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The iPhone effect: III

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(Update) I actually went to the Apple store in West County mall this afternoon, and played with the new iPhone 3G. The first thing noticed is the sign “iPhone 3G is sold out” blah blah blah. I saw a couple in 50s (T-mobile customers) looking for iPhone, and had to leave empty handed. The sales associate acknowledged only a few early birds got the phone. I tried the browser, the touch keypad and youtube. It seems to me the web surfing speed is so so, but again I don’t have benchmark. For some reason I think this thing more like iToy 🙂

(Original) iPhone is here. Yesterday when I drove to work after 9AM, I saw many fans lined up at AT&T store (Creve Coeur, MO).

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There are also wide reports on the glitches in new iPhone 3G launch, such as this one from CNET. This is something I was not surprised, just like the “can not activate using iTune server” I heard last year. I can certainly appreciate the complexity of such an event, but I was not confident on AT&T and Apple’s scaling capabilty here, which is key if Apple wants success in enterprise market. Just like the BlackBerry service outage, those kinds of things are not only annoying for end users but could also lead CIOs to give up on them.

Plus side

That being said, I can appreciate the iPhone fans enthusiasm, and I can think of the following advantages from iPhone:
1) User interface (touch screen), finanally a usable web browser on smartphone, new improvements such as 3G (speed) and GPS.

2) Grown up OS (Mac operating system), room for other software apps. Talking about Apps, Apple launched App store, in which it not only creates the consumer stickness, but also increase revenue for Apple (it takes 30% cut from 3rd party developers).

3) Exchange/push mail, a prerequisite for iPhone to get into enterprise market.

Room for impovements
1) Choice of carriers in the US. We know Verizon has the best coverage in terms of network, and Apple signed exclusively with AT&T until 2012 (?). This means the road warriors will continue to use BlackBerry from VZ.

2) Security and reliability for enterprise users. Apple roots its success to its sleek design, intuitive user interface, cult like brand and its CEO Steve Jobs. Apple should continue to focus on its strength on consumer, at the same time, learn from the Microsoft guys (Gates and Baller), which means “grow up” 🙂

A very delicate thing to balance.

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