CE manufacturers realize that Apple is their new worst nightmare

“If you haven’t watched the full keynote speech from Macworld—you know, the one where Steve Jobs introduced to the iPhone—you owe it to yourself to do so. Even if you’re not an Apple or Jobs fan, what he discussed has broader implications for the future of mobile media delivery than you’d think,” Damien Stolarz reports for Streamingmedia.

MacDailyNews Note: Watch Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ Macworld Conference & Expo 2007 keynote here.

Stolarz reports, “Apple’s entrance into the mobile phone market was very well planned. Two years in development, the product approach is right out of the Apple playbook: control the software, control the hardware, and even add value to the network (their ‘visual voicemail’ collaboration with Cingular allows random access to voicemails, abandoning a primitive 20th-century ritual involving the 7 and 9 keys).”

Stolarz reports, “The phone is entirely touch screen-based, has only a single button to go ‘home,’ and embodies the style and minimalist design you’d expect from Apple. It has a ‘multi-touch’ interface, where you can use both fingers to ‘squeeze’ pictures to grow or shrink them, a feature that will either be considered cute or revolutionary; the jury is still out until the general public can get their hands on the phones… iPhone runs OS X (I didn’t expect iPods to run OS X until a few versions from now), and going 100% touch screen without even a QWERTY keyboard is pretty bold (we’ll all have to see how easy it is to punch in letters on that thing).”

MacDailyNews Note: The Chicago Sun-Times’ Andy Ihnatko – who has used the Apple iPhone – reports, “I think the iPhone’s virtual keyboard is a huge improvement over the mechanical thumbpads found on the Treo and any other smart phones of its size… After 30 seconds, I was already typing faster with the iPhone than I ever have with any other phone.”

Stolarz continues, “CE manufacturers now realize that Apple is their new worst nightmare, the sleeping giant who can rumble in several years late to the party, look around, and drop an atom bomb on the market segment… Smartphone manufacturers are flattering themselves by thinking that Apple is competing with them. Apple is competing with phones, period.”

Full article here.

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  1. It’s going to be the 2nd or 3rd generation of the iPhone that really gains market share. The Edge Network is too slow and even during the keynote you could see Steve attempt to gloss over the slow page loading. For many…it won’t matter that much…but for those who are velocitized by conventional web use with broadband…it will feel like a painful step backwards… until the newer faster iPhones arrive.

  2. I’m tired of hearing people say that it’ll be difficult to type on the virtual keyboard. Have you tried typing on a Palm Treo? Or doing the 111 thing to type in the letter c on a razr phone? I don’t think it will be more difficult than either of those.

  3. Velocitized–nice word! I can see that being a problem, but I think that the general ease of use and the coolness factor of multi-touch will more than make up for it, especially for unvelocitized users or those for whom Web access isn’t as important as general phone use or great music integration.

  4. Phones?
    If the iPhone (or whatever) is just competing with “phones” then the battle is already ‘lost’ and Apple should fold up its tent and slip away into the night. It has also been demonstrated that it’s a decent – if over-priced – iPod. And that it’s at least partly a tiny Mac. And that it’s … wait, no, they haven’t shown that it plays video-games … not yet.

    It needs to be a pretty decent cell-phone as well as being a passable iPod, a passable Mac, and a couple other things or its sales will spike and then plummet.

    DLMeyer – the Voice of G.L.Horton’s Stage Page

  5. My son just got back from Iraq for 15 days or R&R and we just finished watching the iPhone portion of the keynote.
    It was fun to watch his amazement in reaction to the demonstration of features of the iPhone as Steve presented the next revolution.
    Just as every other person I’ve showed that portion of the keynote to, his first reaction was “I want one”.

    This will be a great product and new market for Apple to dominate… but I think I’m going to wait for 3G and more storage before I drop that kind of cash on a phone… maybe Christmas of ’07?

  6. One other big advantage of the touch-screen keypad: localized keyboards should be easy to implement. I use Dvorak, for example, and it will be GREAT to have that keyboard setup represented rather than the stupid QWERTY set that’s stuck on my Treo. I’m sure European and other keyboard users will also appreciate the ability to see the correct keyboard layout on the iPhone.

  7. Business users have no interest in visual voicemail! Why would a business user not want to listen to 5 voicemails in order to listen to the one she is looking for? Why would she want to zero in on the one voicemail and select it, just to save valuable time?

    Why would a business user that is making a phone call want the 12 button phone pad to come up on the screen? Why wouldn’t they just type the phone number in on a tiny QWERTY keyboard for it’s tactile feel?

    The iPhone is obviously not for business users!

    I know no one can tell, but Ballmer is sweating more than usual due to the iPhone.

  8. There is a new wireless broadband communications system being installed in many cities. It’s called WiMax, with a 30 mile wireless range and cell phone-like coverage. It may make all the present networks, GSM, 3G, even Cingular itself, irrelevant. The iPhone is already set up to automatically detect a wireless broadband connection and use that in preference to a cellular signal if available.

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