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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The iPhone Mania

Smartphones are now becoming not just the teens or corporate executive companions. They are becoming objects of possession and the latest and sleekest always tops the list of great to show category. A phone from Apple is indeed an excellent add to the list. David Pogue has an excellent coverage on the iPhone.

It feels amazing in your hand. Not like an iPod, not like a Treo — but something new. It’s so thin, and the rounded stainless-steel edges are so smooth, you can excuse its larger-than-Treo façade. When you’re on a call, it’s so cool how the screen turns off to save power, thanks to its proximity sensor.
* You operate the iPhone with your fingertips. Apart from buttons that appear on the touch screen, the only physical buttons are volume up/down, ringer on/off, sleep/wake and a Home button

So what exactly is the iPone: Weighing less than a half –inch thin – the IPhone is slimmer than almost every other phone on the market. It comes with a built-in, 2-megapixel digital camera, as well as a slot for headphones and a SIM card. Add to the attraction, the phone automatically synchs the user’s media - movies, music, photos - through iTunes on computers running either Mac OS X or Microsoft’s Windows. The device also synchs e-mail, Web bookmarks and nearly any type of digital content stored on a PC.

The touch-screen-controlled device plays music, surfs the internet and delivers voice mail and e-mail differently than any other cell phone. The phone supports Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless technology and can detect location from Global Positioning System satellites. It also can send and display e-mail and text messages. Apple is partnering with Yahoo on web-based e-mail and Google on maps. It is tempting to demand a few other features to be added in the planned june release to the market:

- A built in video-conferencing with iChat – If this can be done in laptop displayes, easily this can be integrated into the super smart phone.
- GPS integration ( sender side integration)
- Voice recognition
- Third party software/device integration
- Extended battery life
- Flash Memory
- On-the-fly-downloads
- 3G Killer phone

This is a high spend category – I am seeing people are changing their handsets very often with the arrival of smartphones. I see that the Blackberry is now about to become a part of large enteprise but is falling short in terms of third party applications and integration features. If Apple moves in the enterprise space with determination besides catering to teens and fashion conscious people, it is in for a huge success. It is amazing to see the planning and secrecy that was maintained for such a ling time – while involving major partners. Phones are on track to become the largest platform for digital music playback, and Apple needed to make this move to help defend their iPod franchise as well as extend it beyond a dedicated music environment.

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