It looks like Steve ‘Miracle Man’ Jobs has done it again, with early reports that the iPhone has exceeded even the most ambitious of expectations, selling half a million units in a single weekend in the US.
I find that a pretty staggering number, but I can’t say I’m that surprised. It’s a gorgeous looking product, and has the kind of [It looks like Steve ‘Miracle Man’ Jobs has done it again, with early reports that the iPhone has exceeded even the most ambitious of expectations, selling half a million units in a single weekend in the US.
I find that a pretty staggering number, but I can’t say I’m that surprised. It’s a gorgeous looking product, and has the kind of](http://www.apple.com/iphone/phone/) that Apple is famous for. Sure, it’s incredibly, outrageously expensive, especially if you’re the ‘more money than sense’ guy who bought one on eBay for $12500. Sure, it doesn’t have 3G or UTMS, or a publicly available SDK to allow the wealth of 3rd-party applications other phones in its price bracket typically take for granted. But you know what, I don’t think any of that matters.
In the consumer electronics market, most people don’t need or want all the latest features, particularly the more technical ones - what they want is something that does the core defining feature of the device in a cool way, that they can understand how to use. The success of the iPod should be seen as a guide here - the iPod has never had as many ancilliary features as many of its rivals, like a radio tuner and ability to record direct from any source, but that hasn’t dampened demand for it one jot. What the iPod does is provide the must-have features of the platform in a great looking package that’s really easy to use. For the vast majority of people, that’s all they want, and I think that’s the case with the iPhone too. Yes, there are other phones that have more features, but only a small slice of the potential consumer population (mostly technical users) are going to care very much about that. A great many people are just going to see a great looking phone with some rather cool features.
I actually appreciate this design philosophy, even though I’m never going to own an iPhone, and the fact that I am technically savvy and understand that lack of 3G is rather limiting, especially if you go to other countries. But right here, right now, will many of the people buying the iPhone miss it, or other features? I don’t think they will, in the same way that the majority of people in the UK don’t care much about 3G despite it having been around for years and years. No, I think they’ll be too busy enjoying a rather overpriced but very sexy looking phone in the here and now. Let’s face it, when most regular people buy a new phone these days, they don’t do it because they want more features. They do it because a mobile phone is a fashion statement for a great many people, and old phones look shabby. I think the iPhone will do very well on the back of being the coolest looking, rather exclusive phone on the market just from that perspective. Look and feel win over technical specs every time with most people..