Sure enough, Apple announced this morning a 3G iphone device with GPS, at a very low price. I am a little surprised at the device. It is aimed at exactly the same market as the existing iPhone.
Given that they had to announce the capabilities of the next iteration of the iPhone so that developers would know the limitations of the device and the API they would be programming to, this conference did what was expected.
However, this isn't a good enough device to fight off their two main competitors in the Enterprise market which they are targeting, RIM and Google. The hard keyboard of both the Blackberry and Android devices is a killer feature. I believe that Apple have another device up their sleeve, to be announced. This device will have a smaller screen, the same internal hardware but will have a hard keyboard so that it can compete in the same market as Google and RIM. Apple would be keeping this device under wraps as long as possible, they only did what they had to do this morning.
Comment by destined, on 10-Jun-2008 17:24
Nope. Apple have purposly stayed away from the physical keyboard, and it is an attraction for lots of people. Steve Jobs talked in the keynote of being able to swap languages on the fly with the iPhone, "which is something you can't do with a physical keyboard"
Comment by Dratsab, on 10-Jun-2008 18:06
I'm not convinced. I think the iPhone has 2 "killer app" features - the size of its' screen and it's capacity.
To me it seems the Touch has wowed a lot of people with its' features and I believe Apple will be banking on this wow factor to sell the new iPhone, which is perceived by many people as a Touch with phone capabilities.
The new iPhone also has a capped price which signals an intent by Apple to gain market share, not through underselling the value, but to gain profit through sheer volume of sales. The logical flip-side to volume for Apple is less volume for Nokia and Rim meaning they sell less units, meaning more innovation and price capping to match to regain/retain customers.
I see the whole thing as a consumer win-win.
However, I think you're right on the money with Apple having something else up their sleeve - time will tell what it is...
Comment by amanzi, on 10-Jun-2008 21:25
You've missed the whole point of announcing the iPhone 3G - the key thing from Apple's perspective is the SDK which will allow developers to write apps for the iPhone and then distribute them through the AppStore. This IS the next big platform. Apple needed to add 3G and GPS for two main reasons - the first is that these are features that users have been requesting; but the second reason is that developers will be able to make some cool apps that take advantage of the 3G speeds and the geo-location features. The iPhone looks just like any of Apple's other consumer products, but this one is completely different from Apple's perspecitve. To Apple, the iPhone is all about the developers - this is truly going to be game-changing.
And as for the keyboard... this will probably only be an issue for teenagers that want to send text-messages with their eyes closed. Anyone else who has give the soft keyboard a chance will end up loving it. Even Blackberry are releasing a model that mimics the iPhone, it's called the Blackberry Thunder.