iPhone or not iPhone
T’internet is awash with rumours of an an iPhone from Apple and on first inspection the idea makes sense, take Apple’s undoubted skill with form factor and add telephony. Mac fans are positively moist at the thought and what’s not to love in a market that is fashion driven like few others. Well quiet a bit as it happens and if Mr Jobs reads this modest blog (there goes that flying pig again) he might just reflect on my words.
The phone market, even the market for phones that play music is rammed and the competition fierce. There are already a huge selection of sexy mobiles and the manufacturers will not take lightly Apple’s entrance. The iPod whilst not creating the market for portable music players certainly came to define it but it wasn’t as if anyone else was making much of an effort since Sony dropped the ball with Walkman.
There are no more voice customers. Just churn. Brand loyalty can be dirty word in the phoneland.
Apple’s experience counts for naught in this market. They made a success of iPod not just because of the player but because of the end to end customer experience, iTunes is what makes iPod compelling. In the mobile phone market the operators dominate so Apple will have to play by their rules. If Apple sell them in Apple Stores will they also sell Airtime and become a reseller for the Operators, or just SIM free? In the UK at least we have been raised on a diet of subsided mobile handsets and consumers don’t seem ready to swallow the real cost, so will Apple be ready to deliver a first generation device at a low enough price point?
Making a mobile phone is much more more complicated and technically challenging than a music player, not to take anything away from the white coats at Apple but even people who’ve been at it for some time still get it wrong. The Razr is a case in point, it looked great but I’ve never spoken to anyone who has a good thing to say about the user experience.
If nothing else even rumours of Apple selling a mobile phone is interesting enough to get the competition scratching their collective chins, the Mac cognoscente overly excited and the people like me fascinated by how it unfolds.