After years of rumors and speculation, Apple finally announced it’s entry into the mobile phone market. Dubbed the “iPhone,” it is a cellular phone, full-screen video iPod, and Internet communications device all in one. Many people, among Apple, have heralded the iPhone as “reinventing the phone.” The iPhone certainly contains a long list of innovative features and Apple’s renowned ease-of-use, but, the question remains, is the iPhone really all its cracked up to be? Will it truly revolutionize the phone market?
Just liked the iPod changed the music industry, Apple is banking on the iPhone forever changing how we use mobile phones. The iPhone is unique, in that is has a fully touch-screen interface, a gorgeous 3.5″ LCD display, a full-sized (not just a slimmed-down) web browser, and a truly innovative feature called Visual Voicemail. Visual Voicemail will allow you to see and select any of your voicemail messages instead of having to listen to them one-by-one.
There are a few downsides to the phone, however. One is that Apple has an exclusive contract with Cingular through 2009. I’ve heard many report being unhappy with Cingular and that their coverage is mediocre, at best. Another downside is the phone’s hefty $499 price tag for the 4GB model, and $599 for the 8GB model. This price point means that Apple will not be able to initially penetrate the market like it has done so with the iPod. Apple is also not letting any developers produce third-party software for the phone. This means that you will not be able to download special programs like you can for other smartphones.
Perhaps the biggest drawback to the iPhone is that it requires your full attention to operate because of its touch interface. It has only one button, so for people attempting to drive and dial, it will require them to look down at their phone for moments on end. Many tech-savvy phone users have said that this no button design is why they will never buy the iPhone. The feedback of buttons is what allows people to dial while driving.
Apple is not officially releasing the iPhone until June. However, only time will tell whether Apple’s phone will change the market like the iPod has done. In conclusion, even though the iPhone lacks in some areas, it will be a major hit among Apple’s Mac-faithful, and I plan to purchase one as soon as they’re available. Learn more about the iPhone on Apple’s web site…