Don't be jealous, I'm not talking of myself but I imagine what thousands of ecstatic Apple affiniados must have screamed right after their purchase !
Once again Apple has been a master at creating an unbelievable hype for its new supposed revolutionnary multi-function device, the iPhone. In some places, lines had already formed several days before the official launch (yesterday friday 6PM).
At 10AM friday morning there were already 200 people queuing up at the Cube in NYC and pity I wasn't there ! Steve Wozniak himself was #1 in the line of an Apple Store in California (he didn't came first but the top position was offered to him as an honor by the other customers !).
Let's admit it, for the near future the iPhone truly carries all attributes of a luxury personnal accessory, exactly as a nice brand watch : high quality, exclusivity, and a very strong image ! Anyone calling from an iPhone over the weeks will definetly be highly "in" !
But for many people who purchased it yesterday it wasn't for the fashion but just to make a quick buck ! Indeed, it didn't take long for the iPhone to hit eBay. By 11 a.m. Eastern on Saturday, eBay reported that 370 iPhones had been sold at the site for an average price of $964.94 (USAToday report).
What's more, it even wasn't necessary to buy an iPhone to make money ! Some who had taken good positions in the waiting queues were selling them ! In New York, spot #17 was sold for $400 !
On the right side a picture of Greg Packer who as become famous as being the #1 at the NY Cube Store. He had arrived one week before ! One must be seriously troubled to wait a whole week for an electronic device ! How smart does Greg looks on this picture don't you think ?
Back to the iPhone itself, I guess I will purchase one as soon as it lands in France, though it's an expensive device. Not all consumers can afford this $499 or $599 handset with a mandatory 2 year ATT contract starting at $60/month. But I'm not too price sensitive when it comes to buying great and beautiful products. Beauty has a price and I'm ready to pay the hefty premium to get this sleek fashion beauty.
However, you can bet that Apple will progressively reduce the price and enhance functionalities (this device got to be 3G) and it will then reach a much larger audience. I'm more convinced than ever that in 5 years time Apple will sell dozens of millions of iPhone every year. Not only does this ultrac-chic widescreen multi-purpose cellphone incoporate tons of functionalities, but it also has so much technology and so many innovations imbedded that it has to be a winner, it's just a question of price points.
Just one little thing though. At today $499 and $599, the iPhone is no competition for the $349 80Go iPod. But when the price of the iPhone comes down to $349 in 2 years time, I'm not sure there will be much room left for high-end iPods. In other words, the iPhone will most probably cannibalize the high-end of the iPod market (no fear for sub $149 MP3 players). But as I wrote many times in the past, this is inevitable as these once different markets collide into one another (note that my August '06 prediction was right and the stock price sky-rocketted with the January announcement of the iPhone).
If I had to find an excuse not to buy the iPhone I would first mention the absence of a true physical keyboard to type emails (that's my main usage with the Tréo 680). But apparently this is a non issue as Walter Mossberg's review puts it.