever the opposite of pinching is” it. Dragging your finger to active certain features (smuuuuuuuuudge) is also a creative way of minimizing on-screen navigation buttons.
- The email system, which is a great alternative to the Zune’s “3 days or 3 plays policy” after beaming files to other Zunes (if you can find another person with a Zune.) If this will allow you to email any type of file, which I imagine you could as it is using standard email severs, this could really come in handy (if you can find another person with an iPhone.) Not very often I would use it, but a direct hit to the only advantage the Zune has over the iPod (albeit a very very small one).
- The internet is nice, but I don’t care to use it on my phone. The only time I could see myself using it is to get those oh-so-important sport scores, or for directions if I’m lost (and can get a signal). But it’s a nice feature.
Side note 3: Call me bitter, but why does Apple think people care enough about their commercials that they make note of them in every keynote. If that’s not arrogant, I’m not sure what is. “We have a new commercial”. Ooooooh. Who cares? I’m changing the channel just as fast as I change the channel when a Desparate Housewives commercial comes on. You’re gonna have to do a little better than swirling neon hippies for me to watch a commercial.
So, that’s that. I guess to sum it up, I just don’t see this as a general consumer product. It may be a good replacement for all of you with Blackberries and Blackjacks and whatever else you business-driven entrepreneurs are using these days, but it’s not going to take the market by storm like the iPod did. I’m sure there are some more new products already in the works, and maybe they’ll better fit the needs of the masses, but this is not it. It will be a huge seller amongst the Apple fanboys and the tech-savy businessmen, so I’m not suggesting that it’ll flop, but I was expecting more. After all the hype and the build up, I was expecting more. From Jobs’s keynote, you’d think this phone was packed with technology that was revolutionizing, but all of these features are just that. Features. Just like every other phone has. Nothing to write home about, but maybe worth a phone call.