A new low in iPhone speculation assery
Others have opined about the general silliness of how sure everyone is that Apple will be announcing an iPhone. And an iPhone 2. And an iPhone mini. And an iPhone nano. And…
Well, CNET’s Michael Kanellos has lowered the stupid bar so low that the Macalope is doubtful anyone will be able to limbo under it.
Not only will Apple announce an iPhone, Kanellos says, but he knows it will fail.
This is like the flip-side of Tuesday’s Crazy Apple Rumor. Sadly for Mr. Moltz, the Apple rumor world has become self-parodying.
Michael Kanellos is not psychic. He’s not a time traveller. He’s not able to bend reality to his will. So, what he’s saying is that he thinks he’s considered all the possible alternative entrants that Apple could make to the cell phone market and he’s determined that none of them will work.
Oh, and it’s his birthday and as a little present to himself he wants to “antagonize Apple fans.”
Well, at least we know where we stand.
Mike, just a hunch, but did you get your ass kicked a lot in high school?
If Apple got into medical devices, people would come out of Steve Jobs’ speech proclaiming “The iBag is the easiest, most user-friendly colostomy device I’ve ever encountered.”
Ha-ha! Those silly Apple fans and the way they value ease of use! It’s so funny! Ah, Apple fans! Will you never learn?
Sales for the phone will skyrocket initially. However, things will calm down, and the Apple phone will take its place on the shelves with the random video cameras, cell phones, wireless routers and other would-be hits.
Can we dissect, for a second, how little sense that makes? If the iPhone is going to be a flop, chances are it’s going to be a flop from the get-go. People are either going to buy into the proposition – unlocked GSM, Apple’s own service, VOIP, whatever it is – or they’re not. It’s not like they’re going to rush out and buy one, get it home and suddenly realize they have to swap SIM cards or something and start posting angry missives on the Internet causing others not to buy one.
Unless Apple makes wild promises about it that it can’t deliver on (and so far the only ones making wild promises are Apple analysts), sales are unlikely to “skyrocket” but ultimately amount to not much.
Remember the Mac Mini? It was supposed to ignite a revolution for small computers.
It was? Who said that?
It didn’t. The flat-panel iMac? Some predicted that Apple’s price tag would drive other prices higher. Whoops.
That’s it? That’s Kanellos’ list of Apple trend-setting failures?
Because if it is, that is awesome. Both of those products are quite successful and – just because they didn’t live up to the hype his own publication attempted to create – it doesn’t mean they’re “would-be hits.”
He could have listed the Newton. He could have listed OpenDoc. It’s not like Apple’s never had a much-hyped technology fail before. But he just doesn’t seem to be trying that hard. Well, it’s his birthday and maybe CNET has a policy where you can phone in a column on your birthday.
But the iPod looks like it may turn out to be a non-repeatable experience. Look at the historical record. When the iPod emerged in late 2001, it solved some major problems with MP3 players.
Unfortunately for Apple, problems like that don’t exist in the handset business. Cell phones aren’t clunky, inadequate devices. Instead, they are pretty good. Really good.
Well, now, there’s the rub. You’ll get a whole range of opinion on this but, in general, the devices themselves aren’t that bad. The Macalope’s more inclined to stop at “pretty good” than “really good”, but the hardware’s not the main problem. It’s the interfaces that are tied to service providers that suck so badly.
It’s ridiculous that the Macalope has to point out the linear nature of time, but it remains to be seen if Apple has a solution to this problem that will work with multiple carriers.
Kanellos notes that users conflate their satisfaction with their phone to the capabilities of their carrier’s network. And, unless Apple’s been secretly constructing their own network, this will always be an integral piece of the user experience the company won’t own. But, still, it’s a problem faced by all hardware manufacturers.
The issue Kanellos doesn’t mention at all is support. When a user has a problem now, he or she calls the cellular provider who sold or gave them the phone. The service and the hardware is supported by one entity. If Apple does go the unlocked GSM route, are customers going to be able to diagnose whether their problem is hardware or network related? Will they know who to call?
But Kanellos has got a rash that says “Apple is style over substance” and he’s gonna scratch it no matter what the doctor said!
Apple, in other words, won’t be competing against rather doltish, unstylish companies like the old Compaq.
Uh, wait, are we talking about computers now? The Macalope thought we were talking about the iPod, where Apple competed – not against Compaq – but against Rio, Sony, Creative, etc.
Kanellos believes the iPod succeeded because Apple chose to use 1.8-inch hard drives and made it easier to use than the competition. However, because he’s unable to see how Apple might be able to leverage new hardware and ease of use again, he declares that the iPhone will be a failure.
The phone the company hasn’t announced yet.
Granted, Apple will use contract manufacturers to assemble their phones, but designing these phones takes experience and talent. And the cell carriers are far deeper into it here.
Mmm, yes. Creating a cell phone is a special kind of alchemy that only fifth level druid mages with plus five hit points can perform.
There’s really not much point in going through this exercise. Kanellos has already admitted that the point of the piece is to be contrarian, which absolves him of any responsibility to actually make sense.
But someone should really throw a bucket of cold water on the whole collection of silly pundits who already think they know what the iPhone’s whole product life cycle will look like.
Because the Macalope doesn’t know if you’ve noticed, but…
Apple hasn’t announced an iPhone yet.