Apple’s Waning “Wow! Factor”

OK, the announcement of Apple’s iPhone was cool, right? Who doesn’t want to have one? You can go see the photo gallery of Macworld attendees crowding around the exhibit case to get a up-close look at one, but as Emperor Kuzko would say, “no touchy”. I agree, as Steve Jobs said, that this phone will push the mobile phone industry lightyears forward. You will see a rush to market of similar knock-offs like we have seen with the Motorola RAZOR and SLVR.

Apples new iPhone.The iPhone interface will set new standards, and why not? It is truly tactile technology with an amazingly designed UI. Yet, for me and many others, here is where the “Wow-Factor” will wane: price tag, memory, and battery life.

Losing Proposition
Shortly after Steve Jobs re-took the helm of Apple, I attended a laptop focus group. Some of the usual questions were the topic of discussion: What size do you like best? What weight is most comfortable lugging around? What features would you want? How much memory and speed would you need? And…how much are you willing to pay for all this? About a year later, Apple released the 12″ white iBook, and you know what? I bought one. The size, the features, the Mhz, and the price were right. This was followed, not long after, by the 12″ PowerBook. Sweet! It seemed, Apple was learning new lessons and willing to meet the consumer with a better price.

Not so with the iPhone–over $600 (w/ tax) for an 8GB model! I have a 60GB video iPod that is about 2/3 full and I do not have all my photos, or videos, or podcasts on it. Combined, my Blackberry and iPod are comprarable in price to the iPhone, but I am not going to trade in my iPod and phone to lose 52GB.

Although minor in comparison, the battery life is another issue. My iPod gets over 18 hours of battery life while my phone has 4-5 hours talk time. According to Apple, the iPhone has 16 hours music playing and 5 hours talk time.

Is the iPhone a revolutionary new phone? You bet it is. Will there be early adopters? Sure, for those with the disposable income, but what about the average comsumer, like me? We’ll watch from the fence and, like so many other hardware newcomers, we will adopt it after the bugs get worked out and price drops.

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