28 11 2007

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iPhone Advice

11 11 2007

The iPhone. The most anticipated cellphone, or even, Apple product of all time. To be the Macintosh of cell phones. Now approaching 1 year ago, the rumors were finally put to rest as Steve Jobs officially announced the iPhone at Macworld 2007. It’s now November 2007, and Apple is still lost in the cell phone industry which is a strange, messy world. Arguably more confusing then even the computer industry, not to mention a couple years younger. If Apple plans to continue making iPhones and gain significant market share, they need to stop making ignorant mistakes mainly- forgetting about the users!  Now let me preface this with the fact that I’m no expert, nor do I consider myself one. I am simply offering advice for Apple. But before I bash Apple, lets put this into context. The cell phone industry has the tendency to only care about themselves- and this comes at the users expense. This is almost reminiscent of Apple coming into the computer industry. The iPhone has shaken up the cell phone industry- there is no doubt to that. But Apple’s management and decisions sometimes reflect that of a typical cell phone company such as Motorola or Verizon. Apple needs to start acting more like Apple and less like them.

For example, although the justification was correct, the no SDK, use Safari route was not happening. Apple has since realized this and in February the iPhone SDK will be available (which took some fighting). Another poor decision was the initial pricing, some people cringed over a $499 and $599 phone. It was among the major criticism against the iPhone, besides that the carrier (AT&T). And when iSuppli revealed that it only costed Apple $245.83 and $280.83, for the 4GB and 8GB respectively, people wondered why it was priced so expensively. I would still think of this as irrelevant had the price stayed the same. When Steve Jobs announced in September that the 8GB iPhone would be $399 and the 4GB would be scrapped, this came to joy of non-iPhone users, but for the faithful who had purchased one within the initial two months were in dismay. I’m not arguing that this price drop was necessary, it will definitly boost iPhone sales, I just think it should have come a few months earlier. Imagine in to June, if Apple had cut the price last minute!? It would have fed the already media frenzy surrounding the iPhone even more- and the claims of it being too expensive would have disappeared. Plus, they would have sold more iPhones!

But even with that aside, the iPhone has been highly successful. Thousands are sold every day, and now with the launch in European countries, the goal of 10 million by the end of 2008 seems achievable.  So what am I saying? To appeal to customer, Apple needs to remember not to make ignorant decisions. They need to focus on making the best products, and deliver that promise all the way through to the end user. That means being able to add calendar appointments on the phone (do I hear 1.1.2?) or being able to run Applications off the phone itself, varies by person. Be it AT&T’s pressure or internal mishaps, Apple needs to remember to be Apple.