20 unanswered questions about Apple’s iPhone

“I am in fact truly in awe of what I witnessed Tuesday. Steve Jobs is the Salesman of the Century–nothing wrong with that. And Apple and Jobs have done everything right with the iPhone–so far. I certainly want one, and am rooting for Apple to dominate and transform the handset industry,” Mike Elgan writes for Computerworld.

Elgan writes, “However, I fear that the iPhone vision and the keynote were so flawlessly executed that Apple may have raised expectations that will be hard to fulfill. The things that might shatter this wonderful iPhone illusion are the things we do not know.”

Elgan’s 20 unanswered questions about the Apple iPhone:
1. How much will it cost to own an iPhone?
2. What will be the “unlocked” iPhone price?
3. How much will it cost to replace a lost or damaged iPhone?
4. How fast is the iPhone?
5. What did Jobs mean when he said the “iPhone runs OS X”?
6. How well will the iPhone sync with Windows applications?
7. Will businesses be able to use the iPhone?
8. Will the iPhone support Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents?
9. Will you be able to use your iPhone as a modem for your laptop?
10. Will the iPhone scratch or peel?
11. Will the iPhone be called the iPhone?
12. Will people hate the on-screen iPhone keyboard experience?
13. Can you use the iPhone to make VoIP calls?
14. Will people accept iPhone’s slow Internet connection?
15. Will third-party software vendors be able to create applications for the iPhone? If not, why not? If so, what are they?
16. Will iPhone’s single-carrier model wreck the product for most users?
17. Will there be any way to wirelessly share files with the iPhone?
18. Will the iPhone kill sales of iPods?
19. Will Apple be able to fill iPhone orders accurately?
20. Will the iPhone really “change the world?”

Elgan writes, “The iPhone vision Jobs unveiled was bold, risky, and amazing. Now we can only wait and see what Silicon Valley’s master magician really has up his sleeve. If Jobs and Apple can produce the right answers to these 20 questions, they’ll make a believer out of me.”

Full article here.

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FUD Alert: Analyst – I am pretty skeptical Apple’s iPhone can succeed – January 11, 2007
The Register’s Ray: Apple ‘iPhone’ will fail – December 26, 2006
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CNET editor Kanellos: ‘Apple iPhone will largely fail’ – December 07, 2006
Palm CEO laughs off Apple ‘iPhone’ threat – November 20, 2006

43 Comments

  1. a lot of these answers are there. you just have to use your BRAIN.

    1. $499/4 GB, $599/8 GB. or was this referring to the Cingular plan?
    2. THERE WILL BE NO UNLOCKED IPHONE.
    3. ???
    4. ???
    5. he meant it runs a form of Mac OS X. not the same as what’s on your desktop, but a derivative of it.
    6. (i’m a Mac user. ask me if i care ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />
    7. why not?
    8. NO…it’s not a laptop. it’s a PHONE.
    9. ???
    10. probably no more than existing phones. take care of it.
    11. wait and see.
    12. well, you’ll have to wait until after June for this one!
    13. not when it’s introduced. maybe never.
    14. you’ll have to wait until after June.
    15. not when it’s introduced. i think one would have to partner with Apple to have the application created, tested and distributed through iTS.
    16. you’ll have to wait until after June.
    17. NO.
    18. not likely.
    19. you’ll have to wait until after June.
    20. you’ll have to wait until after June.

  2. This is one of those slightly more subtle FUD articles which raises question every one of which could be constued as a negative.

    I wonder how many of these same questions can be answered for the other smart mobiles?

    John

  3. 1. How much will it cost to own an iPhone
    If you have the money to purchase the iPhone, then I don’t think you will care on the cost.
    2. What will be the “unlocked” iPhone price?
    Apple never said anything about an unlocked iPhone.
    3. How much will it cost to replace a lost or damaged iPhone?
    Forget this one. no answer.
    4. How fast is the iPhone?
    As fast as your phone you have now.
    5. What did Jobs mean when he said the “iPhone runs OS X”?
    Just that it runs on OS X. get it.
    6. How well will the iPhone sync with Windows applications?
    Who needs Windows apps.
    7. Will businesses be able to use the iPhone?
    Yes why not.
    8. Will the iPhone support Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents?
    Again same Windows crap question.
    9. Will you be able to use your iPhone as a modem for your laptop?
    Do you still use a modem…get a life
    10. Will the iPhone scratch or peel?
    will your car scratch?
    11. Will the iPhone be called the iPhone?
    Just could be called the iFone.
    12. Will people hate the on-screen iPhone keyboard experience?
    No
    13. Can you use the iPhone to make VoIP calls?
    Anything can and will be.
    14. Will people accept iPhone’s slow Internet connection?
    No and No
    15. Will third-party software vendors be able to create applications for the iPhone? If not, why not? If so, what are they?
    It will do everything and have everything, who will need third-party apps.
    16. Will iPhone’s single-carrier model wreck the product for most users?
    No and No
    17. Will there be any way to wirelessly share files with the iPhone?
    Most likely yes.
    18. Will the iPhone kill sales of iPods?
    No not at all.
    19. Will Apple be able to fill iPhone orders accurately?
    Only if Apple is using Mac’s. and not Windows.
    20. Will the iPhone really “change the world?”
    I think it has already done that.

  4. Some of these are easy…some remain to be seen.

    1. How much will it cost to own an iPhone? Less than it does to own a Treo or comparable level phone

    2. What will be the “unlocked” iPhone price? Close to the present price..so close it won’t matter

    3. How much will it cost to replace a lost or damaged iPhone? Unclear but clearly less than a new one

    4. How fast is the iPhone? Not very fast on the Edge network…fast enough using Wi-Fi

    5. What did Jobs mean when he said the “iPhone runs OS X”? It’s a limited version of the OS but one that can clearly be expanded as necessary

    6. How well will the iPhone sync with Windows applications? It likely won’t

    7. Will businesses be able to use the iPhone? Sure…but with limitations

    8. Will the iPhone support Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents? Why would you want it to? You want to look at a full Excel spreadsheet on your cellphone? Buy a laptop for gods sake.

    9. Will you be able to use your iPhone as a modem for your laptop? No

    10. Will the iPhone scratch or peel? No

    11. Will the iPhone be called the iPhone? Yes…the Cisco thing will blow over.

    12. Will people hate the on-screen iPhone keyboard experience? Probably…but like many things they will either get used to it..OR because it’s software it will be updated and improved. Try that with your Treo keyboard.
    13. Can you use the iPhone to make VoIP calls? Unclear but I’d say no

    14. Will people accept iPhone’s slow Internet connection? For some things yes… it depends on how much time they have and how vital the information is to them….for some things and people…clearly no.

    15. Will third-party software vendors be able to create applications for the iPhone? If not, why not? If so, what are they? Not at first…It creates too much of a technical support issue for Apple. Maybe in a year or two after launch.

    16. Will iPhone’s single-carrier model wreck the product for most users? No..Cingular may be crappy in some regards and in some areas…but things change..
    17. Will there be any way to wirelessly share files with the iPhone? Probably..email works and since you can use a browser it will likely be capable of letting you use something like Pando or other file sharing services.
    18. Will the iPhone kill sales of iPods? Ain’t no way. The price, storage, and feature set all differentiate it.
    19. Will Apple be able to fill iPhone orders accurately? Probably based on the reports of 12 million units being ordered from FoxConn. Gen 1 of the iPhone is already being put together to be shipped instantly
    when the floodgates open.
    20. Will the iPhone really “change the world?” It already has. Ask Palm, Treo, Microsoft, Samsung, Sony, or RIM…they collectively dropped their jaws on this one.

  5. here’s twenty more desperately unanswered questions:

    21. will it get hot after using it for extended periods?
    22. will it make all other phones obsolete?
    23. if i tried to fold it in half and broke it, would Apple replace it for free?
    24. can it squirt songs to my Zune and back?
    25. can it squirt addresses wirelessly to other users?
    26. can i watch my satellite TV on it?
    27. if you lick the back of it, will it stick to your forehead?
    28. will using it give me cancer in my brain?
    29. can i get that in cornflower blue?
    30. if it could chuck wood, how much wood would it chuck?
    31. how does it taste with barbecue sauce?
    32. does it send text messages?
    33. will it work on the Space Shuttle?
    W. if i hit it repeatedly with a tire iron, would it damage the screen?
    35. will it still work if it’s raining?
    36. could you, would you, on a plane?
    37. pants?
    moof. what if i didn’t cut my nails for a few weeks, could i still use it?
    40. what time’s dinner?

  6. could they make a mini app which could use the iphone as a remote control for keynote or powerpoint presentations. that would be something. cause it has bluetooth. would b easy to make and very cool for students like me…

  7. “9. Will you be able to use your iPhone as a modem for your laptop? No”

    Is has BlueTooth – remember the earpiece – so assume yes.

    “8. Will the iPhone support Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents?”
    Wait for the next version of iWork with MacOS and iPhone versions in the box.

    “18. Will the iPhone kill sales of iPods?”
    It might cause delays for some people who might otherwise get a video iPod.

    Unlocked phone and applications? The customer ALWAYS will find a way – they put Linux on an iPod.

  8. “could they make a mini app which could use the iphone as a remote control for keynote or powerpoint presentations. that would be something. cause it has bluetooth. would b easy to make and very cool for students like me…”

    You can already do this with pretty much every blutooth phone on the market already.

    I use the Salling Clicker software with my SonyEricsson phone and my Powerbook.

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