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Three reasons why the iPhone won’t be as mega as some think
Alright so the news is out that Apple will be offering a new mobile device called the iPhone this summer. It is a very cool device. Mike has a good overview (more on TechMeme) of the device and why he is going to buy one. But see, Mike is not the average consumer. And that is why I think there are 3 reasons why the iPhone won't see the success that some think it will. Feel free to disagree with me!
Reason 1 – Price
The entry-model is $500, the mega-model is $600. This is not an iPod at $249. Can the average American (you know the ones who own an iPod) afford this? I think not. I am sure there will be some incentives to switch but overall the price will be a barrier to entry. But not to the early adopter crowd. Walk down 43rd street in Manhattan from 5th ave to 6th ave. Ask every person with an iPod if they will get this device. I bet maybe 3% will say yes, and thats a very aggressive figure.
Reason 2 – Locked to Cingular
I am a Cingular customer. How many are not? Will you switch to get this phone? Some will, many won't. Assuming it is GSM, I am sure someone will hack an unlock code but many won't know how. What about those who recently signed deals with the other carriers? Will they spend the $200 or so to break their contracts? Doubt it! I can't wait to read the posts on Consumerist.. they will go something like this "my wireless provider won't let me out for free because I want an iPhone."
Reason 3 – Data Rate Plans
I wrote about this last week with the MySpace deal. The data rate plans will kill this phone. I hope Cingular gets their act together and becomes an industry leader with regards to data pricing but today it is absolute crap. This device will use a lot of data when using the Cingular network (I understand it gets WiFi but that's not available free everywhere!). Can the average American afford $600 for a device and then another $30ish over their normal rate plan for some data? Nope.
I certainly hope my reasons can be addressed before launch so that the iPhone sees the same success for Apple that the iPod has had.