Let’s go to the videotape. Or, at least the digitized history of the iPhone.
Jan. 9, 2007 – Apple introduces the iPhone at MacWorld. “iPhone is a revolutionary and magical product that is literally five years ahead of any other mobile phone,” according to CEO Steve Jobs.
The “widescreen” iPod is to be available in the US in June 2007, Europe in late 2007, and Asia in 2008, in a 4GB model for $499 (US) and an 8GB model for $599 (US), and will work with either a PC or Mac.
September 5, 2007 – The price of the most popular iPhone 9with 8GB of storage) is cut $200.
That is $399 and less than what the GB model sold for, three months after the highly hyped remaking of the cell phone first goes on sale. Users go nuts. “That's just mean,’’ says one buyer.
July 11, 2008 – The next-generation 3G iPhone goes on sale for … $199. Sure, it stores 8 GB worth of photos and other data. But actually using it is going to cost you more. About $10 a month. For 24 months. So $199 becomes $439. Spread out. Such a deal. Jobs must be chuckling (or, hopefully) having heartburn in his sleep, over this latest effort to pull wool over customers’ eyes.
How is this any less capitalistically cynical about customers’ sophistication than Bill Gates’ unceasing (and profitable) efforts to release not-ready-for-primetime software on the semi-suspect public and knowing that his market leverage would force buyers to accept it? Hey, he can redirect their payments to poor and suffering parts of the world, through philanthropy.
Sure, we’re going to be treated to a lot more ways to effectively use the iPhone.
But they don’t require buying the latest version of the iPhone, necessarily.
And when you think that Apple still won’t relent on letting users swap out the fixed-in-place battery and be allowed to use more than one carrier, how "smart" an iPhone in the first place? Or, at least, getting in line for one.
The iPhone creates a lot of buzz. But does it really change lives?
Not if you have a life, in the first place.
Make Apple make a real phone. That serves you. Don’t kowtow to its hermetically sealed approach to product management.