Friday, November 30, 2007

Just how stupid do you think potential iPhone customers are?

A couple of days ago AT&T's CEO "spilled the beans" about Apple's plans to launch a 3G iPhone in 2008. Apparently, this is terrible for Apple because it will cause potential customers to hold off blowing $400 on an iPhone now and wait for the 3G model.

It seems to me that most potential iPhone customers fall into one of two categories:

First, when I mention to typical Mac or PC users that I recently installed Leopard, the most common response from either group is either: (a) "What's Leopard?" or (b) "Oh, is it out already?" Most people do not keep up with this shit -- they have lives, or at least other interests.

Second, if you're someone who does keep up with this shit, you already knew that Apple was planning to release a 3G iPhone in 2008. How did you know this? Because either (a) Apple is freaking retarded, and yet somehow has managed to release a succession of world-beating products over the last six years or (b) they're developing a 3G iPhone.

So exactly which category of potential iPhone customer will this information give pause to? Well, there are folks in between the two categories of "clued in" and "has better stuff to do with their lives", and that is "idiot fan boys". The question is, just what proportion of iPhone customers fall into that gap?

So going back to the original question -- just how stupid do you (or I) think potential iPhone customers are -- there's one more piece of the puzzle to consider. Who buys someone a cell phone for Christmas?

Oh, and one more thing

Apple does have one trick up its sleeve that its competitors don't. The price it charges for iPhones is not subsidized, so when a new iPhone comes out, folks can just buy it and swap it onto their existing account. This is not the case for the vast majority of cell phones on the (US) market which have totally bogus prices ($99 with a 2 year plan, $299 without it). It follows that Apple can transition users onto new generations of iPhone without waiting for plans to expire, which is, along with a lack of discernable improvements over time, what has killed Motorola's RAZR.