Road to iPhone

1 minute read

People have been talking about the iPhone for years. Now it’s been announced, but isn’t yet available. It won’t ship in the US until June/July of this year, and who knows when in other areas - I read online that it may not be in Europe until next year.

I’m hopeful it’ll come to Canada sometime late this year, but there’s no guarantee. And when it does, likely some features (visual voicemail in particular, which was co-developed with Cingular) likely will not work with our wireless providers.

The way the iPhone is being handled by Apple is interesting. Why announce something that you can’t ship immediately? It’s contrary to Apple’s normal way of operating – generally they’ll have product available for at least pre-order in the online Apple Store as soon as the announcement is made. The iPhone is not.

This is because a phone sold in the US has to be FCC approved, and that approval includes submitting a detailed description and pictures of the phone. These details are then available (I’m unsure if they’re freely available to the public, or only on request) and inevitably leak out. So Apple has avoided a leak by announcing that they’re about to seek FCC approval for their phone.

This time lag until availability is a huge potential opportunity for other phone vendors, especially those that have similarly styled phones in the production queue. They now have 6 months in the US and more time elsewhere to come up with compelling reasons (price, brand, features Apple doesn’t have like 3G and 3rd party software) for people to pass on the iPhone.

If I was able to buy an iPhone right now, and I had $600 or so to spend on a phone, I’d likely buy one, even though I have a general rule that I don’t spend that much money on something small, that I carry around all the time, and that can be easily broken or lost. Will I spend that much money 6+ months from now, after all the other cel manufacturers have a chance to respond to Apple’s announcement? We’ll see.

For now, I’ll keep watching videos and listening to audio on my PSP, which syncs to iTunes on my Mac using a 3rd party application called PSPWare. At least if I lose the PSP I’m only out $250…

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