A million iPhones and counting…

11 09 2007

iPhone pic It’s a sales statistic most companies would love to shout about. Apple recently announced that it clocked a million sales of its revolutionary iPhone.

That’s a million pieces sold in barely 3 months. Wow!! To put this in perspective, note that Apple took nearly 2 years to sell a million iPods! With the new iPhone price cuts and the holidays around the corner, they could easily sell another 1.5 million by the year end.

Now if only they would release the iPhone in Asia real soon 🙂


Apple all set to launch new iPods today! So will you buy the new iPod or go for the iPhone?

5 09 2007

ipod family

Apple is all set to launch new iPods today. You might think that after the runaway success of the iPhone, why would Apple be interested in the iPod platform anyway? After all, wasn’t the iPhone touted as the best iPod yet? The UI was way slicker than a hardware click wheel AND it’s a phone too.

My view is that this is a very smart move. What would make the new iPods worthwhile of a launch? For one, there are still millions of users who would prefer to stick with their current phone and network and yet be able to have the new UI experience on their iPods. The unique UI and navigation style of the iPhone is a sales magnet. Combine that with the cult status of the iPod and you’re golden.

Most users are still content with carrying two devices – a phone and an iPod. Simply because battery life issues wont haunt them. If I listen to hundreds of songs and watch video on the iPhone daily, how much juice is left for 3 hours of talk time on a daily basis? Keeping the multimedia companion separate as an Ipod solves this vital problem.

Another feature that might be a reality today is Wi-Fi iPods. Allowing users to download content from the iTunes store directly would be an excellent step forward. Since the Microsoft Zune already has wireless digital music capabilities, this seems like a feature Apple wouldn’t want to ignore anymore.

Low pricing for an all new UI experience seems possible going by Apple’s history. They typically launch updated and fresh products at the same rates or even lower ones. So we might see a sub $200 iPod featuring the radical iPhone UI and bumped up hardware specs.

Frankly, the ultimate thing would be if Apple launches an iPod with ALL the features and usability of an iPhone with just the phone module missing. So with wifi, we could see youtube, google maps, browse the web, download and purchase digital music and video, store hours of content and still have a very small form factor besides having great battery life. Phew!

All in all, I do see a lot of possibility in keeping the iPod platform alive and fresh with new announcements despite having the iPhone in the same stable. Let’s wait and watch!

The Gphone – What’s the killer feature??

4 09 2007

Google LogoThe Gphone rumours are going on overdrive. However, there seems to be a high degree of skepticism from the mobile user community on whether this phone will deliver something special. That’s understandable considering that we still have no idea of what that one KILLER feature will be.

Why would I want a Gphone (assuming that’s the final product name)? Rumours suggest it’s Java or Linux based, has the standard productivity apps, mail and browser. Not sure about the multimedia capabilities. Judging by these specs, there’s no REAL reason for anyone to drool or wait in line for a Gphone. With these suggested specs, Google can only hope for the cult status the iPhone achieved within hours of announcing it earlier this year 🙂

The key question is…. what’s that one KILLER feature? Killer features in rival phones in the past have been UIs (iPhone), Push Email (Blackberry), web browsers delivering a near-desktop experience (Symbian Nokia E series), High-resolution digital imaging amongst others. Here’s my point – Even if Gphone packs all these specs, it’s STILL not revolutionary by today’s standards. So what’s their game… pricing? An ultra low cost handset (I smell cheap plastic)? Free talk time and messaging for life?

– Logic says that search could be a powerful feature across all elements of the phone’s UI. After all, search is Google’s forte. But how much search functionality is needed on a phone? How much data does the average mobile user store anyway on a phone or SD card which warrants super fast search and indexing? Most phones help you to quickly locate a contact in the address book by typing a few letters anyway. Same goes for quick dial, calendar entries etc.

– Tight integration with all Google online properties seems to be the next logical killer feature. Out of the box support for Gmail, Gtalk, iGoogle mobile start page, notebook, Google maps/earth, web/local data search, mobile optimised Orkut and Youtube…. you get the picture. The entire Google ecosystem on the phone. That would definitely be worthwhile for a hardcore Google user to migrate to.

– Another possible killer feature could be unlimited free calls and text messages for life! In exchange, Google ads would run on the UI header or would pop up while a call is connecting. Each text message would also have a text link ad at the footer. After all, advertising is what made Google rich. They know how to milk advertising in support for free services. This brings me to another point – privacy. If you are going to have ads on the phone, they need to be targeted. And for that, you need to have all the info on each user, his location, sex, age group and interests. Don’t know how many users would be comfortable with getting profiled for ads.

– The killer feature could even be a hardware one like a wafer thin form factor. A phone so thin, it looks anorexic compared to Motorola’s Razr 2. But the credit for that would go to the phone manufacturing partner which finally works on the project…. not Google. Rumours have suggested this company could be HTC and Samsung.

– If there’s one killer feature I really want from Gphone or any phone right now, it’s SUPER battery life. I’m talking at least 48-72 hours of heavy duty usage including wifi, phone apps, multimedia and voice calls. Now THAT.. i will gladly pay for.

Till then, let’s just enjoy the rumour mongering and await the official Google press releases!