Everyone has heard the news about the Apple iPhone and I am sure there will be lots of talk and analysis in the coming week. Larry Dignan, Adrian Kingsley-Hughes and Jason O'Grady made some very good observations of the iPhone and I agree with them. The iPhone has been quite the topic in the Mobius group that I am a part of and I wanted to share some of my thoughts on what I think about the device, coming from a Palm, S60, and Windows Mobile usage background.
At first, like most people, I was blown away by the technology innovations and beauty of the device as it was shown at MacWorld. I think the dual touch screen looks unique and could have some good applications for a dedicated video iPod or Apple Tablet, but on a phone I just don't think people are going to like it. A big complaint I hear from regular users of the Pocket PC Phone Edition is the lack of a good dialing method. The enthusiast may not mind tapping away on the display to dial, but your average person isn't going to like it and the novelty of the touch display will soon wear off. You can't press and hold a real button to dial quick contacts and you actually have to touch the display. With the size of the iPhone it may be a difficult task to do one-handed and although many people may not admit it they do dial while driving or in a car and having to use two hands on the iPhone makes it very inconvenient and dangerous to try on the road.
One reason that the RIM BlackBerry, Palm Treo, and now Windows Mobile devices are very popular in the enterprise market is because they have thumb keyboards that allow you to knock out a short reply or text message on the go. You will have to tap away at an on screen keyboard with two hands on the iPhone and I predict the iPhone will be a non-seller in the enterprise market, which is where lots of money can be found. And at the high price point and contract requirement, I can't see too many people outside of Apple fans going for the iPhone in the consumer market either. Great technology and wonderful looks Apple, but you won't see it in the hands of business travelers anytime soon.