The world has been abuzz about the iPhone, since even before Apple acknowledged its existence. Why? Who cares? My mom does… and so will you.
First, let's take a look at the state of mobile phones. For better or worse, mobile phones have become far more than simple phones. Text messaging, email, browsers, and custom apps have infiltrated them. A decade ago, a phone was a phone. Today, a phone is the micro computer.
As mobile carriers have rushed to add features, they have forced the desktop computer's generic UI (menuing , windows, etc.) into their tiny screens.
So what makes the iPhone any different? Apple started from scratch, ignoring everything that is commonplace in today's smart phones. Ok, so they didn't start from scratch, they started with the iPod interface, and appropriately appropriated some fantastic desktop features. Add to that the touch screen, iPod features, and Mac OS X.
What does this mean to you? It means that when you pick up an iPhone, you'll know how to use it, instead of spending days learning how to use it. How many of you have encountered people, not computer people, that are waiting for their iPhones?
This is a great start, though I feel that the impact of this phone has yet to be felt. Sure they'll sell million and millions of them. But far more important to the consumer mobile phone market is that this phone will be the one by which all that follow it are judged. Put another way, the features that make the iPhone will trickle in to other phones across all budgets.
Obviously many of the features in the iPhone are not unique. But the way they're implemented and the thought that went in to them is unmistakable.
On top of the great UI, Apple and AT&T have changed the mobile phone landscape in another way. The plans. Today I pay $40/mo for unlimited data on my Cingular 8125. That is $40/mo just for the data service. In addition to that, I pay another $60 for voice and messaging. As of Friday, the cheap plan with unlimited data is $59/mo, and that includes rollover minutes.
Two things change on Friday that are being heavily overlooked.
1. All mobile phones will become easier to use because they'll all use the iPhone as a base line.
2. All mobile phone plans will be less expensive … they have to be to keep the world from switching to AT&T.
Photo courtesy of Apple, Inc.
What do you think? How will this phone impact the industry as a whole?