This is CBS News on YouTube:
I like how you can see it in a slightly lesser-hyped environment. Sure, Phil Schiller is just doing the same stuff Jobs did, but the camera work is better and that interface is looking tight. The web browser tech is flat out rad.
I agree with most of the points that Kottke makes in his excellent iPhone Round-up, especially the part about current phones being so bad.
I wonder if Apple will forego announcing a phone-less iPod in a similar form factor.
If you look at the mobile phone landscape and the power that the carriers have over device manufacturers, who else could have the cachet to even dare to design something like this, much less get buy-in from the CEO of the carrier without ever seeing the actual product?
The uber-nerds will decry most of the phone, but I would guess the target market for the phone isn’t the SMS/Text kids or even uber-nerds. The target for this first revision is early-adopters who want a nice phone, have the money and don’t send a lot of text messages.
If this is a success, and I think it will be, carriers are going to have to make some changes to their networks. The visual voicemail feature is going to require some work. If you are Apple, and you want to sell to the most people, you have to go for the number one carrier.
I’m fortunate because I made the switch to Cingular last summer and I don’t have gripes about the service. It’s miles better than my old AT&T or Verizon services, neither of which would let me take calls in the basement.
I hope the phone is smart enough that when I pull up Google Maps, it knows where I am. I doubt this is going to happen with the first models, but that is the holy grail of map technology in a phone. I hit maps and a “you are here” button and a street-level view map opens up. I then say “liquor store” and it tells me the closest stores. Or better, I’m stranded or hurt, where the nearest emergency services and what are their numbers?
I wonder how much of the feature set they’ve shown is going to actually ship and what the functionality will be. If you can’t buy songs with an iPhone… that’s seems odd from the company who made it easy to buy songs on my computer.
Finally, the above video shows a very fluid interface and if it’s that butterylicious in real life, people will pay. Maybe not your thirteen year old niece or nephew, but their music-loving geek-inclined parents will.