Much rumored Apple iPhone was finally unveiled by Steve Jobs at MacWorld yesterday. It impressed lot of people and Wall street too. But slowly the buzz is fading out and people(including me) are talking about the disadvantages of it. Since their announcement, I have been talking to my friend Kiran Mudiam on the pros and cons of the iPhone. Here are the excerpts from our conversation:
First lets talk about advantages:
* Seamless integration of a PDA,Phone and Internet device.
* Gives the user seamless integration for all the content they have already acquired from the iTunes store.
* They own all the pieces of the puzzle now. Server, PC/Mac, handheld device and DRM
* 720p HD Quality TV in your palm.
* Perhaps will make a comeback of the so much hated “touch screen phone” back to the US Market.
* Perhaps provide good and healthy competition to big 4 phone manufacturers.
Here are disadvantages that I can see in iPhone:
Its too expensive
I don’t think, $599 with 2 year contract is a cheaper price. I guess the carrier is baring at least $200 in the cost of the iPhone, so if you want to get the phone without the carrier(initially it may not be possible) you will end up paying around $800, which is as expensive as laptop. Ofcourse this is going to be initial price and it will come down once it reaches the mass(if it can). I don’t think its the price for mass. Though it provides iPod+Phone+Internet communicator, the mass is not going to use all the features that iPhone has, hence mass cannot afford $599 for the features that they actually use.
For enterprise people, but missing enterprise functionality
Looking at the price and the Internet communicator features, they are targeting only the enterprise people. But it doesn’t provide connectivity to enterprise data. Majority of the enterprises uses either Microsoft Exchange or Lotus notes and iPhone cannot be used with these. It provides Yahoo IMAP push, its great. But I don’t think enterprise people are going to store their data on Yahoo servers. So for them Yahoo IMAP push is useless.
Full flexed Web browser support, not really
Based on the presentation, it doesn’t seem to be the regular browser. If it is like a regular desktop browser, then it should support all the features like audio, video etc. May be it is. But Jobs just demonstrated only text/image based Newyork Times site. If it is a regular browser, then Goggle maps should work in it. But why he demonstrated separate Google maps application? Some may argue that its a separate app optimized for iPhone, so that people can call the phone numbers from Google local results directly. May be, they are right! Lets assume that it supports all feature like desktop browsers, do you think we are going to really use Web2.0 apps on iPhone through Cingular EDGE network(since its not 3G complaint), which provides the data speed ranging from 80 kbps to 110 kbps? Nope!. So the only option in this case is, using it via WiFi.
Exclusive for Cingular, what about the others?
They announced the exclusive partnership with Cingular until 2008. That means no body else can carry iPhone until 2008 in US. How many of Cingular 58 million users will buy this phone and what about the users like me who like the iPhone but can’t switch from the carrier because of the contracts and other things?
Already people(including O’Reilly mac devcenter bloggers) talking about these, some of them are:
* No 3G, it works on Cingular EDGE platform, not on Cingular 3G network HSDPA.
* No OTA.
* Cannot isntall third party software.
* No expandable memory. I think 8GB is enough memory, but for iPod video lovers, its a disadvantage.
* No removable battery. If the battery is broken, you send the phone to Apple instead of they sending you the battery. So no problem. Its definitely a disadvantage for the people who use a phone lot and rely on the extra battery. But how many people are using extra batteries for their mobile phones? Its very small amount. So I don’t think its a big deal.
What do you think? I know most of you disagree with me. If you are, please prove me that I am wrong. I am more happy to hear that I am wrong, cause I love this phone.