It is funny how nobody noticed it with surprise. I was not expecting a smartphone... Apple is a great consumer company... Smartphones represent a minuscule size of the mobile market. The smartphone market is not even considered "consumer". It is an enterprise market, prosumer at best. Apple target is 1% of the entire device market in 2008. That's nothing. That will be a rounding error in Nokia or Motorola or even Samsung market share... The iPhone is not a RAZR, not by a mile.
Moreover, the iPhone does not even look like an enterprise device. It just looks like a smartphone for geeks (and I love geeks, do not get me wrong, but we are not the majority out there...).
On top of it, it is pricey... At $499, you need to be a wealthy geek... Did anyone notice that the BlackBerry Pearl is much smaller, looks pretty cool and cost you $199?? When I saw it for the first time I thought "wow, that might get into the hands of consumers". I have a hard time thinking the same for the iPhone...
When it comes to the UI, I am happy to hear from Steve that our fingers are designed for interacting... But touching something requires a tactile feedback. If I touch a screen, there is no feedback. When I touch buttons, I get it. Did anybody notice a difference between the buttons in a BlackBerry, Treo, Q or E61? I do. They feel different when I touch them or push them. You are going to miss it with the iPhone... Look at the iPod: it is all about tactile feedback. The wheel is just perfect. It feels perfect. A screen won't. Never. It is cold and flat.
How innovative is it? Well, have you looked at the OpenMoko device? Gulp, it is a smartphone and it does not have a keyboard as well. It is based on the same idea. Steve said they patented everything about the iPhone. Good for them... If you are a geek developer and you have to choose between a fully proprietary solution and a fully open source device, what would you choose? They are both based on a Unix derivative... I would go with OpenMoko, where you can freely build any kind of application without paying a toll to Apple.
Lastly, and this is for geeks, it does not support 3G. No UMTS, only EDGE. That's slooooow for a geek. I am happy about the wi-fi support, but this is a device that is supposed to change the way I interact with the world when I am mobile (and I do not have wi-fi everywhere today). It is going to be sloooooooooow!!
Ok, I believe I have been a bit too harsh on this one. I really want to play with it and say I was wrong. But I won't be able to do it for the next six months... That's an eternity in mobile. Where is the Apple that announced a device and it was available in store the same day???
In a nutshell:
- It is just a smartphone
- It is a smartphone for geeks only
- It is pricey even for a geek
- Input is going to be clumsy
- It is not that innovative
- It is slow
- It is going to take six months before we see it
I guess I will have to wait for the iPhone nano...