Want an iPhone? Get in Line

Mae : Wireless Mobility Blog
Mae
| News and views on everything wireless and mobile, from WiFi and WiMAX to 3G and fixed-mobile convergence (FMC).

Want an iPhone? Get in Line

In what has to be one of the best-orchestrated marketing schemes in a while, Apple today will start selling its new iPhone, a device which combines the popular iPod MP3 player with smartphone and wireless Web capabilities. Stores open tonight at 6:00 p.m.  Eastern Time in the U.S. (They’ll be closed from 2:00-6:00pm to prepare for the expected onslaught.) If you want an iPhone, better get in line now.
 
Actually, though, some people have already been in line… since Monday. That’s what Associated Press reports today. Apparently, more than 50 people are now camped out in front of the Apple Store in New York City, some of them having been there since the beginning of the week. (People have also been camping out for days next to an Apple Store in San Francisco.)
 
To me, that seems a bit extreme. Five days in the heat and rain, waiting to buy the latest gadget? I guess it take all kinds to make the world. All kinds to produce an excellent amount of anticipation over the new product, too. iPhone is definitely cool, so cool that analysts (and Steve Jobs) predict that the initial stock of available iPhones will sell out by early next week.
 
Of course, in its typical tight-fisted manner, Apple won’t reveal how many iPhones are available for the initial launch, although the company has set a goal of selling 10 million units by 2008.
 
Meanwhile, analysts are having a field day discussing how other smartphone manufactures are preparing to compete with iPhone. Or, it might be more accurate to say how strong they anticipate the competition will be in coming weeks and months; I would hazard a guess that any phone manufacturer worth its salt has already had six months to jump-start their R&D divisions in hopes of hitting the ground running when iPhone starts selling.
 
One of the more intriguing aspects of iPhone, I think, is the touchscreen technology. Touchscreens, it seems to me, have great potential to revolutionize mobile devices. I mean, mice are great for desktop computers, but we’re overdue for the next big thing in interfaces for handheld gadgets. Only time will tell if this observation of mine pans out, though; technology does have a tendency to be adopted in sometimes unpredictable ways.
 
Oh, one final thing: what about yours truly and iPhone—am I getting one? The answer is no, not yet. I’m gonna save up and wait for the second or third generation. But yes, I do think iPhone is very cool and I do plan to play around with one the next time I’m in the neighborhood of an Apple Store. For now, I’m having enough fun with my iPod nano.


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