Reinventing the phone

iPhoneBold words indeed! This iPhone does look rather spiffy though. Nice to see Apple have really taken their time with this one and thought about the mobile phone from the ground up, rather than just chucking out a phone with an iPod strapped on.

I don’t tend to use my current mobile much, but I’d still buy one of these, because here, finally, is a mobile device that does everything I want to do in one box, and more importantly, appears to do a decent job of it:

  • Music and video player
  • PDA functionality (with decent Mac syncing no doubt)
  • Proper mobile internet and email
  • Oh, and it can make phone calls. Which is nice.

Apple seem to have really thought this through, and delivered the best of all worlds. Even the phone part seems better than a regular phone. And the screen looks gorgeous for watching videos on. Good effort. Wonderful that it runs OS X (or a variant thereof) too. Presumably third-party developers will be able to write apps for it?

The only omission (to my mind) is a camera on the screen side of the phone, which would enable video conferencing (mobile iChat?). Maybe they’ll chuck one in later. And the idea of scrolling through a list by dragging with your finger doesn’t seem that innovative to me (though obviously I haven’t actually seen it in action). The “finger gestures” idea is great though (pinch to zoom, etc).

It’s not cheap either – you just know $499 US (for the 4GB model) is going to translate into GBP 499 and probably well over AUD $1000 when it finally hits the UK and Aus – and that’s with a 2-year contract (which I’m not remotely interested in).

This is a highly competitive market Apple’s entering into, and many other smartphones offer similar functionality. The question is, will customers value ease-of-use and a decent UI over price? If the iPod is anything to go by then the answer is yes – however the iPod had a lot less serious competition when it was launched.

Looks like Cisco may have a thing or two to say about the name, too. Should be interesting…

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