If true, Jobs quote of "A 3G iPhone later next year" should kill demand for iPhone 1.0

If true, Jobs quote of "A 3G iPhone later next year" should kill demand for iPhone 1.0

Summary: Already having conceded to upset "early adopters" of the iPhone who were taken by surprise when Apple dropped the price of the 8GB iPhone (and dropped the 4GB iPhone altogether), Apple may have yet a new crisis on its hands: CEO Steve Jobs' apparent pre-announcement that a 3G version of the iPhone will be available next year.If the report is true, this could be worse news for Apple given that the price drop had to have come so soon to stimulate demand.

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Already having conceded to upset "early adopters" of the iPhone who were taken by surprise when Apple dropped the price of the 8GB iPhone (and dropped the 4GB iPhone altogether), Apple may have yet a new crisis on its hands: CEO Steve Jobs' apparent pre-announcement that a 3G version of the iPhone will be available next year.

If the report is true, this could be worse news for Apple given that the price drop had to have come so soon to stimulate demand. There's nothing that kills demand for the current generation of a product like an announcement that the next generation won't be stillborn with obsolete networking technology the way the currently available generation was. Even if the report of Jobs saying this isn't true, my guess is that a 3G iPhone in 2008 is pretty much a sure bet.

Jobs has been quoted as saying that “The trade off with 3G [in battery life] is too bad right now." Either something is about to change when it comes to battery life that Jobs knows about but we don't, or, Apple is realizing that price isn't the only reason that prospective iPhone buyers are holding off for iPhone 2.0 (a suggestion I've been making since the iPhone came out). Sure, the next version of anything will always be better than the current one. But iPhone 2.0 will very likely get the things right that iPhone 1.0 got so wrong.

For example, in addition to making it work on the faster of the two networks that most GSM-flavored providers like AT&T run (was this really that hard of a decision?), I'm guessing that it will have removable batteries as well. After all, assuming no major breakthroughs in battery technology (and we know of no such breakthroughs coming), if Jobs is right about the impact of having a 3G radio in the iPhone on battery life, he'll have no choice but to make the battery easily replaceable by users who want to carry spares with them. Also, I suspect that there are bunch of hidden costs in the return/loaner program that's currently in place that make that program a non-starter from an Apple business perspective. Although there are plenty of conspiracy theorists who claim the current non-replaceable battery setup is designed to stimulate upgrades to new iPhones rather than repairs, redesigning the iPhone with replaceable batteries in mind is a much cleaner approach that will make Apple's business more predictable. Stockholders like predictability.

Perhaps iPhone 2.0 will also address the third most talked about iPhone flaw (in addition to missing 3G support and non-replaceable batteries): its soft keyboard. While I've heard people rave about how it's the best soft-keyboard they've ever used (most soft-keyboards are so bad that this may not be much of a compliment), I've heard others growl that it's unusable for loquacious authors of e-mail and text messages. Might the new design have some sort of hardware-based keyboard or will Apple do what it does with the touchpad on its notebooks and stick us with something that some segment of the market (like those of us with big fingers) simply can't use?

The fourth most talked about flaw -- its total RAM -- will most definitely get a boost. Today, at 8GB, it doesn't take much in the way of music and videos to swallow an existing iPhone whole. Apple probably can't go to a hard drive just yet (talk about battery life killers). But, by 2008, I'm guessing that iPhone 2.0 will not only get more RAM (either 16 or 32 GB), but, if Apple's is smart, it will also add an SD slot: one that supports the high capacity version of SD known as SDHC.

Jobs has apparently also implied that Java, as mobile runtimes go, is an endangered species. I think however, if you ask Sun, you'll learn that it's the most widely deployed platform on the face of the planet. I'm pretty sure I heard somewhere that the number of phones with Java in them dwarfs the total number of PCs running anything, much less Windows. The iPhone with its Safari browser may get plenty of rich internet applications via Web sites built in AJAX. But I wonder if the next version will support one of the prevailing runtimes (Java or Flash, I don't think there's a chance in hell that Apple would go for Microsoft's Silverlight) so as to increase the iPhone's appeal due to application availability (especially in overseas markets where mobile runtimes are getting more traction than they get here in the US).

But it's that 3G support alone that should kill any desire for iPhone 1.0. Maybe then, there'll be a shred of truth to the Apple TV advertisement that says "It's not the mobile Web, it's just the Web." Meanwhile, so long as an iPhone is connecting to AT&T's network and not some WiFi network (the iPhone also has a WiFi radio), the browser experience is most definitely saddled with the sort of granny lane performance that has "mobile Web" written all over it. False advertising? You decide. iPhone 2.0.? You wait. If Microsoft doesn't get things right until 3.0, there's one thing you can say about Apple: 2.0's the charm.

Topics: Apple, Hardware, iPhone, Mobility, Networking, IT Employment, Wi-Fi

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68 comments
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  • Message has been deleted.

    Bullshit1234
    • The only thing Apple needs to do for the keyboard

      is make it bigger when you turn the device to a landscape orientation. Then hunt and peck typists like David B. won't have an issue (maybe he should take some more typing classes?).
      nomorems
  • If true....

    but, unfortunately, it isn't.

    [u]http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/07/09/18/steve_jobs_fields_questions_fol
    lowing_apples_uk_iphone_launch.html[/u]

    ""We've got to see the battery lives for 3G get back up into the 5+ hour range," he
    said. "Hopefully we'll see that late next year.""

    Please note the words "hopefully" and "late." Not at all the "pre-announcement"
    you're writing about.
    msalzberg
  • For us geeks maybe

    I just moved over form Tmobile on a BB. Holy crap it's
    like the BB was a stone and chisel. Edge is must faster
    then GPRS ( to me anyway) and since I have to use the
    web a lot for my job, it's so much more elegant and a joy
    to use. I thought about waiting but I'm glad I didn't.
    Mark@...
  • It should, like Mac OS X should kill Windows

    But it won't.

    Alas, David. Your wish won't be fulfilled.

    Java is dead. Is ZDNet running Java? No. You'll find
    the real cutting edge sites are running PHP, Python,
    Ruby on Rails. Java is an anchor around anyone's neck
    who wants to do anything fast.

    Regarding RIA applications. You're woefully
    misinformed. The prevailing runtime that Apple is
    committed to is AJAX and Quicktime. You wouldn't
    know this if you didn't attend WWDC this year or have
    beta tested Leopard. Why do even bother making any
    comments without knowledge?
    YinToYourYang-22527499
    • Ahahahahahah! Thats great!

      Oh god, my sides hurt... and you even tossed on a ton of smug to really push it over the top. You really pulled it off. Thanks man, I needed that!
      Chippolus
    • What do PHP, Python, and Ruby have to do with Java applets?

      "Java is dead. Is ZDNet running Java? No. You'll find the real cutting edge sites are
      running PHP, Python, Ruby on Rails"

      The iPhone isn't a server, it's a client. It's running a browser. There may be more
      people using Actionscript than Java in browsers, but the impact of PHP, Python, or
      Ruby on that is approximately zero.

      Quicktime isn't a scripting platform, unless you embed it in Java or embed flash in
      it. AJAX doesn't compete directly with applets either. So it comes down to Apple
      getting into bed with Adobe (and after at least three smackdowns Apple should
      have learned what kind of a 'friend' Adobe is), or using a technology they already
      have experience with, which direction do you think they'll go?

      What am I saying? This is Apple. They'll come up with at least three more oddball
      ideas before finally saying "the time wasn't right until now, but we've put our heads
      together and we think we know the right way to..." and do something that people
      had been asking for all along.

      Like standard slots, or a real operating system, or flash MP3 players, or headless
      Macs, or any of the other things they've said they weren't going to do. They're really
      great at riding out a reality distortion field collapse so smoothly that you never
      notice it's gone.
      Resuna
      • They're developed about 100 times faster

        That's what.
        YinToYourYang-22527499
  • RE: If true, Jobs quote of

    I have to say Apple did get one thing right that beats out all other multipurpose wireless devices on the market, SEX APPLEAL. I am not a believer in the iPhone nor will I ever be but one of the guys here in my office picked one up after the price drop and after playing with it I have to say It's Cool. But again the only "Cool" about it is sex. There are no features on the iPhone that you can't do on any other phone as well if not better. The design and interface is what sells it nothing else. One feature you missed here is the lake of iTunes music store wireless access. Right now I have Verzion and their music download feature on my Razr phone is a joke. Why do I want to pay $2.99 per song that sounds down right awful on my phone when played back and that I can't take off the phone to play on my computer. Not that iTunes might offer the ability to move the music you purchase on the iPhone to your computer, but one thing Apple has done right from the beginning is their iPod, to me one of the best digital music players on the market.
    Mid-Hudson Tech
    • iTunes

      Actually during the release of the new iPod speech Steve Jobs said that any songs you
      purchase on the iPhone or iPod Touch, will sync back to the iTunes on your computer
      when you hook it up.
      Amonra
      • And...any iTune song on your computer will sync to the iPhone !

        It IS an iPod you know!
        nomorems
    • Why would you buy

      lossy audio files from either company? Unless you only like singles (in which case, by the time you buy a new player (which may be incompatible with whatever format your file is in), you won't care about the song anyway, the only smart way to go is lossless...and for now, the only lossless source is from CDs.

      It's kinda like Ringers. I've never understood who are the idiots that pay 3 or 4 bucks for a ringer (one that often expires 3 months to a year after purchase), when you can get free software and make your own from music you own.

      3 bucks for a Verizon song is outrageous, but 4 bucks for a 30 second ringer (that expires!) is highway robbery...and people actually pay it.

      Then again, now band are apparently demanding that msuic be made to sound best on an ipod, which is to say let's make it sound good on the cheapest POS headphones you can get (this goes for virtually all ear buds), even if it means compromising the sound on a decent set of speakers.
      notsofast
  • RE: If true, Jobs quote of

    "Sure, the next version of anything will always be better than the current one."

    Apparently you haven't seen the newest version of Windows, that one they call 'Vista'?
    GoatTuber
    • Gufaw! Good one! Vista SUCKS and it's what, rev. 10? (NT)

      NT
      nomorems
    • No, no, no, NO! You've got it wrong!

      "Sure, the next version of anything will always be better than the current one."

      Apparently you haven't seen the newest version of Windows, that one they call 'Vista'?

      But Vista IS the current one, and the next one just HAS to be better - it surely can't be any worse............
      aldux
      • Intel killed Vista and 3Ghz Yesterday Sept 30

        The term is MID - Mobile Internet Device and the Seattle times has links to two YouTube clips showing that they have already been created. These are Java based - like iPhone should have been, and they are WiMax.

        http://blog.seattletimes.nwsource.com/techtracks/index.html#018973

        The only question is how long do US consumers have to wait? I am thinking no longer. First half of next year - stop it! Why not now. The video clips show 6 different models from 6 different manufacturers. Up and working yesterday. Must US consumers be ripped off for 6 to nine months? Let the investors in 3Ghz take the loss now. WiMax - Its our digital democracy.
        mighetto
  • RE: If true, Jobs quote of

    Before I plunk down 600 for the iPhone, in addition to the aforementioned, it better have:
    1. Video camera where I can upload videos to YouTube with a push of a button
    2. Better coverage choice - T-mobile
    3. At least 50GB instead of 8GB
    4. Voice-Activated Dialing
    5. Blue-Tooth and Wi-Fi capability
    6. iChat
    7. Office support - Word, Excel
    mlsachs@...
    • Why are you plunking down $600?!?

      You do know the price dropped, right?
      Kid Icarus-21097050858087920245213802267493
      • I got him the time machine last Xmas...

        You get a sweater, I got him a time machine... but its an econo one, so it only goes back 2 months.
        ;)
        Chippolus
        • Hmmmm...

          I must be on the naughty list...oh well there's always next year. :)
          Kid Icarus-21097050858087920245213802267493