Urban Eola

Various thoughts on the iPhone

Loyal reader RW sent out an email today to some regular tech-savvy Joe's about this huge week in technology (part of it described here). Following is his original email and the unedited responses to it below that. This is a good example of how the average consumer is feeling about these breakthrough products.

Original email by RW:

After two days of following the big week in technology, climaxing yesterday with the MacWorld Key-Note address I have concluded the following brief opinions that I thought I would share with everyone for fun. Feel free, but not pressured, to share your thoughts with me.

Coolest product of the Year: iPhone
The iPhone is cool...very cool. This is something I have been wanting since thinking about it in 2004. However, I probably won't be able to afford it for another 3 years.

Disappointment of the Year: Apple TV
I expected so much more from this product. From what I can gather, in a nutshell, it is basically a device that just allows you to play the movies and videos you get from iTunes or from your iPod to your TV. Whoopty freaking dooo.

Surprise of the Year: Windows Home Server
This is what I expected from iTV. A device that is moving towards consolidating anything you can think of in the home. I have attached a link below that gives a brief description of it, but it leaves out plenty of details. This thing basically wants to serve as a storage unit for everything. My interpretation is that it would store all your DVD's or TV shows so if you want to watch a movie or video you just select it through the server, it will store all your music so if you want to play some music over your speakers they will be connected through there, it will have everyone's schedule so if you wanted to see where your kids are you could go to a screen in your kitchen, bring up their schedule and know, it will be able to add visual displays of anything you want on your walls, it will store all your video games for XBox, and it will be accessible from anywhere in the world via Windows Live. Powerful stuff. Just let your imagination go. Of course, it remains to be seen whether or not you will have to perform an unexplainable reboot every now and then.

Response to original email by AK:

As for the iTV, I think you're right - partly. For now, yes, it's not that great. I think the iTV is just the entry point for Apple. It will lead to much greater things, just like the iPod led us to the iPhone. Mark that down as another prediction of mine and look up this email in three years when iPhone is also a remote control for iTV and iTV controls everything in your house from the microwave (OK, slight exaggeration, but not too far off) to the TV and gives you the ability, via wireless keyboard, to use all the power of your Macintosh (which is upstairs somewhere) on your 65-inch plasma screen in the living room. Plus, of course, all the stuff I can't think of that, well, if I could think of it I'd be working for Apple, not some 63rd best company in the US to work for...

Response to original email by CH:

iPhone - Totally underwhelmed by design and functionality (and price). With all due respect to your friend for predicting the convergence that would take place back in 2004, this is exactly why I am underwhelmed. They merely took 2 years to create what everyone has been clamoring for since all these individual devices began filling our pockets. I expect Apple to wow me with things I have never dreamed of not just take a few years to deliver what I can think of on my own. As for design, it is very nice looking, but I thought many of the mock ups that people have created over the past few months guessing what the device would look like have been much better looking (and more what I would expect from Apple - nothing about the pictures I saw of the iPhone would have made me guess that this was even an Apple product). Lastly, I want to know more about this screen; what is going to keep it from being totally smudged all the time?
iTV - Completely agree with you.

I haven't read about Windows Home Server yet, but it seems really cool. Sounds like it may slow my intended full switch over to Macs. I'll be checking that out when I get a chance.

Response to CH's comments by AK:

As to CH's comments, he's also right that the iPhone isn't a new concept (except for the voicemail thing - that's cool as hell) but at the same time no one else has been able to actually DO it, and, not just do it, but do it with AMAZING elegance.

The iPod wasn't the first mp3 player, but its design and OS MADE the mp3 player.
The Macintosh wasn't the first computer, but it's OS and design MADE the PC market.
Similarly, the iPhone isn't the first all-in-one type device (they're out there - Blackberrys that play mp3s, and have cameras), but its interface and OS might MAKE (or remake) the all-in-one hand-held market.

Apple's innovation, in my opinion, has been in usability and industrial design, not in bringing entirely new, never-before-existed products to market.

Response to all comments by FT:

Knowing a little bit about Electronics and what it takes behind the scenes to manufacture and market a product, iPhone is impressive.

Time will tell how successful it will be. There is nothing novel about putting all the functions together. What is novel is actually doing it for $500, which sounds like a lot of money. But as volume rises, the price will come down and I predict it will be close to $200 in 3 years, perhaps lower.

HDTV Plasma 50" started at $10,000 and look at it now - Volume and manufacturing.

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posted by Michael Tavani @ 10:20 PM |


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