Thursday, July 06, 2006

The Apply iPhone (TBC) Will Be The Greatest Phone Ever! (repeat every slack news day)

I may not be the first commentator to suggest that Apple have done rather well with the iPod. Their core product traits - insistence that usability should play a part in the dev cycle and penchant for slick case design - have proven to be rather more effective at selling consumer-oriented digital music players than they ever were selling computers for rich gay people (and graphic designers etc – I’m not passing judgement on being rich or gay as a lifestyle choice, just pointing out a trend). Creative and the other early competitors were left standing, and Sony were very much caught with their pants down on what should have been their home turf.


Convergence is a big buzz word now and Apple would be remiss if they weren’t eyeing up the latest Walkman-badged handsets or the Nokia N91 and putting a future phone strategy into place: the iPod market will never match the mobile handset market for size, and it could easily be sucked dry. There are a lot of arguments about whether single do-everything gadgets are a good thing or not, and I don’t see either side winning an outright victory. I’d categorise electronic gadget consumers into three rough groups:


  1. People who love gadgets and will always buy as many as they can;

  2. People who prefer a small working subset (maybe a phone, music player, watch, camera) and pack according to what they are doing;

  3. People who just don’t care that much about electronics and 90% of the time have no need for more than a single basic device that does one thing well – and usually, that’ll be a phone for SMS & voice calls, which can also tell the time. (LINK?)

I’m looking at my Nokia 770 sitting largely unused on top of my 6”x4” photo printer and putting myself in the first group. I’d hazard a guess that most people are in group three, which suggests to me that the handset market will get more and more fragmented as niche devices are fine-tuned to the preferences of different market segments.


Back to Apple – how does this affect them? Many fanboys, which seems to include a lot of commentators and industry analysts, see convergence as inevitable, Apple as largely infallible when it comes to case and UI design, and therefore predict Apple will launch a phone and everyone will buy it. Apple’s traditional strengths and iPod success seem intuitively to support this, and maybe it will happen. But I think a fanboy’s intuition sometimes has a little bias that should be questioned.


We shall ignore the Rokr E1 and pretend it never happened, because it should never have happened.It was a low cost way to dabble in the market maybe, but spending money to damage your brand in a new market does not seem to make business sense to me whether it be a big or a small amount of money, and I cannot see how anyone ever thought this could work.Moto have terrible UIs, Apple are famed for good UIs. The E1 was ugly, Apple are famed for beautiful product. And the music capabilities were a bad joke.Enough said.


What sort of phones would Apple actually want to sell? Whilst they’ve tasted the mainstream with the iPod, it’s still a premium product carrying a hefty price tag from which Apple takes a healthy profit (though let’s be charitable and assume they splash out a little of it on an extra bowl of rice for their Chinese sweatshop workers at Christmas or something). The same strategy holds with the Mac, where you pay a massive premium for the Mac OS and the case despite the commoditised internals. So we can assume that if Apple does release a phone, they’ll be pushing for the premium end of the market with a music bias, and they’ll probably stick to this lucrative niche rather than trying to go head to head with, for example, the Nokia 1100. It might even be sensible to market the Apple phone as a member of the iPod family, though the distribution channels would be slightly more diverse.


Over the years Apple have generally excelled with the case design of both Macs and iPods giving the gay men, women, monarchs and graphic designers of the world some design classics which accessorise nicely and/or suit their home décor better than a beige box. Cumulatively they’ve also sold more iPods than Moto has sold RAZRs, though that is really just highlighting the relative sizes of the music player and mobile handset markets. Looks are crucial in the fashion-driven mobile sector - see RAZR again, and LG’s Chocolate as well where you pay a massive premium to collect your fingerprints on the shiny case. Can Apple keep rolling out updates to their phone’s case design fast enough for such a fickle audience? Probably, as they just need to keep knocking out slight revisions around a central theme as they have with the iPod. If things get desperate they can always do the usual and change the case colour, on the safe assumption that the faithful will buy another one anyway.


Phone UIs are generally appalling and any shakeup of the market that brings UI design to the fore has to be a good thing. Apple are usually competent at UI design, if they can be restrained from placing an inch of mock brushed-aluminium around everything, so they are starting from a better place than most but I think this are will be more problematic for them.


Very few consumers currently buy a handset based on usability – they buy one that looks nice, has long battery life, or a 3Mp camera, but they usually assume they’ll get used to however it works. The main exception would be brand loyalty – “I’ve always used a Nokia so I know how they work so I’ll always buy Nokias” – but this inertia usually just reduces the number of models they can select from using the same basic criteria of looks, battery, etc. You’ve got to pity the poor people who upgrade to S60 assuming they’ll get that simple S40 interface they know and love, but that’s another story. Apple could conceivably change this, in that the brand carries an implicit usability guarantee which won’t hurt uptake – if it is met.


Expectations will be very high for an Apple phone, probably Phantom Menace high. They are going to have to maintain the simplicity of the iPod for MP3 playing to persuade their existing customers to upgrade, whilst adding a vast array of extra features which must be created from scratch as they get to grips with a new OS and a lot of complex hardware. Taiwanese box shifters will be less help for Apple than they are for other new entrants to the phone market because they won’t want to take a standard platform (think HTC) and just stick their badge on it. The more they rely on 3rd party software components the less control they will have over the UI – they can probably get away with things like a 3rd party JVM if they just add a little UI tweaking (please God not Esmertec’s), but the core phone functions will all have to be written from the ground up. This is a mammoth task which will require huge investment in a non-core area of Apple’s business, and also large ongoing costs as they will now have to keep pace in an incredibly fast moving market.


All this development will have to keep on track against a moving target: the final feature spec of the phone will need to match in a lot of respects the other high-end phones in the market, but the phone can’t be launched until it’s perfect. Launching a phone that is underspecified could be bad, but launching a phone which isn’t simplicity itself to use and/or has serious bugs could be fatal.Apple would have a much harder time recovering from a Nokia 6600-style release than Nokia did, where heavy marketing was booked in advance and the phone had to ship on time even with serious bugs that took months to be fixed post-launch.I doubt we’ll see a Duke Nuke ‘Em Forever bottomless development pit, but there’s a risk that we could get something more akin to Sierra Wireless’ first and only phone, the Voq: despite requiring almost no software development it shipped late and buggy, with a keypad that would have been groundbreaking a year earlier but had already been overtaken by the Blackberry et al on launch. The handset division was canned and shareholders sued.


Apple must either release a phone or allow iPod sales to shrink as convergence starts to bite, something Wall Street is never keen on. It is dangerous to assume this phone will be the greatest ever - it will probably just sit in a small high-margin niche, alongside some heavy competition from bigger more experienced companies. A lot of diehard fans will buy it when it is launched regardless, but it has to meet their expectations else they won’t be coming back and they won’t be joined by anyone else. The iPod has defined a new market and pulled it into the mainstream, the phone however will launch into a faster bigger mature market with large, well established and aggressive competitors and it will be a much more complex product; more like the Mac than the iPod, but it is unlikely to achieve such a high market share as the Mac within the first few years.


"Apple has done extremely well when it has had no competition"

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Really great blog very informative re 7373 nokia. In a simliar vain to 7373 nokia, I would definitely recommend http://www.bargainplace.co.uk for **mobile phones** or **cheap broadband**. Also you can get **cheap gas & electricity**, **gifts for your loved one** and **loan deals, free phone calls with talktalk, free broadband with Sky and bargain electrical equipment**

6:17 am

 
Blogger wow-xu said...

Greeting! What do you think of wow gold? I always lack of wow gold to buy some great item for my char before the wow patch 3.1 and I need to do wow power leveling for the cheapest wow gold or I have to search cheap wow gold on google search. The world changed since the 3.1 patch released. Short of buy wow gold for me wasn't so high frequency now. And I’m curious why this situation happened? The items became cheap? Or we can farm wow gold much easy? Hope someone can give me an answer.

5:47 pm

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Talk to your physician about quitting. Your medical professional can suggest smoking cessation helps such as pure nicotine periodontal or nicotine patches. Additionally, your physician might know some strategies for handling desires that you don't know. He will help you develop a plan to give up smoking along with checking your state of health while you work towards giving up. A vital to nourishment that isn't quite user-friendly would be to by no means miss meals. Bypassing a single meal will make you really feel far more feeling hungry than you are with the next food and lead to above ingesting, in the end which means much more energy than you will have eaten in the first place! As an alternative, concentrate on consuming normal dishes of modest amounts. If your child is being bullied, talk to them regarding it. Have relatives talk about their own personal activities with bullying and how they managed it, and be sure to aid them unconditionally. Also contact the college to see what approaches will be in area for teachers and employees to aid the situation. Retaining up-to-date on new styles inside the health-related neighborhood can be very useful to get to sleep apnea individuals. The United states Obstructive Sleep Apnea Association features a patient internet site that provides a wealth of info on troubles associated with the problem, on the internet assistance team community forums and efficient treatment options. You can get the web site at http://www.sleepapnea.org. Require a comfortable bathroom. Hemorrhoids could cause serious irritation which can be very annoying. For calming alleviation, fill up a bathtub with tepid to warm water and soak in it for a few a few minutes. The heat of the h2o will reduce the itchiness, whilst simultaneously rinsing aside any contaminants or germs which are in the community and endorsing therapeutic. Whenever you make investments into a carry, it is best to have the capacity to warrant your activity. Whether you are carrying out a trend or basing your selection about the investigation you probably did about this company, you want a good reason to invest your cash in a stock. If you realise you can not rationalize your position, you must not go through together with the investment.
http://lift-expert.ru/includes/guest/index.php?showuser=4218
http://lift-expert.ru/includes/guest/index.php?showuser=4218
http://lift-expert.ru/includes/guest/index.php?showuser=4218
http://lift-expert.ru/includes/guest/index.php?showuser=7026
http://lift-expert.ru/includes/guest/index.php?showuser=4218

3:13 pm

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The quantity 1, best way to conquer despression symptoms would be to take action. Choose what your problem is, the best way to ease it, and start taking measures to make your way of life far better. Getting measures will occupy the mind, which will stop you from home on negative thoughts. When you start to see concrete comes from the measures you are taking, you are going to develop optimistic self-esteem and start to feel better about oneself. Keep in mind the phone to activity. All your mobile marketing and advertising initiatives need to include an idea of what you wish your potential to perform up coming. Each and every communication you may have by using a buyer or potential client will need to have a objective, so ensure you always keep that in mind. You want them to purchase your merchandise, in fact. You might desire to enhance your wardrobe for every single celebration achievable. This means you might want to get workout clothes, official outfit, organization relaxed attire, and many other types of clothes to help you be ready for any type of situation that occurs for you in the future. Try to get computerized texts for your personal kid to work with in your house. That negates the demand for these people to have large publications forward and backward along with the possibility that they may neglect the textual content essential for that night's critical assignment. More and more schools will computerized text messages and also the benefits are tremendous. If you have to insure a vacation home, cottage, or perhaps a house you might be clear of for very long intervals, let your insurance company know. They already have insurance policies which cover issues that come about to your residence while you're not there, which normally could be deemed carelessness, so you wouldn't have the ability to claim. If you will certainly be possessing a wedding where most of the friends are away from community, you may want to take into account sending out a preserve the time publish card which simply functions as an news of your respective forthcoming marital life. It can help these visitors commence organizing and making it more inclined that they will go to.
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1435583192
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1170107167
http://www.826chi.org/index.php/member/48158
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1170107167
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1170107167

3:24 pm

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Always be aware of your bills. You will never know where you can reduce your cost. For instance, take the time to take a look at insurance plan monthly bills with the supplier. Probably you may not generate as many miles per year that it states and also you could cut back on your automobile insurance costs. To enhance the Search engine optimisation of every site in your Internet site, ensure every single site name concentrates on a key word. Your small business name or info not associated with your keywords are lost area in web page titles, because people will most likely not be in search of individuals terminology and they won't bring pertinent traffic to your site. Your recollection is simply as effective as the effort you put in to preserving it. If you think that you may have are eventually heading to possess a bad recollection no matter what, that can become a personal-rewarding prophesy. Give yourself beneficial support once you do remember something effectively and forgive oneself if you make an error. Your memory space should begin to boost right away. Of course, you should also be eating and sleeping nicely - and go simple around the alcohol! Have a good time with types and spices and don't be afraid to place much more spices into the food preparation. Several chefs casually period their food items, departing it flavorful mundane. It really is fine to experiment with different numbers of sea salt and spices or herbs until you find a tasty flavored mix. A lot of culinary chefs advise adding almost double the amount while you would at first contemplating employing, so ensure that it stays intriguing and delicious by setting up just a little bit more. When you effectively give your glass of vino a swirl, some thing called "thighs and legs" will quickly drip across the sides. This may function as a warning sign of age of the vino along with the awareness. Wines which is older and more refined in taste will demand an extended period for your so-referred to as "thighs and legs" to slip. As you have seen, it's really not that hard. Just follow these tips by operating them into the every week or monthly program and you will definitely learn to see a small amount of funds left, then a little more, and soon, you are going to encounter precisely how good it can feel to possess control of your personal funds.How You Can Make Sure Your Dental Treatment Is High Quality
http://onestoppatioshop.com.au/member/133768/
http://bmsb.co.za/images/guest/index.php?showuser=4419
http://www.santamonicawellness.com/member/107654/
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003406531895
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003406531895

3:26 pm

 

Post a Comment

<< Home