Wednesday, January 10, 2007

HARDWARE://Implications from Apple

Apple introduced the iPhone (with Cingular), Apple TV and AirPort Extreme. I am sure they will be widely covered in the blogosphere; I will be short.

Here are my questions and remarks:

  • Will the user interface (touch-screen, one button) really work well?
  • Why is the deal with Cingular exclusive and multi-year? (The Verizon Wireless/YouTube deal is exclusive for only a limited period of time.) What did Cingular/AT&T offer to get this deal from Apple?
  • The iPhone seems an expensive gadget (for now?), therefore addressing a limited market - unless Cingular offers a big subsidy. Apple did the same for Mac and iPod, so that is OK. What puzzles me is that the 8 GB product is a full $100 more expensive than the 4 GB handset.
  • What will the Cingular service plan look like, especially the data part? Will they go the Hutchison/X-Series way?
  • It lacks UMTS (for now?). Apple seem to be commiting to the GSM-world anyway.
  • It has a 2 MP camera, which I personally consider too limited for competing against standalone digital cameras.
  • How will the iPod hold up against the iPhone?
  • Has a deal been worked out with Linksys/Cisco for the use of the iPhone brand?
  • Who will be partners in Europe and Asia?
  • Apple follows the divide-and-conquer road, allowing both Yahoo! (push email, search) and Google (Talk, Maps, search) on the iPhone. Skype is a notable absent (but now there is iSkoot - Symbian only, but that will change and could include the Apple OS?), but Jajah has stated that it will be compatible.
  • Will there be any truth in Eliot Van Buskirk's rather compelling case against iTunes?
  • The AirPort uses the hip draft-11n standard.
  • Apple TV ($300) must hurt Sling Media's new SlingCatcher (which will be cheaper at < $200), as well as Orb (free).

UPDATE (Jan 11):

UPDATE (Jan 22):

  • iSupply calculates the cost of the $500 handset at $246. The 4GB NAND flash memory costs $35, the 8 GB costs $70.
  • Telefonica's O2 is rumoured to be a partner in Europe.
  • The draft 11n standard gained support at the IEEE, but full ratification is not expected until April 2008.

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