Terabytes have no doubt been written about the iPhone by now, but this paragraph at Daring Fireball possibly makes for the best iPhone introduction and summary I have seen yet:
If I could travel back 20 years and show my then 15-year-old self just one thing from the future of today, it would be the iPhone. It is our flying cars. Star Trek-style wireless long-distance voice communicator. The content of every major newspaper and magazine in the world. An encyclopedia. Video games. TV. Etc.
On the same day I read about the possibility of the iPhone rendering Amazon’s wireless reading device Kindle a white elephant, New York photographer Patrick McMullan announces the launch of a new magazine optimised especially for viewing on iPhones.
Patrick McMullan, noted nightlife photographer for New York magazine among other publications, is set to launch PMc, a luxury fashion “magazine” formatted exclusively for Apple’s iPhone.
If you’d pay $175 for a hamburger, then it stands to reason you’d pay $1000 for an iPhone app that does next to nothing… doesn’t it?
Let’s face it, you’d need to have serious amounts of cash to burn before forking out $1000 for the functionless I Am Rich app, which simply displays a red gem, and is effectively only a status symbol unto itself.
That point seems to be lost on quite a few people though.
I Am Rich isn’t the most clever piece of art, but it’s not bad either. For some, the iPhone is already an obvious display of wealth and I Am Rich is commenting on that. Plus, buying more than you need as an indication of wealth is practically an American core value for a growing segment of the population. Is paying $5000 for a wristwatch or $50,000 for a car when much cheaper alternatives exist really all that different than paying $1000 for an iPhone app?
You wouldn’t catch me buying it, even if I had that sort of money, but if someone else wishes to make the informed decision to do so, who I am to argue?
In any event I Am Rich has been withdrawn from the iPhone App Store so I guess we’ll have to think up another get-rich-quick idea now.
Update: Chris Glass has made a completely free web based version of the I Am Rich app available for your use.
Virgin have announced a 5GB of data for $100 a month plan for the iPhone in Australia. That’s still very expensive compared to the data plans in the US though.
Not quite 5GB of data for $50 a month, but at least it’s a step in the right direction.
Virgin is selling Apple’s 8GB iPhone 3G for $0 upfront on a $70 monthly plan, which includes $520 worth of calls and 1GB of data. For an extra $30 per month, customers can receive an extra 4GB of data and opt for the 16GB iPhone 3G for $0 up front. All Virgin iPhone plans are for 24 months and it has no initial plans to sell the iPhone 3G outright.
Vishal Sharma’s run down of ten Australian Mobile Startups that are poised to take advantage of the market for mobile web applications, on the back of the iPhone’s arrival.
Mobile is the next platform for consuming services and its the next battle field for technology companies/entrepreneurs. Apple’s iPhone has been embraced similar to standing ovation which Barack Obama is receiving wherever he goes. People are now looking for Google’s response via its Android initiative. This is going to be an interesting battle.
The “evolution” of the iPhone could follow a path similar to that of the iPod according to John Gruber, who says new functionality will be added over time.
A simple trade-off between two things is like a seesaw: move one up and the other goes down. Think, say, of buying a new external hard drive – the trade-off there is between higher storage capacity and lower price. Or, say, how big to make a push button – bigger buttons are easier to hit, but there’s only so much space on a screen. Multivariate trade-offs are more complicated, but the basic gist is the same: you can’t have your cake and eat it too.
iPhone pricing and data plans in Australia will probably disappoint those who have been waiting to use what has very quickly become an iconic piece of technology that is far more than just a mobile phone, or a “piece of technology” for that matter.
Many would-be iPhone buyers aren’t too worried about the technological “bells and whistles”, they simply want one, because like iPods and the MacBook Air, they are cool. Simple as that. End of story.
Sure you get to make phone calls, surf the net, and play music, but really that’s a bonus. The biggest attraction of the iPhone is simply having one.
To date phone companies in Australia, apart from one, remain cagey about their iPhone pricing and data plans, with Optus offering the 8GB model for a hefty A$730, no strings (contract) attached.
Hefty when you consider the same iPhone costs US199 (with a two year contract though), or about A$207, in the United States.
Australian phone companies know that iPhones will sell themselves but seem to have misunderstood what this means exactly.
A$730 is too big an ask. Make them available for say A$350, or even A$400, and even with a two year contract attached (something sensible mind you, like 5GB data for A$50 a month), and there will be people camping out in the streets waiting to buy it.
John Allsopp of Web Directions also makes the point that Australia stands to be left out when it comes to developing mobile based web applications on account of data charges for mobile, with one carrier charging A$150 a month for just 1GB of data.
To me this will actually have a huge impact on Australia’s capacity to become a serious player in the next wave of web innovation – mobile web applications and services. People simply won’t use mobile web services (except the “free” access to carriers own services – my bet is that this will come soon enough). Which means little if any incentive for local companies to innovate in this, a space with almost limitless potential. In markets with inexpensive data charges, all the innovation will take place, and when affordable mobile arrives here, those innovators will be ready to swoop on our market, with local companies in no place to play catchup.
Also bear in mind that in the US the iPhone has seen “mobile browsing surge 89% in the past year, with mobile page views increasing by 127%”. Food for thought.
Australian task-list manager Remember The Milk has been honoured with an Apple design award for their mobile version of the app.
You can imagine how hugely honoured we were when Remember The Milk for iPhone & iPod touch was named the winner in the Best iPhone Web Application category!
Top 10 Gadgets of 2007.
You’ll never guess what number one was.
The iPhone changed the way we think about how mobile media devices should look, feel and perform. The design is exceptional inside and out: It’s got a slick glass-and-stainless steel case and an elegant touch screen loaded with eye candy. It’s an iPod and a 2-megapixel camera. Images and video clips display vertically or horizontally – they reorient themselves depending on how you hold the thing. When the phone detects a wireless network within range – your own home wi-fi set up or somebody else’s – it lets you tap once to connect, and then proceed with your Web surfing, Google mapping, emailing and other activities that can otherwise be painfully slow over AT&T’s cellular network – the only one, unfortunately, that carries iPhone calls.
So let’s take bets on what the number one gadget for 2008 will be. What were the Macworld predictions again?