Thursday, June 28, 2007

Apple iPhone Released Tomorrow!

I have been a busy man the last few weeks (months?), but one cannot leave the iPhone phenomenon uncommented.

Being an IT executive, I will not automatically issue iPhones to our company's people, and the reason is not the one cited by "industry experts," to wit, that it is "incompatible with our systems." No, the reason we will not issue it is because it costs a lot of money - three times or more than what I would pay for our standard BlackBerry, and virtually infinitely more expensive than the "free" voice-only we generally get for people who just need a phone. Currently, the iPhone is a really cool toy that does a lot of things well, but which goes above and beyond a business user's requirement for an email-enabled mobile phone.

I say "currently" because if trends go the way they go in Tech, the iPhone could end up a replacement laptop, and then that makes it interesting as a business tool.

Here are my iPhone predictions:

It is a category killer. It will not flop. There is a lot of FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt) going around that it is too good to be true, it is too expensive, and therefore, disillusionment will follow, the hype will not be realized, and the iPhone will be a low-selling toy. That is not true. Apple's goal is 1% of market in 2008. They will meet the goal, and therefore, it will be a success. That is ten million units.

I think that if the iPhone stays married to Cingular, it will basically hit that goal. But, I have other predictions (and no, I do not have friends or insight into Apple).

Short Term Prediction:

Lots of sales tomorrow and for a while after, a lull until October, then a surge as Apple releases an updated version. The updated version will use the EDGE 3G network, which is much faster than EDGE. Other updates might include searching and voice recognition. It will easily meet Apple's sales expectations.

Longer Range Predictions:

There will be a "VoIP" version that will NOT use a cellular network, and only runs on WIFI, and will spark the end of Cellular/wireless phones as we know them. Anything that goes to IP drives the cost down to "free." Why pay $60+ per month when you can go to any wired city or Starbucks or Barnes and Noble or home, or anywhere in major cities and converse for FREE? Mark my words, this will happen: 2008 or 2009. Sooner if AT&T/Cingular upsets Apple's customers. To me, this is obvious, and will enable the phone to break free of all mobile networks. Apple may align with a "VoIP" provider, such as Skype, but it won't have to. It could create its own.

The iPhone capability will increase, and will eventually be good enough to be used as a laptop computer. The configuration I see is that people will have a "home based" computer (desktop or laptop) and then the iPhone. Since the iPhone runs OS X, it is a Mac. The later versions will expand on this obvious advantage.

If they do these two things, I see iPhone sales (and successors) well beyond the ten million mark.

Monday, June 04, 2007

June 29th -- new iPhone!

The Apple iPhone will be here on June 28! The price is rich, but the ads say it all...