Who's the iPhone aimed at?

Summary:OK, I know some of you are tired of hearing about the iPhone, but with less than a day to go before Apple's product of the year is available for purchase, I'm still left wondering who it's really aimed at.

OK, I know some of you are tired of hearing about the iPhone, but with less than a day to go before Apple's product of the year is available for purchase, I'm still left wondering who it's really aimed at.

When I look at most Apple products, especially niche products, it's easy to see who they're aimed at.  It's also easy to figure out why there's not just an iPod but the iPod nano and shuffle and what the target demographic differences between the Is the iPhone a cleverly marketed product that's aimed at the stupid rich? MacBook and MacBook Pro are.  But when I look at the iPhone, it feels wrong to me.  I just can't place who it's meant to appeal to. 

Consider this.  It's a $500/$600 phone that combines a 4GB/8GB iPod.  It supports video, YouTube and Google Maps.  It has a 2 megapixel digital camera but can't record video and doesn't support MMS.  It has support for WiFi but when out of range you're stuck with EDGE because there's no 3G support.  Web pages are glacially slow to load.  It's got some sort of cut down OS X on board but no official way to augment or leverage this with third-party apps (I'm pretty sure the iPhone will be cracked to run third-party apps maybe as soon as Monday).  The big touch-sensitive screen is nice and hopefully robust but seems like a turn-off for the ladies. The battery is internal and you have to send it off to Apple for replacement when it starts to get tired.  You're stuck with AT&T for two years, oh, and it'll cost you, in all, about $2,000 over the first two years.  With that kind of price tag, it surely can't be aimed at teens.

Scott Adams wrote in (I think) the Dilbert Principal that there are four main demographic groups:

  • The stupid rich
  • The smart rich
  • The stupid poor
  • The smart poor

The group to always aim for, according to Adams, is is the stupid poor because they buy stuff without question and don't make rational, well thought-out purchasing decisions.  Is the iPhone a cleverly marketed product that's aimed at the stupid rich who are willing to stump up the cash and commit to a two year contract for a phone that's so far seen little real-world testing and doesn't support standard features such as MMS and video recording?  Sure feels like it to me.

[poll id=153]

Thoughts?  If you agree with me, what cellphones are the smart rich buying?  If you disagree with me, what is it about the iPhone that makes it a "smart rich" buy?

Topics: iPhone, Mobility

About

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes is an internationally published technology author who has devoted over a decade to helping users get the most from technology -- whether that be by learning to program, building a PC from a pile of parts, or helping them get the most from their new MP3 player or digital camera.Adrian has authored/co-authored technic... Full Bio

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