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The Apple iPhone: Critics Miss the Point

Critics find things wrong. That is the nature of critics. If a critic finds something wrong, that shows how smart the critic is. But, with the Apple iPhone, the critics are completely missing the point. The iPhone is a revolutionary approach to the combination of a cell-phone and a music player. That’s why they’re flying off the shelf. Reports are that more than 500 thousand were sold in the first week. Everything else is just carping. Every maker of cell phones, MP3 players, portable media players or any other handheld electronic device is going to have to take the iPhone or its successors into account in planning any future product. The iPhone will act as a catalyst for new phone models and will help drive upgrades.

Here are some of the complaints and the Semico Spin:

· The iPhone is limited to just one carrier.

Semico Spin: What better way to control the ramp-up to full production and to speed up the response to any initial problems.

· The keyboard is allegedly hard to get used to.

Semico Spin: That complaint has been heard about virtually every handheld that has ever been introduced. The users quickly learned to use each keyboard; and, very quickly, the criticisms went away.

· The iPhone is too expensive.

Semico Spin: What would you charge, initially, if you could sell everything you could make as fast as you could make it.

· The data transfer rate is too slow.

True, but the iPhone is not intended to be a road warrior’s tool. It’s a consumer product.

The list of criticisms goes on and on, but the point is that the iPhone is a design tour de force. Apple took the same inputs and outputs and the same functions that everyone else had and repackaged them into a form that is so appealing that it practically sells itself. The critics may not, but the people know something good when they see it. There will be future iPhones which will overcome some of the current limitations. My only criticism is that I don’t have one now.

Contributed by:
Morry Marshall
Partner – Strategic Technologies
Semiconductor Partners LLC

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