iPhone 2.0 Game Over? I think not!

26 Apr 2008 - 9:47am
6 years ago
30 replies
5313 reads
SemanticWill
2007

Our good friend on the list, Kontra, recently wrote an article on his blog
called "Who can beat iPhone 2.0,"
http://counternotions.com/2008/03/10/iphone2-competitors/
and he does a fairly good job of pointing out all the things working in
Apple's favor, including:
1. Design
2. Stores
3. Pricing
4. Webkit
5 Depth
6. SDK
7. Enterprise
8. Ecosystem
and Curatorship;

but precious little words are spent with what I consider, being an iPhone
owner, the significant drawbacks which I have briefly mentioned before on
the list - the biggest, most egregious, most heinous one being the lock-in
with one of the worst networks known to man. Coverage is spotty - even in
metropolitan areas like Boston and now DC, and internet access is so
painfully slow that I did some rough benchmarks on sites I regularly visit.
Using the Edge network - sites like IxDA.org, NYTimes, Wired, Slashdot take
-- on average - 15-20 seconds and sometimes as much as 60 seconds to load -
and that is when it loads anything.

Dave M asked me in a response something like "What about WiFi?" and the
answer is - accept in the occasion coffee shop with free wifi, and in my
house - I never get Wifi. Not consistently. So not consistently that it's as
reliable as the Edge network itself - namely completely unreliable.

I would honestly admit that I curse on a regular basis - at least a few
times per week and think about switching and never going back to
iPhone/AT&T.

For me it's a deal killer only assuaged by the afterglow of pride and
coolness I feel from people thinking my phone rocks. But when they ask me if
I am happy, I admit that I am pissed - most of the time.

We must admit that part of the user experience for an internet enabled phone
is the network - the connection and the download time. It's not just the
beautiful design, or the ease of use for things like SMS and email. It'd a
beautiful Ferrari until you realize that it's really a Fiero with a Fiero
engine under the hood.

Someone comes out with a decent, well designed phone (Google?), that
actually is not locked into a terrible network - with high speed 3G network
- and it's game over for the iPhone - but at least we'll all have beautiful
bricks.

--
~ will

"Where you innovate, how you innovate,
and what you innovate are design problems"

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Will Evans | User Experience Architect
tel +1.617.281.1281 || wkevans4 at gmail.com
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Comments

26 Apr 2008 - 12:27pm
Kontra
2007

Will Evans:

> the lock-in with one of the worst networks known to man. Coverage is spotty -
> even in metropolitan areas like Boston and now DC, and internet access is so
> painfully slow

You have two main objections to the AT&T network: coverage and speed.

On a national (U.S.) basis, it's debatable if AT&T's coverage is
measurably and substantially worse than its chief competitor Verizon.
There's a body of *anecdotal* evidence that in many spots around the
country its coverage is better than Verizon's. Unfortunately, we don't
have an objective way of testing such coverage on a national scale. If
the spot(s) you need coverage are badly served by AT&T (or anybody
else for that matter) than naturally it's not the appropriate network
for you.

As for speed, yes, 3G is faster than 2G. And yet people have conducted
tests of a 3G BlackBerry loading web pages more slowly than a 2G
iPhone, with WebKit being faster to load and render. People have been
more than willing to take 2G iPhone over 3G phones as evidenced by the
iPhone's whopping 71% dominance over mobile web usage.

There were lots of legitimate reasons for Apple to start its mobile
adventure with AT&T (GSM, network size, revenue sharing arrangement,
etc). As you may know, Apple said in no uncertain terms that they are
not married to a single-carrier/locked strategy and that they'll
evaluate it on a regional basis. But this is pretty much history at
this point.

What I think you are ignoring is the title of my post: "Who can beat
iPhone 2.0?" It's specifically about iPhone 2.0, not the v1.0 you're
carrying, but the one *with 3G* that you'll be buying in just a few
weeks.

> Someone comes out with a decent, well designed phone (Google?), that actually
> is not locked into a terrible network - with high speed 3G network - and it's
> game over for the iPhone.

Certainly. But as I pointed out in my article, this is easier said
than done. Years after the introduction of the iMac, iPod or iPhone,
for example, the collective PC/CE industry has not actually been able
to equal or surpass the Apple solutions. Notice I said "solutions."
What Apple competitors often sell are "products" and "gadgets." What
Apple sells are well integrated hardware+software+service
solutions/systems. (That's why I listed the 10 factors in iPhone's
favor). It's extremely difficult to compete against that for companies
that don't have their own OS, industry-leading industrial design labs,
three-decade long design culture, willingness to take risks, etc.

There's no guarantee that Apple will win this game, but it's certainly
theirs to lose, as I argue in the article.

--
Kontra
http://counternotions.com

27 Apr 2008 - 8:09pm
Christopher Fahey
2005

On Apr 26, 2008, at 10:47 AM, Will Evans wrote:
> ... precious little words are spent with what I consider, being an
> iPhone
> owner, the significant drawbacks which I have briefly mentioned
> before on
> the list - the biggest, most egregious, most heinous one being the
> lock-in
> with one of the worst networks known to man.

*All* of the wireless networks in America SUCK. A lot.

The difference between how much they each suck is tiny, and for most
people negligible. For every person who claims AT&T is the worst you
will find another person who thinks each of the other carriers are the
worst.

Many techies think they can definitively distinguish the differences
between the networks, and they may be right at some level. But the
difference to the average consumer is (I would guess) largely
meaningless. Which makes switching to AT&T, for many consumers, fairly
easy.

When you have a market in which almost exclusively god-awful companies
are competing with each other (as it is, IMHO, in the health insurance
and cable TV industries, and until recently in the retail banking and
airline industries), the best of them has to be many magnitudes better
than the others to stand out at all. So far, no carrier has come
close, so they all still fall in the general category of SUCK.

In short, AT&T is probably not much of a disadvantage to iPhone.

Cheers,
-Cf

Christopher Fahey
____________________________
Behavior
biz: http://www.behaviordesign.com
me: http://www.graphpaper.com

27 Apr 2008 - 11:22pm
Dave Malouf
2005

Chris, I was about to chime in and say the same thing (just getting
back from vacation). My wife has Verizon and I have At&t (iPhone) and
well I can't tell a diff.

But more important, Will, we are talking iPhone 2.0 where it is 3G w/
GPS to start and the whole thing is just a whole new ball game. The
new additions of an SDK and enterprise connectivity really makes the
play-field very different for most of the WinMo, S60 and Palm
carrying folks out there and many of the RIM folks. The ONLY thing
going for RIM is their cred, their network, and their service. But I
have heard a lot of folks say this isn't "all that" anymore. The
outages are hurting RIM a lot and the lack of decent phones for the
CEOs out there (ahem!) is making it hard for CIOs to justify the RIM
direction much longer.

Again, I'm not sure this is an end-game (is there every such a
thing?) but I think the game is definitely being led by it's Tiger
and Michael (that is Woods and Jordan respectively; and more the
latter, IMHO). Sheer intuition, leadership, creativity, passion,
vision, and chutzpah, wrapped up in a phone. Amen!

-- dave

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=28455

28 Apr 2008 - 12:11am
Kontra
2007

David Malouf:
> Again, I'm not sure this is an end-game (is there every such a thing?

For Apple, absolutely. The company doesn't like to compete at the
margins: they need to dominate their niche by (re)framing the rules of
competition. RIM would like Apple to compete on corporate ties and
email, which is all they've got. (Just as Microsoft would like Apple
to compete on Office.) A smart competitor's not going to do that. It
is much easier to add corporate email to the iPhone than for RIM to
add those 10 factors of strategic and often unique Apple strengths to
the BlackBerry that I described in my article:

"What was displayed by Apple at the March 6 SDK event and the uniquely
competitive factors listed above, however, should overwhelm most if
not all its competitors, to echo General Colin Powell's famous
doctrine of attacking adversaries with overwhelming force to ensure
victory. Apple's arsenal is now the widest and deepest in the
industry."

Who can beat iPhone 2.0?
http://counternotions.com/2008/03/10/iphone2-competitors/

>From physical keyboard to 3G, many people have almost a visceral
reaction to the 'weaknesses' in the iPhone, perceived or otherwise.
And yet it's a testament to the supremacy of integrated/balanced
design that millions of people have in fact purchased the device and
report extreme UX satisfaction with it. I know Will is unhappy with
the lack of 3G, but millions of others are willing to put up with it
just to be able to *enjoy* the rest of the package. If that's isn't
reframing design, I wouldn't know what is. (Until, of course, a bank
CEO who's just written off $20 billion to bad debt enlightens me,
business wise.)

--
Kontra
http://counternotions.com

27 Apr 2008 - 9:49pm
dszuc
2005

Like how Apple/AT&T provide "unlimited data".

If a person has never used web on a phone and the service is patchy
AND the person does not know how much they are paying for - its a
"double disappointment" and there is no incentive to put up with
the bad reception and slow download times.

Also an incentive for business to start designing more mobile
specific user experiences like Facebook have done.

On a positive note - networks will get faster soon :)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=28455

28 Apr 2008 - 12:26pm
SemanticWill
2007

Anyone hear when the fabled 3G phone might actually be in stores?

First I heard last August that we would definitely have it by Feb 08. Then
in Feb '08 they said March '08

latest rumors are that the great black turtle will have one to us "sometime
in '08'"

On Sun, Apr 27, 2008 at 10:49 PM, Daniel Szuc <dszuc at apogeehk.com> wrote:

> Like how Apple/AT&T provide "unlimited data".
>
> If a person has never used web on a phone and the service is patchy
> AND the person does not know how much they are paying for - its a
> "double disappointment" and there is no incentive to put up with
> the bad reception and slow download times.
>
> Also an incentive for business to start designing more mobile
> specific user experiences like Facebook have done.
>
> On a positive note - networks will get faster soon :)
>
>
> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
> Posted from the new ixda.org
> http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=28455
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

--
~ will

"Where you innovate, how you innovate,
and what you innovate are design problems"

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Will Evans | User Experience Architect
tel +1.617.281.1281 | will at semanticfoundry.com
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

28 Apr 2008 - 2:08pm
Håkan Reis
2006

I have no clue when it will hit the stores. But on a side note. I live in
sweden, have an unlocked iPhone and happen to be on a net with good edge
coverage (telia). This will give me a faster, better and more enjoyable web
experience on edge than any SonyEricsson or Nokia on 3G ore even turbo 3G
that I have had the oppertunity to try. The experience is outstanding, feels
smoother and faster despite the slow connection. So when the 3G version hits
the market it really is game over for a few years ahead.

However,the biggest drawbacks on the iPhone to me is that it's almost
impossible to write on it when you sit on a shaky bus or while walking.
Something I can do with ease with a T9 or full keyboard phone. Also, you
will keep having the lock in (although all the jailbreakers out there are
helping the situation). Another problem is the poor syncing on windows
machines, wheres my windows mail or windows calendar supprt or why not a
native support for google cal, it would be easy to fixa sync client for the
iPhone. pair up with google and you have another killer app besides the map
thing!

Best regars //
--
Håkan Reis
Dotway AB

My blog || http://blog.reis.se
My company || http://dotway.se
Our conference || http://oredev.org - See you in 2008

28 Apr 2008 - 2:15pm
SemanticWill
2007

Did a little research, and the rumors are that:

1. It could come out at June 9th DevCon

2. It has a glossy black case - eerily reminiscent of Darth Vadar's helmet
(is Jobs finally coming out of the closet??)

3. It's thicker - probably because when I pick up my current iPhone, I think
to myself:
"Self: I sure wish this was thicker - and Darth Jobs heard my prayers
whispered in the dark."

4. As Dave M alluded to, it will have some kind of GPS module

5. um.... it will help you save money on car insurance.

- W

On Mon, Apr 28, 2008 at 3:08 PM, Håkan Reis <hakan.reis at dotway.se> wrote:

> I have no clue when it will hit the stores. But on a side note. I live in
> sweden, have an unlocked iPhone and happen to be on a net with good edge
> coverage (telia). This will give me a faster, better and more enjoyable
> web
> experience on edge than any SonyEricsson or Nokia on 3G ore even turbo 3G
> that I have had the oppertunity to try. The experience is outstanding,
> feels
> smoother and faster despite the slow connection. So when the 3G version
> hits
> the market it really is game over for a few years ahead.
>
> However,the biggest drawbacks on the iPhone to me is that it's almost
> impossible to write on it when you sit on a shaky bus or while walking.
> Something I can do with ease with a T9 or full keyboard phone. Also, you
> will keep having the lock in (although all the jailbreakers out there are
> helping the situation). Another problem is the poor syncing on windows
> machines, wheres my windows mail or windows calendar supprt or why not a
> native support for google cal, it would be easy to fixa sync client for
> the
> iPhone. pair up with google and you have another killer app besides the
> map
> thing!
>
> Best regars //
> --
> Håkan Reis
> Dotway AB
>
>

28 Apr 2008 - 7:16pm
dszuc
2005

Two good reads -

Nokia's market leads - http://tinyurl.com/43vylk
The Black Case - http://tinyurl.com/594jhq

rgds,
Danjavascript:checkForm()

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=28455

29 Apr 2008 - 4:50pm
Evan K. Stone
2008

> Anyone hear when the fabled 3G phone might actually be in stores?

June seems like a likely candidate:

http://www.digitimes.com/news/a20080428PB202.html

http://fakesteve.blogspot.com/2008/04/foxconn-leaks-like-sieve.html

...since it coincides with two things:

* Apple's WWDC
* The 1-year anniversary of the v1 iPhone.

But who really knows? It's all pretty much speculation at this point,
but I sure hope it arrives soon... ;)

evan k. stone | sr. ux developer | dragnet solutions, inc.

3 May 2008 - 9:15am
Joe Sokohl
2004

In my case, it absolutely is.

ATT's own coverage map (and we know how "optimistic" these things can
be) shows that they cover very little of Virginia--primarily their
coverage is only along the major highways. As a motorcyclist who
enjoys riding on other-than-major highways, I need coverage in these
more remote places. It's primarily a safety thing--if Bambi decides to
commit suicide by stepping into my path (and probably severely
injuring me in the process), then I need to know that I can contact
emergency responders.

So from a user's needs' perspective, the lock-in with ATT obviates the
iPhone as a choice--and it does engender some level of resentment at
both Apple & U.S. telecos: Apple for choosing ATT instead of Verizon
specifically and for offering the iPhone exclusively to ATT, and
telecos for continuing a Byzantine stranglehold on service
possibilities.

joe
Joe Sokohl
joe at sokohl.com
http://www.sokohl.com/blog
http://www.flickr.com/photos/mojohand
IM: joe at sokohl.com (MSM)
----------------------------
+1-804-873-6964 (mobile)

> Date: Sun, 27 Apr 2008 21:09:22 -0400
> From: Christopher Fahey <chris.fahey at behaviordesign.com>
> Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] iPhone 2.0 Game Over? I think not!
> To: IxDA Discuss <discuss at ixda.org>
> Message-ID: <6AE025C2-BCCD-466E-BB92-C6C37B549764 at behaviordesign.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII; format=flowed; delsp=yes
>
> On Apr 26, 2008, at 10:47 AM, Will Evans wrote:
>> ... precious little words are spent with what I consider, being an
>> iPhone
>> owner, the significant drawbacks which I have briefly mentioned
>> before on
>> the list - the biggest, most egregious, most heinous one being the
>> lock-in
>> with one of the worst networks known to man.
>
> *All* of the wireless networks in America SUCK. A lot.
>
> The difference between how much they each suck is tiny, and for most
> people negligible. For every person who claims AT&T is the worst you
> will find another person who thinks each of the other carriers are the
> worst.
<..snip..>
>
>
> In short, AT&T is probably not much of a disadvantage to iPhone.
>
> Cheers,
> -Cf
>
> Christopher Fahey
> ____________________________
> Behavior
> biz: http://www.behaviordesign.com
> me: http://www.graphpaper.com
>

3 May 2008 - 1:50pm
Dave Malouf
2005

Point of clarification, Sir Joe.
If 911 is your concern. "coverage" is irrelevant. Put the phone on
roam and you can ALWAYS dial 911. In fact, you can take a phone out
of service (like I just did) on any phone and it can ALWAYS dial 911.
When you donate a phone to the police dept. They give it to homeless
people for just this purpose.

As to the rest of your rant. How do you know that Verizon didn't
turn down Apple first?

BTW, AT&T was a good choice for apple b/c this way they can create
one SKEW for the device (GSM-only) and sell it around the world
(except for Korea and Japan). Verizon sucks for not converting to the
GSM standard the way AT&T Wireless did before it was Cingular (Oy! the
history of Telco takeovers). I mean, maybe they could have gone to
T-Mobile. But there are VERY VERY VERY few phones in the US that are
not tied to specific services. I.e. Danger devices(SideKicks) (an
entire platform of devices) work only on T-Mobile.

In the case of the iPhone there are things about the phone that
require changes at the service level if you want to use them (i.e.
visual voicemail: one of my favorite parts of the phone). You can't
simply port that to any carrier b/c it requires infrastructure
changes on the carrier side to make it happen.

Now, to the point, I don't believe that there will ever be a
1-device market in the smartphone world. There are just way too many
considerations in the decision of purchasing these heavily
functionality laden devices.

I do think that iPhone has changed the playing field of expectations
in regards to UI on mobile devices. This is a good thing. :)

-- dave

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=28455

4 May 2008 - 12:37pm
Jared M. Spool
2003

On May 3, 2008, at 11:50 AM, dave malouf wrote:

> How do you know that Verizon didn't
> turn down Apple first?

Verizon *did* turn Apple down. It was Apple's first choice, but they
laughed Jobs out of the boardroom.

When the iPhone was released, Verizon issued a press release saying
that Apple had approached them first and they were proud of not saying
yes because they felt it was a bad deal for both Verizon customers and
shareholders. Their rationale was that the level of service demanded
by Apple was unreasonable. (My understanding was the primary sticking
point was that Apple would activate and service the phones from their
own retail outlet, but I believe Apple was demanding too much money
for each contract.)

Apple had hoped to get the telcos in a bidding war. They approached
several simultaneously. Cingular was the only one that gave them any
attention. It took 18 months to negotiate the deal with Cingular,
partly because AT&T acquired them in the middle and negotiations had
to start over.

[This came from several business articles documenting the iPhone's
development, including one that appeared in Wired a few months back.
I'm currently at 30,000 feet and not online, so I don't have citations
(sorry, Andrei), but you can find the articles amongst my delicious
links -- http://del.icio.us/jmspool -- probably tagged with something
clever like Apple or iPhone. I used them as readings for my Experience
Design Management class for Tufts.]

Jared

Jared M. Spool
User Interface Engineering
510 Turnpike St., Suite 102, North Andover, MA 01845
e: jspool at uie.com p: +1 978 327 5561
http://uie.com Blog: http://uie.com/brainsparks

4 May 2008 - 3:16pm
Kontra
2007

Jared M. Spool:

> Apple had hoped to get the telcos in a bidding war.

Is there any evidence to this at all, beyond mere pundit speculation?

Apple's AT&T partnership is not the result of 'losing' in a telco 'bidding war.'

I'm sure Apple tried many scenarios and talked to many providers.
Heck, they even filed for elaborate MVNO patents. Talking to telcos
isn't the same thing as a bidding war on a finished product. Bidding
war would have likely implied non-GSM *and* GSM phones, inability to
affect things like visual voice mail, iTunes activation, etc. It's
important to note that telco bidding war may be Apple's second (or
perhaps third) round strategy, starting with the next version of the
iPhone.

--
Kontra
http://counternotions.com

4 May 2008 - 3:30pm
Jeff Axup
2006

Regarding the Verizon comment, here is the source:
"At one point, Jobs met with some executives from Verizon, who promptly
turned him down. It was hard to blame them. For years, carriers had charged
customers and suppliers for using and selling services over their
proprietary networks."
http://www.wired.com/gadgets/wireless/magazine/16-02/ff_iphone?currentPage=3

It is probably safe to say that Apple pushed the limits of
telco/manufacturer contractual agreements with this deal. The upside is that
Apple did get to call the shots on a lot of the customer experience and
inter-company functionality. The downside is the network and the 2 year
lock-ins. This is hopefully just a small first step towards an environment
with more flexible telco contracts/networks. It was probably too early to
have a bidding war, since only ATT was smart enough to take the risk of this
type of contract. Next time around it may be different.

-Jeff

On Sun, May 4, 2008 at 1:16 PM, Kontra <counternotions at gmail.com> wrote:

> Jared M. Spool:
>
> > Apple had hoped to get the telcos in a bidding war.
>
> Is there any evidence to this at all, beyond mere pundit speculation?
>
> Apple's AT&T partnership is not the result of 'losing' in a telco 'bidding
> war.'
>
> I'm sure Apple tried many scenarios and talked to many providers.
> Heck, they even filed for elaborate MVNO patents. Talking to telcos
> isn't the same thing as a bidding war on a finished product. Bidding
> war would have likely implied non-GSM *and* GSM phones, inability to
> affect things like visual voice mail, iTunes activation, etc. It's
> important to note that telco bidding war may be Apple's second (or
> perhaps third) round strategy, starting with the next version of the
> iPhone.
>
> --
> Kontra
> http://counternotions.com
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

--
Thanks,
Jeff
________________________________________________________________________________
Jeff Axup, Ph.D.
Principal Consultant, Mobile Community Design Consulting, San Diego

Research: Mobile Group Research Methods, Social Networks, Group Usability
E-mail: axup <at> userdesign.com
Blog: http://mobilecommunitydesign.com
Moblog: http://memeaddict.blogspot.com

"Designers mine the raw bits of tomorrow. They shape them for the present
day." - Bruce Sterling
________________________________________________________________________________

4 May 2008 - 4:24pm
Jared M. Spool
2003

On May 4, 2008, at 3:16 PM, Kontra wrote:

>> Apple had hoped to get the telcos in a bidding war.
>
> Is there any evidence to this at all, beyond mere pundit speculation?
>
> Apple's AT&T partnership is not the result of 'losing' in a telco
> 'bidding war.'

It seems to be true that Apple approached several of the telcos. All
but Cingular (including, initially AT&T) turned them down almost
immediately, from all reports.

In several reports, it is repeated that Jobs had hoped to get Cingular
to move quicker or find a better deal by playing more than one company
off of each other. But, because they turned him down, he was stuck
with working on Cingular's time schedule.

I don't know if you'd call this 'losing'. I just call it a business
strategy that didn't quite pan out.

And, as we see by the explosive growth of the iPhone market, the
boards of the other telcos are probably questioning their original
decisions.

Jared

4 May 2008 - 5:09pm
Kontra
2007

Jared M. Spool:

> It seems to be true that Apple approached several of the telcos. All but
> Cingular (including, initially AT&T) turned them down almost immediately,
> from all reports.

Even if this were true, it says nothing about what exactly Apple's
business strategy actually was. It could easily have been a 'fact
finding' mission for example, as opposed to a 'bidding war' Apple
wasn't quite prepared to play at the time.

> I don't know if you'd call this 'losing'. I just call it a business
> strategy that didn't quite pan out.

: -) Please see above.

--
Kontra
http://counternotions.com

4 May 2008 - 6:23pm
Jared M. Spool
2003

On May 4, 2008, at 5:09 PM, Kontra wrote:

>> It seems to be true that Apple approached several of the telcos.
>> All but
>> Cingular (including, initially AT&T) turned them down almost
>> immediately,
>> from all reports.
>
> Even if this were true, it says nothing about what exactly Apple's
> business strategy actually was. It could easily have been a 'fact
> finding' mission for example, as opposed to a 'bidding war' Apple
> wasn't quite prepared to play at the time.

I have to admit, I have no idea what we're actually talking about
here. If you could elaborate why we're talking about this, that might
help me.

Jared

4 May 2008 - 7:07pm
Kontra
2007

Jared M. Spool:
> I have to admit, I have no idea what we're actually talking about here. If
> you could elaborate why we're talking about this, that might help me.

>From my POV, strategy of timing and baseline testing.

The reason I objected to the characterization of Apple talking to
Verizon (and presumably others) as a 'bidding war' is that we don't
know why exactly Apple talked to Verizon. (Just as we don't quite know
why MSFT abandoned its pursuit of Yahoo. It may be yet another Ballmer
fumble that we've become accustomed to or a tactical move to depress
Yahoo's price for a later takeover. We don't know.)

But I can appreciate why Apple may have wanted to start conservatively
with the largest carrier in the U.S., and offer a GSM-only,
US-centric, one-carrier, 2G, etc., device. That's the baseline. As a
company that has never before played in the cell phone industry, it
needed market and consumer behavior data. Now it has that.

Multiple carriers -- at the start -- would have enormously complicated
that baseline understanding. Just as, for example, having dorky Java
or random Flash interfaces would have when Apple wanted to establish a
coherent, multi-touch gestural interface that neither offered.

"Bidding war" suggests that Apple had an iPhone that was both GSM
(AT&T) *and* non-GSM (Verizon), and that the company would forego such
highly appreciated UX features like visual voice mail or iTunes
activation, which carriers didn't offer and thus had to be built.

By way of relevance, baseline testing is often very difficult for
designers to pull off. They often 'test' for way too many
(interdependent) variables *simultaneously* to extract any useful
meaning: there's no baseline. As in, did Apple's multi-touch gestural
interface fail because Apple did an inadequate design job or because
the presence of Java and Flash corrupted the baseline understanding?

--
Kontra
http://counternotions.com

4 May 2008 - 5:35pm
Joe Sokohl
2004

No worries--and my note wasn't a rant, of course.

My connectivity needs go beyond just 911--but you are right, sir. And
that's actually one of the wonders of telecom now. I'm quite pleased
with that aspect.

As a motorcyclist, though, I want to be able to call for a tow if I
get a flat and don't want to fix it...or if I'm in a wreck that
doesn't call for 911. Too, I want to be in touch while I ride--my wife
would like to know I'm ok. So coverage is critical. If the company
can't or won't build the towers to cover where I really need covering,
then I won't choose that company. Sometimes companies try to build
towers but meet with community resistance (for whatever real or
imagined reason). Other times, companies simply decide that revenue in
area A doesn't warrant investment. No worries--I understand. But I
still need to choose coverage area as a more important reason for
choice that device features.

The fact that VERY VERY VERY few phones in the US aren't tied to
specific services is, well, a fact. Doesn't make it a good thing, and
it certainly degrades user experience, but I agree with you--the US
has simply not caught up with the rest of the world.

When we do, I will jump at an iPhone (and, no, I don't wanna hack
one). I want one, I'd love to have one, but the ATT/Apple biz
decisions have compelled me to avoid one for now.

joe

> Date: Sat, 3 May 2008 11:50:31
> From: dave malouf <dave at ixda.org>
> Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] iPhone 2.0 Game Over? I think not!
> To: discuss at ixda.org
> Message-ID: <20080503185031.C2FF0CC724 at otto.dreamhost.com>
>
> Point of clarification, Sir Joe.
> If 911 is your concern. "coverage" is irrelevant. Put the phone on
> roam and you can ALWAYS dial 911. In fact, you can take a phone out
> of service (like I just did) on any phone and it can ALWAYS dial 911.
> When you donate a phone to the police dept. They give it to homeless
> people for just this purpose.
>
> As to the rest of your rant. How do you know that Verizon didn't
> turn down Apple first?

5 May 2008 - 8:56am
Todd Warfel
2003

On May 3, 2008, at 10:15 AM, Joe Sokohl wrote:
> Apple for choosing ATT instead of Verizon specifically and for
> offering the iPhone exclusively to ATT, and telecos for continuing a
> Byzantine stranglehold on service possibilities.

As a fellow motorcycle enthusiast, I can sympathize with Joe, but I
for one would never own an iPhone on Verizon—long story of a 1.5 year
incident with their customer service. Yup, it took their customer
service 1.5 years to resolve an issue I had with them. Not to mention
that I cannot have two numbers on the same account that have different
area codes.

Additionally, for all those people who tout Verizon is so much better,
honestly, there's only 1 place I've ever been that I had trouble with
my service—at the in-laws house. And frankly, every carrier has
problems there.

But that's just me. I know a lot of Verizon fans. I know a lot of T-
mobile fans. Admittedly, I know more Verizon fans than T-mobile fans,
but much of that has to do with the location of where the people live
and that they have friends on Verizon to keep their bills down.

Just an observation though, the iPhone being locked down to ATT
doesn't seem to be hurting either one of them that much—I'm seeing the
iPhone pretty much everywhere I go, especially with high school and
college students—tons of them.

Cheers!

Todd Zaki Warfel
President, Design Researcher
Messagefirst | Designing Information. Beautifully.
----------------------------------
Contact Info
Voice: (215) 825-7423
Email: todd at messagefirst.com
AIM: twarfel at mac.com
Blog: http://toddwarfel.com
Twitter: zakiwarfel
----------------------------------
In theory, theory and practice are the same.
In practice, they are not.

5 May 2008 - 9:01am
Todd Warfel
2003

On May 4, 2008, at 8:07 PM, Kontra wrote:

> The reason I objected to the characterization of Apple talking to
> Verizon (and presumably others) as a 'bidding war' is that we don't
> know why exactly Apple talked to Verizon.

Exactly? Well, nobody but Jobs and God probably know that. But I don't
really think it's important to know exactly why. The point is that
Jobs and Apple were talking to a number of telcos—duh. It's only smart
business to talk to a couple of the top-tier providers in order to
make sure you give yourself the best opportunity and have a plan B.

Verizon is the largest network out there, or at least was at the time.
I don't think you have to technically know "exactly why" Jobs decided
to talk to Verizon. I think anyone with a pulse can figure that one out.

Cheers!

Todd Zaki Warfel
President, Design Researcher
Messagefirst | Designing Information. Beautifully.
----------------------------------
Contact Info
Voice: (215) 825-7423
Email: todd at messagefirst.com
AIM: twarfel at mac.com
Blog: http://toddwarfel.com
Twitter: zakiwarfel
----------------------------------
In theory, theory and practice are the same.
In practice, they are not.

5 May 2008 - 9:04am
Todd Warfel
2003

On May 4, 2008, at 6:35 PM, Joe Sokohl wrote:

> I want to be able to call for a tow if I get a flat and don't want
> to fix it...or if I'm in a wreck that doesn't call for 911. Too, I
> want to be in touch while I ride--my wife would like to know I'm ok.
> So coverage is critical. If the company can't or won't build the
> towers to cover where I really need covering, then I won't choose
> that company.

And while 911 might work, I would bet that a quick poll of "normal"
cell phone customers don't really get that 911 will work if you're not
in a "coverage" zone. The primary concern most of the friends and
family I have for choosing Verizon is that they believe the Verizon
commercials when they say they have the biggest network w/the most
coverage. "It's the network."

For me personally, it's the "whole package" not just the network. But
again, that's just me.

Cheers!

Todd Zaki Warfel
President, Design Researcher
Messagefirst | Designing Information. Beautifully.
----------------------------------
Contact Info
Voice: (215) 825-7423
Email: todd at messagefirst.com
AIM: twarfel at mac.com
Blog: http://toddwarfel.com
Twitter: zakiwarfel
----------------------------------
In theory, theory and practice are the same.
In practice, they are not.

6 May 2008 - 2:39am
AJ Kock
2007

> I'm seeing the  
> iPhone pretty much everywhere I go, especially with high school and  
> college students—tons of them.
>

This might be because younger people use their mobile phones
differently; text messaging, chat, music and photos. Business people
will more likely use their phones for voice communication with the
office or clients. Loosing a connection with the network will be a far
more "visible" and "problematic" for business people than it would be
for the youth.

This might explain why you see a lot of high school and college
students with iPhones. Connectivity is not the deciding factor in
their choice of phone.

6 May 2008 - 6:58am
Todd Warfel
2003

On May 6, 2008, at 3:39 AM, AJKock wrote:

> This might explain why you see a lot of high school and college
> students with iPhones. Connectivity is not the deciding factor in
> their choice of phone.

Actually, I don't think that's the reason. Apple is the "cool" product
to have. High school and College students are much more into what's
cool (e.g. Hollister). And their loyalty to Apple is pretty solid.
Cramer recently commented on this in an interview—his kid and all
their friends "have to have" Apple products and won't even consider a
Dell.

A few years ago a computer=Dell. Now a computer=Apple to this crowd.

Cheers!

Todd Zaki Warfel
President, Design Researcher
Messagefirst | Designing Information. Beautifully.
----------------------------------
Contact Info
Voice: (215) 825-7423
Email: todd at messagefirst.com
AIM: twarfel at mac.com
Blog: http://toddwarfel.com
Twitter: zakiwarfel
----------------------------------
In theory, theory and practice are the same.
In practice, they are not.

6 May 2008 - 10:27am
Jared M. Spool
2003

On May 6, 2008, at 2:39 AM, AJKock wrote:

> Loosing a connection with the network will be a far
> more "visible" and "problematic" for business people than it would be
> for the youth.
>
> This might explain why you see a lot of high school and college
> students with iPhones. Connectivity is not the deciding factor in
> their choice of phone.

One of my friends is a big-wig Boston VC. The other night at dinner,
he whipped out his Blackberry and I said, "What? No iPhone for you?"
His response was, "No way. I'm a VC. Having a phone without a
replaceable battery is the kiss of death."

One of my Google friends told me that corporate wouldn't let them have
iPhones because they weren't as secure as a Blackberry. They went on
to tell me that the Blackberry has a feature that allows corporate IT
to immediately erase all data remotely, in case the phone is lost or
"acquired". Without that feature, any other phone was not on the
official list.

Apparently, the experience of using a phone is much broader than just
connectivity.

Jared

Jared M. Spool
User Interface Engineering
510 Turnpike St., Suite 102, North Andover, MA 01845
e: jspool at uie.com p: +1 978 327 5561
http://uie.com Blog: http://uie.com/brainsparks

6 May 2008 - 11:38am
Brandon E.B. Ward
2008

A friend of mine worked at Indiana University's computer store a few years ago when the blueberry, orange, lime etc. iBooks had just come out.

All of the new freshman girls w/ their BMWs and Escalades would walk w/ daddy into the store and exclaim "Oh! It's soooo cute! I have to have that one daddy!"

My friend would ask them "Have you ever used a Mac before? Do you understand that this is a totally different operating system than you're used to and you're going to have to buy all new software? You do realize that IU's network is Windows-based and you may find it a bit more difficult to connect to the school systems and ..." But it all fell on deaf ears. They had to have THIS one because it was "...sooooo cute!"

As a Mac fan-boy, it made me laugh, and I thought - well, at least we're winning new users in all sorts of ways.

But as a computer geek, I find that basing the purchase of such an expensive and important piece of machinery simply because you like the aesthetic or even 'cause you think it makes you look cool, very disturbing. I guess in general though I find any action based on social pressure or posture disturbing, sad and, frankly, evil.

B

On 5/6/08 4:58 AM, "Todd Zaki Warfel" <lists at toddwarfel.com> wrote:

Actually, I don't think that's the reason. Apple is the "cool" product
to have. High school and College students are much more into what's
cool (e.g. Hollister).

6 May 2008 - 12:07pm
Matt Attaway
2004

I imagine students are jazzed to have a decent browser for surfing
Facebook while in class. iPhones are definitely status symbols, but
there is a lot of utility there, especially for folks who are into
social networking. It's texting interface is also really great,
although it's impossible to text without looking at the device.

> I guess in general though I find any action based on social
> pressure or posture disturbing, sad and, frankly, evil.

We all do it. I suspect you wore something that looks
"professional" today to work. While personally I think ties are
evil, were I in a different industry I would have to wear one to fit
in. We're only human; social pressure and posturing are wired into
us.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=28455

6 May 2008 - 10:49pm
dszuc
2005

" But it all fell on deaf ears. They had to have THIS one because it
was "...sooooo cute!"

I think the same can be said for Green Cars -
http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2008/05/06/1209839641955.html

rgds,
Dan

--
Daniel Szuc
Principal Usability Consultant
Apogee Usability Asia Ltd
www.apogeehk.com
Usability in Asia

The Usability Kit - www.theusabilitykit.com

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=28455

23 May 2008 - 1:32pm
SemanticWill
2007

IPhone 2.0 To Incorporate Photo Geotagging: http://tinyurl.com/4tq53l

On Sat, May 3, 2008 at 10:15 AM, Joe Sokohl <joe at sokohl.com> wrote:

> In my case, it absolutely is.
>
> ATT's own coverage map (and we know how "optimistic" these things can be)
> shows that they cover very little of Virginia--primarily their coverage is
> only along the major highways. As a motorcyclist who enjoys riding on
> other-than-major highways, I need coverage in these more remote places. It's
> primarily a safety thing--if Bambi decides to commit suicide by stepping
> into my path (and probably severely injuring me in the process), then I need
> to know that I can contact emergency responders.
>
> So from a user's needs' perspective, the lock-in with ATT obviates the
> iPhone as a choice--and it does engender some level of resentment at both
> Apple & U.S. telecos: Apple for choosing ATT instead of Verizon specifically
> and for offering the iPhone exclusively to ATT, and telecos for continuing a
> Byzantine stranglehold on service possibilities.
>
> joe
> Joe Sokohl
> joe at sokohl.com
> http://www.sokohl.com/blog
> http://www.flickr.com/photos/mojohand
> IM: joe at sokohl.com (MSM)
> ----------------------------
> +1-804-873-6964 (mobile)
>
>
--
~ will

"Where you innovate, how you innovate,
and what you innovate are design problems"

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Will Evans | User Experience Architect
tel +1.617.281.1281 | will at semanticfoundry.com
twitter: https://twitter.com/semanticwill
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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