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Monday, January 15, 2007

Reasons Why iPhone May Fail

An op piece on Bloomberg breaks it down to three reasons: Apple is late to the phone game, it doesn't play well with others and the phone is meant to defend the iPod. Specifically:

It is mainly designed to protect the iPod, which is coming under attack from mobile manufacturers adding music players to their handsets. Yet defensive products don't usually work -- consumers are interested in new things, not reheated versions of old things. Likewise, who is it pitched at? The price and the e-mail features make it look like a business product. But Apple is a consumer company.

I get the point - but I'm not sure I agree. Take a look at the BlackJack ... Wired tried to use it as an MP3 replacement and it didn't fare so well. Other phones from people like Sony might be better equipped, but they have been out on the market for some time now and haven't mademuch of a dent into the iPod's market.

So perhaps Apple is afraid someone else will get it right - but considering nobody seems to have done that ... I'm not sure the iPhone is late or defensive. Remember, the iPod was by far not the first MP3 player on the market ... it was just the first to focus on user friendly features and easy online purchases. The iPhone is a mirror of this strategy.

I think the price factor is important. Since for $500 you could easily get both an iPod and a phone sepreately ... and without any of the proper smartphone features ... I'm not sure the iPhone will pull people away from a simple (and less expensive) alternative ... a cheaper iPod.

And here is a(nother) fine read on why Apple should allow third party apps.

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