iPhone: Planning vs. Implementation (REVISIT)

One year ago, in January of 2007 I posted an item about the introduction of the iPhone. Referencing the unorthodox nature of its advanced announcement and marketing efforts, and its intuitive interface, the analysis was one of those who would pay and those who would abstain. Quote from the original article:

What the iPhone does for us creative types is help provide an alternative to the highly formal blackberry or treo. We are no longer mislabeled by the phone we carry, and we can succumb to our ever-vocal choice in electronics
I would like to update this commentary, based on recent developments of the iPhone market.

The value embedded in owning the iPhone is incredible. Just like my previous analysis:
Apple knows it has cornered a certain type of market and is seeking to expand that market everyday (see the latest TV ads obviously geared towards older PC-using men).
There is incredible value in the conspicuous ownership of the iPhone, as is a functional benefit. Nonetheless, I still know of, and see, here in New York, many many people required to utilize two phones because of the ever-difficult business functionality of the iPhone. Blackberry and iPhone ownership represent the dual nature of the business telecommuter. One for play and one for work. The weak email application is partially to blame for this observation.

Additionally, the iPhone has lost control of its inventory. With over 1.7 MILLION phones missing, of the some 3.1 million produced, the "unlocked" iPhone black market is HUGE. A large percentage of these missing and unaccounted for phones are surfacing in markets where the iPhone does not even have a carrier arrangement: Thailand, Hong Kong, India, Eastern bloc european countries.

Here, the iPhone is unlocked and then distributed as a hacked phone, with the ability to insert a SIM card and use on local wireless carriers. This, I feel, is represented by the iPhone's strict standards because of their carrier contracts, like here in the US with AT&T.

The iPhone carries with it that inherent playful and intuitive value, that Apple so cleverly has accomplished in its brand recognition, yet the facts are cold and true:
  • Millions of phones are already hacked and have circumvented Apple's ability to profit off of its carrier contracts.
  • Apple does not utilize business productivity as one of the driving factors of selling its device, thus requiring many business people to keep two phones (one blackberry) if they want an iPhone
  • The iPhone's post launch price drop and recent introduction of new and superior models have soured some Apple fans.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As an owner of a hacked iPhone, I agree. I live in Holland, Europe and there's no way for me to just buy the damn thing! A friend went over to NY and bought it for me. Everybody that knows somebody that's visiting the US is asked to bring back at least one iPhone. (Even the Dutch Royal amily were hotographed in the Apple store buying an iPhone!) And with current dollar vs euro prices it's very lucrtive. You can buy an unlockd iPhone in Germany without a carrier, it costs 1000 euro's!!!! Thats insane! I could fly ver to NY and bing back several iPhones for the same amouth. Apple should strart selling unlocked iPhones already!

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