“The blogging world is abuzz at Apple’s new $199 iPhone 3G, with most writers (including Yankee Group) bemoaning the lack of surprises in Steve Jobs Keynote,” Carl Howe blogs for Yankee Group. “But my analysis of the press releases that came out after the event actually produced more surprises than I would have expected, including:”
1. More upfront payments to Apple in exchange for no subscription payments.
2. In-store activation required in the US. Apple pioneered do-it-yourself phone provisioning through iTunes last year. Sadly, ATT has forced Apple to drop this unique feature, now requiring in-store activation of the phone, presumably to ensure that it earns back its iPhone subsidies from subscriptions. This has two significant implications: 1) Apple can no longer sell its phone online through the Apple Store, and 2) anyone waiting in line on July 11 for a phone should expect to wait hours longer as people buying phones each wait 10-12 minutes for in-store activation. This is one of the rare circumstance where Apple has decided to degrade the customer experience to please its carrier partners.
3. Multiple carriers in some countries.
4. iPod touch is poised for a price cut.
5. Apple’s toe dip into running an iPhone NOC.
6. Multi-mode location-based services.
“The seventh and final observation I’ll make is one that was hiding in plain site during the keynote. Steve Jobs dedicated nearly 40 minutes to third-party software demonstrations during the two-hour keynote,” Howe writes. “That’s more time than any other topic received. If there’s one thing we know about Jobs’ keynotes is that he doesn’t waste time on things that are unimportant to users. By dedicating nearly 1/3 of the keynote to third-party applications, Jobs served notice that the Apple iPhone is not just a consumer device, but is Apple’s third big developer platform, following the Mac and the iPod. And while it isn’t yet a third of Apple’s revenue, just wait. It will be — and sooner than you think.”
Full article – highly recommended as usual for Howe – here.