If you haven't heard about the iPhone yet, then you may have been visiting Siberia or maybe even the Amazon. Apple says that the iPhone will re-invent the mobile phone industry. Cingular is betting that hundreds of thousands of people will want one in the early days of the release, and that with their multi-year exclusive agreement Apple fans will become Cingular fans; or at least Cingular customers. To be honest, in the Apple or more specifically Macintosh community, the iPhone has got to be the hottest topic around; hotter even than Mac OS X 10.5 which was apparently delayed by Apple in favor of throwing more resources at the iPhone.
Why is it such a hot item? Well, for starters it is a phone based strongly on the hottest selling handheld music & video device ever, the iPod. Apple has sold over 30 million iPods and re-invigorated the music industry, while also creating a huge iPod accessory industry to boot. Just stop and think how many consumer electronic devices have specifically named attachments for most major car companies higher end cars; just one Apple.
If, for the moment, you forget the fact that this phone has its routes in the iPod then the other reason folks are so excited about the iPhone is that it was fully designed by the minds of Apple, Inc. To Mac fans around the world that means one thing, style meets function. For those that have used all the cool phones on the market, you know one thing, even the best of them are far from great. Hopes are high that the creators of the Mac and the creators of the iPod can be the ones that make using a mobile phone not only easy and fun, but REALLY COOL.
The power that Apple says they will put in the hands of iPhone users is pretty awesome. Never before has a phone had a really easy to use and standard web browser. Never before has a user had random access voice mail. Never before have mobile phone users had e-mail that worked the same way it works on their computer. Never before have folks seen the specs that the iPhone is being presented as having on board in spades.
Does this mean the iPhone will be a killer app? NOPE! Apple has had failures and if they do this wrong or Cingular messes something up, this could be one of the most spectacular failures in recent memory. Worse, if the reception to the iPhone is lack luster and doesn't seem to trend upward, even at a slow pace (as was seen with the iPod) then no matter how good the phone is, it will be seen as a loss for Apple and that while users complain about their phones, they aren't willing to put their money where their mouth is and by an iPhone.
Will I buy one? In the end, if it is only half as good as they say; I think you will see me in a second generation phone. Right now they are saying the phone will cost $499 and $599. That's the most expensive iPod on the market and one of the most expensive PDA phones on the market. Granted, it may be the best of both worlds; but $500 is still $500. Prices will come down and I didn't even get an iPod until the 4th generation and my second one I only got early this year.
So no I won't rush out and get one, but I will be keeping an eye on the June 29th release and what all those new iPhone users have to say.