in Mobile Phones

iPhone. Yes. Again!

20060110iPhone.jpgJust a little bit more serious than the previous post.

We, poor Europeans, will not be able to put our hands on the iPhone in the near future. The only option we have is to meet some old friend from states or read online reviews.

I have gone through the iPhone user guide (you can find it here) trying to find where this device makes the difference.

Here are my findings:

  • You will need a personal computer with the latest version of iTunes to get your iPhone registered and functional. Just wandering how they guys who spent three days in the line felt after discovering that they had to reach home before placing a phone call with their brand new toy. Funny.
  • The iPhone virtual keyboard is the best implementation I have ever seen in years. Just have a look at this video to understand why I do think this.
  • To edit text, touch and hold to see a magnified view, then position the cursor.
  • Flick or drag up or down to scroll. On some screens such as webpages, you can also
    scroll side to side.
  • If you are going to use the Apple bluetooth had you will have an option to buy the Dual Dock that will charge both your iPhone and headset at the same time. Great idea.
  • The Mail button shows the total number of unread messages in your all of your
    inboxes. You may have other unread messages in other mailboxes.
  • The Phone button on the Home screen shows the total number of missed calls and
    unheard voicemail messages you have.
  • Rotate iPhone sideways. Safari automatically reorients and expands the page. This will work even with a lot of other application on the iPhone.
  • In the Safari web browser, double-tap the column. The column expands, so you can read it more easily.
  • Always in Safari, you can have more than one webpage open at a time. Some links automatically open a
    new page instead of replacing the current one.
  • SMS with the same contact will show up as conversations.
  • Flick left or right to see the next or previous photo in the photo viewer.
  • Rotate iPhone sideways. The photo automatically reorients and, if it’s in landscape
    format, expands to fit the screen.

Lot of interesting stuff, isn’t it?

Well, if you look at this from a different perspective I cannot really find any real innovation here.

I wanted to be provocative in the last sentence.

The technology that you can find in the iPhone has been there from years. Touch screens, motion sensor, your fingers, etc.

Anyway they have been able to combine this technology in an innovative way bringing a new compelling device to the market.

How could they do that?

  1. Apple did not have any kind of market pressure. They do not have a mobile phone product line to be sustained.This is a main advantage compared to all the incumbent mobile phone manufacturers.
  2. They started from scratch. No tradition to mantain. No established customer base to disappoint with radical changes. Also a major for the success of the iPhone.
  3. Apple has a well established tradition in designing good and flexible user interface and user experience.
  4. Apple played the marketing games at their best. The ghost marketing activities we have seen in the last six months will be a case study for future generations of marketers. Every single way of communication on the internet has been filled with iPhone stories. They built the product in the consumer mind before the real product really existed.

Why do I blog this? At the end of the day I really have to admit that I love the iPhone. It has some of the concepts we have been pushing to handset manufacturers from a very long time. Now they will probably change their mind, hopefully.