OK, the iPhone launched yesterday. Apple aims at the corporate market with support for MS Exchange e-mail and at the consumer with a snazzier connection to the Net wherever you are.
I have to admit I was a little underwhelmed with the phone - which is ironic when you consider I've ordered one this morning. I should explain that as a self-employed Mac user I like the idea of a phone that synchronises with all of the songs I've bought online, holds my diary and everything and does it 'properly' rather than 'probably' (only last night I was picking up e-mails on my trusty Sony Ericsson only to find someone had sent me a message reading 'character set not supported - I won't miss that). At the moment I end up carrying an iPod Touch and a phone. 3G tips the balance in favour of the phone-only option for me.
Nevertheless, look at what you still don't get in an iPhone. The mediocre camera hasn't improved. You can't video conference - not that I want to, particularly, but I'd have liked that to have been my decision rather than leaving it to Mr. Jobs. I suppose I'll use the GPS if it's cheap enough in terms of data costs but I'm not quite convinced.
The real improvement, however, has to be in the price. Why, other than convenience, have I put my order in this morning? Because in the UK 02 has made the iPhone free with a tarrif of £45 (about $90) per month. From being hugely expensive at its launch, getting an iPhone has become a no-brainer. Why wouldn't you want one at that price point? I'd have to be crazy.
This happens to everything eventually - it starts as a luxury item, the price comes down and it eventually becomes a commodity. But did anyone expect the cost to shoot down at such speed?
My theory is that Apple knows perfectly well that outside the US, the iPhone didn't perform as hoped. It's also aware that there are a lot of pretenders like HTC, Samsung and LG with equally shiny phones with a touch screen. Apple is therefore going to flood the market and make the iPhone the natural choice just like the iPod.
Oh, and it's doing it in exactly one month. So if you're working for a competitor and don't plan to do the same, hard luck - the chances are you're already beaten.