Monthly Archives: June 2007

iPhones STILL IN STOCK: Saturday, June 30

Stores open at 9 AM so if you missed it – every Apple store is still reporting that they are stocked.


According to Apple’s iPhone in-store inventory page, a quick check to every state shows ALL IN STOCK – ALL GREEN for tomorrow June 30, 2007 so while you missed a chance to mingle with Steve or Woz – you can still get an iPhone – well at least at 9:00 AM later today.

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Filed under Apple Mac, Computing, Gadgets, iPhone, Retail

iPhone Online Ordering UP: 6 PM PDT


Just placed my order. Took me only 5 seconds to place the order. Took 8 minutes to get a confirmation back.

If you have an Apple/iTunes account, they’ll take your credit card info from there.

You can also try the 1-800-MY-APPLE number.

They are listing ship times as 2-4 weeks. I’ve ordered other items online with similiar ship times and gotten then in days so it’s hard to tell, Apple likes to under promise & over deliver. If you’re the type who cannot wait, you can check their online page to see if it’s still in-stock tomorrow morning.

Surprise, the front page is loading slower.

Here are some of the accessories they are peddling:


Good luck!

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Filed under Apple Mac, Gadgets, iPhone, Toys

iPod & the Balance of Trade Deficit

The Personal Computing Industry Center (Research Group) decided to take a look inside an iPod to determine where its 451 internal parts are from … according to them 85% of the most valuable parts are from Asia or the U.S. No real big shocker there but it does raise an interesting issue about how the balance of trade as totaled by the government. Since the iPod’s final assembly is from China, does the government actually measure the value only added by China or is China attributed the entire wholesale cost of @$144 USD? And then of course, is the measure of the cost of living and labored factored in? Going by a straight conversion, $144 USD is approximately 1150 Yuan which is just above the “average” GNP per person in China today – well, all 1 billion+ but how granular is our government measuring the trade balance and flow?


The most expensive component according to the study is @$73 for the Toshiba HDD – except that the HDD is manufactured in China – so again, who is credited with the $73 in value? While I’m not an expert in hard drives, I think it’s safe to presume there are patents and further components from the US in there so unlike the early days of trading fruit for lumber, it’s not to easy to measure the real trade deficit or the balance of trade these days. Perhaps we need to be a little more careful in jumping to conclusions when numbers are announced.

It’s also difficult to really measure cost of living – some items like cars are pretty much priced at the world market price, a typical Toyota pretty much converts to $18-$25k USD or about 200,000 Yuan but eating food in most parts of China is incredibly cheap – even in Beijing, I was at a banquet that was overflowing with every kind of meats and seafood for about 17 people that came to about 1,200 Yuan (and no tipping in China!) – there’s no way you can even feed 17 people in the US for about $130 dollars, not even at McDonald’s so how do you really measure the real cost of goods?

Study available as a PDF here.

The NY Times take on the matter.

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Filed under Apple Mac, Gadgets, Music, Retail

iPhone Buying Tips: AT&T In-Store Credit Check & Apple’s Online – iPhone Still In Stock?

What’s the difference between buying it at an AT&T store and at an Apple store?


The AT&T stores will only sell you one and they will run a credit check before selling you the phone – mainly because that way they can track who gets commission on the sale – especially if they load you up on accessories and iTunes cards. Apparently (according to BOY GENIUS REPORT), AT&T will give you a special code to enter to speed up your activation process in iTunes. If you do not pass the credit check, they will tack on a $250 deposit.

I’m not currently an AT&T customer but I’ve heard how the deposit process works is if after a year with no late payments, they return your deposit – however, if you are late a month, that 12-month cycle starts over again. If this might apply to you,you might want to double check.

But presumably, if you have an AT&T account, they won’t need to do the credit check.


No credit check. Buy and go – perhaps you’d like to add a 30″ monitor with your iPhone? (though no hard sell, of course).

Apple stores will allow you to buy two (eBay better fire up some more servers tonight).

And as part of their best-in-class customer service, at the end of every night, they will update their in-store stock checker web page so you can decide if you want to head in. Nice.


Filed under Apple Mac, Computing, Internet, iPhone, Retail

The iPhone: What We Know Now That We Didn’t Last Week


Here is a summary of an avalanche of info from the last few days:


Surprise, the monthly plans are either pretty much what most people are paying for talk + advanced services with other carriers or in some cases even slightly less. This are the basic rate plan choices:


If you need more minutes – there are other plans with all else the same except for daytime minutes: 2000 minutes ($120), 4,000 minutes ($170) & 6,000 minutes ($220).

Family plan pricing is as follows: 700 minutes ($80), 1,400 ($100), 2,100 ($120), 3,000 ($160), 4,000 ($210) & 6,000 ($310).

If you don’t want to be tied in a contract, it looks like you go go with their pre-paid “Go” Plan – see if the math works out for you at their GoPhone page.

You can add more SMS texting because if you reply ‘What Up,’ that’s a message.

Pretty straightforward. If you already are an AT&T customer, it’s $20 to add to your iPhone to whatever plan you have now.

Buy it in the stores (AT&T or Apple) or online (Apple) and take it home, launch iTunes and activation looks like a 10-minute process. Pick a plan, transfer a number, etc, etc … all in this straightforward Apple video.


It seems to be that AT&T stores are closing at 4:00 or 4:30 and re-opening at 6 PM and then closing at 10 PM. Apple stores seem to be closing at 2 PM and re-opening at 6 PM but staying open until midnight. There are some reports some AT&T stores will stay open until midnight also. Okay, we knew this last week but if you want the office store locations for AT&T and of course, where the Apple stores are.


The reviews are in from Walt Mossberg, David Pogue (of the NYT), the USA TODAY & Newsweek.. Another shocker, the phone works pretty much as the original keynote promised and what many “haters” seem to miss about people interested in the iPhone – that we have tried the Treos, Palm’s, Handspring’s, Moto’s, Nokia’s, Samsung’s, RIM’s and MS phones and found them wanting – we want to try something different and this Apple company from Cupertino seems to be able to deliver a better user experience usually – and surprise (well to the haters), the iPhone pretty much delivers on that promise. No one is saying the iPhone is perfect but then, hardly anything is … all the iPhone promises is that it’s better to much better than what we have now … with more & better to follow. And yes, hopefully, this will incite others to get up off their puny screens with idiotic OSes to do much better. Edward Biag of the USA probably has the most apt headline, “Apple’s iPhone isn’t perfect, but it’s worthy of the hype,” or a good quote from Steven Levy of Newsweek for geeks, “The iPhone is the rare convergence device where things actually converge.” (again, not much of a surprise for most Apple product users).


The five reviewers (WSJ had two users) and they all said they carried the iPhone around unprotected for two weeks, no scratches and only DAvid Pogue there were hand-print smudges.


All seem to think it was fine and you get used to it pretty quickly.


On WiFi, they all raved about it. On AT&T’s EDGE, no so much – again, no surprise. Of course, it would be nice to have a DSL-like 3G internet access 24/7 but we also know that would’ve have added to the cost, battery life and monthly plan cost … I’m sure the same people who are complaining about no 3G would then in a parallel universe be whining that Apple should offer an EDGE version that’s cheaper with better battery life as most people can find a WiFi hotspot for free (Panera Bread), WiFi FreeSpot, or GoogleMap Free WiFi.


AOL, Gmail, Yahoo & .Mac (all POP or IMAP) fine – including rich HTML.

(From Walt Mossberg’s review)
“It can also handle corporate email using Microsoft’s Exchange system, if your IT department cooperates by enabling a setting on the server.”

“It can also receive and open Microsoft Word and Excel documents and Adobe PDF files. But it doesn’t allow you to edit or save these files.”

The USA Today IT department wouldn’t flip a switch for their writer – no surprise as noted in our previous blog post 😦


(from USA TODAY review)

“Battery life didn’t prove to be a big problem in my unscientific tests — a mix of calling, surfing, listening and watching. Still, it’s a good idea to charge it overnight. You receive warnings when you have just 20%, 15%, 10% and 5% of power remaining. You can charge the phone in its dock, through the supplied plug or through an iPod accessory.”


David Pogue complains about the quality but I have a 2 megapixel camera currently but I’ve yet to take any photo that is not a smear unlike his top notch photos.


(from USA TODAY review)

“… standard iPod dock connector, but because of possible interference from its wireless radios, it won’t work with all existing iPod accessories. I was able to play music through my Bose SoundDock speaker system. To combat interference, iPhone offered to switch to “airplane mode.” That turns off all radios, meaning you won’t receive any calls.”


In addition to the obvious sync of address book, music, calendars, video, podcasts and photos – you can also sync your Safari bookmarks.


What exactly is the size of the thing? Has ya got a graham cracker? 🙂


(According to

“Also inside the retail box … a stereo headset, dock connector to USB cable, USB power adapter, documentation and cleaning/polishing cloth.”


“second iPhone dock — reportedly dubbed “Dual Dock” — will feature built-in charging stations for both the iPhone and Apple’s $129 Bluetooth headset accessory. People familiar with current pricing data for the iPhone accessories claim the latter dock will fetch $49.”


No voice speed dial, no iPod games and no ringtones (other than the 25 pre-loaded).



“Apple branded equipment is covered by a 14-day return policy and must be returned to the original point of purchase. If the Apple branded equipment is returned unopened and in the original shrink wrapping, it will be refunded back to the original payment method. Opened Apple branded equipment that is returned within 14 days will be subject to a 10% open box restocking fee. All products must be packed in their original, unmarked packaging including any accessories and manuals that shipped with the product.”


Filed under Apple Mac, Computing, Gadgets, iPhone, Marketing, mobile

Online Video: Grabbing & Free Converting With Your Mac

With a few exceptions, most online video sites allow you to download the videos to your desktop. Google Video is the easiest. On the right side, you can choose to download MP4’s by selecting PSP/iPod. YouTube is relatively easy, in Safari, just look for the GET VIDEO/FLV line in WINDOW>ACTIVITY and just double click.* But if you’d rather not have to bother, there are several places online that allow you to type in an url and it will do most of the hard work for including:


Tech Crunch’s YouTube Download

Only works with YouTube but fast and straightforward.

Video Downloader

Just as easy to use but possibly NSFW. While there are no images shown, it does list adult sites that you can also download from so proceed with HR-like caution.


Does list the most sites – did not test them all but many did not work for me. Not sure if it’s a Mac reason but it promises a lot but doesn’t deliver all that much – but it might work better for you.


Now that you have the file, most are in Flash (FLV) format. If you just want it on your desktop, you can download a Flash player, you can add Perian to Quicktime and view them using Quicktime, or use VLC.


This is the video I downloaded from METACAFE.

It’s a typical Flash/FLV video. I tested the download via Safari and via the other services, all worked fine. The video is about :15 seconds long and as a Flash/FLV file – about 565 KB.


There are also several conversion sites online you can use.


Works very fast & offers a dazzling number of formats to convert to – everything from mp4 to even VOB. (they also offer an equally amazing number of text and image file conversions). Then enter an email address. Click okay and they will send you an email when it’s ready. In this case, since the file is pretty tiny to begin, it was already by the time I logged into email.

The resulting file was an mp4 file was not much larger – 688 KB – and very nice in quality.

You can convert directly from an url or as a file from your computer.


And of course, this being the internet, if Zamzar can offer 25 conversions, we can offer 100! And in one way, it’s easier than Zamzar is that you don’t have to wait for an email and your file link, in a few seconds/minutes, Media Convert offers you their DOWNLOAD link on the page. Now, their default setting for mp4 resulted in a fairly low res file (much worse than Zamzar) however, there are some optional settings you can key in – and ultimately, it’s the same quality but you have to do a little more work.

If your goal is to convert video (or audio) for your handheld or phone, I think that is Media Convert’s strength or if you don’t mind having to test out some optional settings before hitting upon an optimal one – Media Convert offers a staggering choices of conversion. For the 4 people in this world who wants to convert a PALM format to REAL AUDIO, your feeble dreams have finally come true 🙂

You can convert directly from an url or as a file from your computer.



Doesn’t offer as many choices as the other two but they are all high res/high quality choices – from Mpeg-2 to Mp4. Again, very simple to use – browse on your desktop for the file (no url grabbing portion – you have to download it yourself), enter your final output choice, enter your email and be notified when it’s ready. They also offer a cool embed “widget” into your site to add value to your site and of course, branding for them.

Enter the YouTube url of file and select a format (about 6 output choices but only YouTube as your web video url input). Very nice looking sparse site – though not exactly a blazing fast conversion – it takes a few minutes to get cranking and then a few times, it just freezes at around the 70% mark. Since it’s free, you can hardly complain and to get out of it, all you need to do is close the window. Files that do work offer quality as good as the original file from YouTube.

Cruxy Mux (an Amazon affiliate)

Is the latest to offer a conversion. It will only convert from an url and only from YouTube or Google Video. It’s pretty fast but the one I tested had audio problems so you can decide if it’s worth your while. It offers to let you enter an url and they will email you when it’s ready and it will post your file as a direct download or as a torrent – interesting.

There are a couple others but if I could not get them to work in Firefox or Safari on my Mac, I did not bother to include them.


While it’s certainly nice to have online access if you need some conversion in a jam and for some reason, you are not at YOUR laptop but why not just convert a FLV file using an app?


Any file you can open with QUICKTIME can be converted using the PRO version but the quality is just not there. I only tested the FLV file listed above but the QT H.264 version was low, low res that was blocky and frankly REAL PLAYER quality – ugh, who needs that.


Once again, it was hard to beat the quality of MPEG Streamclip – keep in mind, it was a typical FLV file on YouTube – a bit murky and blocky to begin with, the converted files from Zamzar & Media Convert were actually nicer than the viewing version at YouTube (but that’s usually true of all YouTube videos) – the MPEG Streamclip was slightly nicer than the online files converted by Zamzar or Media Convert but probably mainly due to my higher-than-average settings in MPEG Streamclip. The MPEG Streamclip file size was larger but when you can buy a 300 GB hard disc drive for $60 dollars now, a few KB here and there is not going to matter much. (If you need a tutorial on MPEG Streamclip, an earlier post).


So, once you have the file in hand, you really can’t go wrong with the ALL FREE online Zamzar, Media Convert or desktop app MPEG Streamclip to convert your FLV file to a couple dozen other formats.

* Safari direct download via ACTIVITY. You do have to look through a jumble of text to decipher the FLV file. In YouTube, GET VIDEO is invariable the name of the video file – the clue is usually that it is the largest file, usually a MB versus the KB of most of the rest of the page. It’s imposing the first time but afterwards, it’s all easy. Double click on the GET VIDEO FLV file, a new blank SAFARI page will open and so will DOWNLOADS – it will start to auto download – the file in question will usually just be GET_VIDEO. When it’s completely downloaded, add .flv as the file suffix and if you loaded PERIAN, open in Quicktime.

Sometimes, when you double click on GET_VIDEO or something something FLV, you will get a SAFARI window that is blank for a few seconds followed by several minutes of “raw code” loading as plain text on your page. Wait for it to complete – might take minutes. Then SAVE AS>PAGE SOURCE. Delete the .txt suffix (a warning box will pop up, yes, I do want to save without .txt) so save it as VideoName.flv and then you have a file to view in QT (with Perian loaded).

If this sounds like too much work, then just navigate to the three sites I listed under DOWNLOAD. Good luck!


Filed under Apple Mac, Computing, Gadgets, Internet, Media

iphone call plans announced by AT&T

So, you wanna juice up dat phat new iphone?  She’s gonna hoover yer wallet for at least $60 bones per month people.

The plan includes voice, unlimited ‘data’ (I’d like to know what they classify as ‘data’), and some new feature which allows users to scroll through their email just like ye olde regular inbox email!

From the venerable WSJ today:  “AT&T is offering new plans specifically for the iPhone, such as $60 for 450 minutes of cellular talk time a month, $80 for 900 minutes a month, and $100 for 1,350 minutes a month. All those plans include access to email and mobile Web services, the visual voicemail service, and the ability to send 200 text messages.”

Want unlimited texting their boychik?  Gonna cost ya another $20 clams a month.

Ready to stand in line this Friday?  Well, here’s a little ditty to keep you company.  Sung to the tune of Roll Out the Barrel (aka the Beer Barrel Polka):

“Roll out the iphones.  We’ll have a barrel of cash.

Roll out the iphones, we’ve got Nokia on the run.

Zing Boom Wifi-ya

Join in a cell plan right here

Now its time to roll out the iphones

For the horde’s all here! (Spoken: Take my wallet away boys)”

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Filed under Apple Mac, Gadgets, iPhone, mobile

Hatin’ the iPhone: When Did the I.T. Department Become the DMV of Corporations?


When did the I.T. Department of most America corporations become the DMV of Technology?

If you really think about, the DMV is supposed to be at our service – much like most government agencies (WE pay their salary) – instead, not only they do not “serve” us, they loathe our very existence – that if it wasn’t for us “bothering” them, they would have a great jobs – and instead of helping us to get something resolved, they create a process and try and make us guess exactly WHAT THEY WANT. Don’t they have that backwards?

Now, I don’t mean to impugn EVERY I.T. department in every corporation in America and perhaps it’s just the last 6 companies I’ve worked for and the the couple hundred incidents I hear from other very senior management people – some low-level manager gets to tell a senior divisional executive VP, “it’s my way or the highway.”

Somewhere from sorting through the magic of selecting technology to make people and corporations more efficient, they have become the DMV of technology. There is a process and if you dislike it, I will simply cut you off and deny you the right to drive on “my” road.

Same with I.T. and their “road.” They are suppose to support marketing and sales to help them make more money or to facilitate the process of making more money but yet, why are decisions made from bottom up – decisions made because they decide what is easier for them and everyone has to follow in step?

Sure, they talk about “security” issues but isn’t everything in corporate America a security issue? Why let people or vehicles out of the building? There’s a greater chance the company truck is going to get into an accident after it leaves the company lot than if it’s parked there.


I was working on a project with a very senior executive VP at a multi-billion company – he runs a division that generates nearly a billion in sales. Since he travels a lot, I thought the best way for him to be hands on during a final phase was for him to video chat but they refused to let him install chat software because “it was unsafe.” Instead I rented a Mac laptop with a camera for several weeks at an extra cost of hundreds of dollars so he could carry that around just because I.T. set “a policy” – and damn if ANYONE, and they mean anyone was going to be different. Never mind that he has an expense account in the tens of thousands and can handshake hundred million dollar deals – but MY GOD, LET HIM INSTALL CHAT software?!!


Is this what runs through their mind?

“Think of all the extra work I might have to do. Several minutes to install and tweak a few settings – you think I’m here to serve you?? Think again! You will take what I dish out and you will like it and not question it!”


Holy crap!

Somewhere along they line, they decided what ever would make their jobs easier was job 1 and who cares about employees who are generating revenue & sales – who cares what they want in terms of technology. Who gets to decide what passes muster in your company? The I.T. guy who just wants less work or someone who actually needs it?

eWeek published a list of “security” issues on the iPhone or really any phone … if you put the word PHOTOCOPIES or LASER PRINTER in front of it, then you realize how imbecilic scared-of-shadows bureaucrats think. By that measure, EVERYONE should go through five biometric log-ins to sit in a room with no printer and 10″ thick metal (and no ventilation system) – otherwise Ethan Hunt might drop through that.


Are there places where security might be an issue, sure but if you don’t work for a three letter agency that flutters you on a regular basis, are these scaremongers hindering your business and making to less productive? (not to mention charging you a million dollars to make themselves look smart – just don’t really think through what they are saying).

At least another eWeek columnist dares to raise the issue that maybe I.T. should join the 21st century … but since most of eWeek’s readers are I.T. guys – he didn’t go too far in saying maybe they ought to do more than just run from new/different technology.

And of course, RoughlyDrafted covers the topic with great technical detail – you know us marketing types, it’s just a bunch of numbers to us, 51% is over 50%, that’s all we care about 🙂

Just to note – we covered this briefly in our “iPhone Answers” post a few days ago.

Hopefully, I.T. will remember who they are supposed to support and not the other way around. FREEDOM! FREEDOM!


Filed under Computing, Gadgets, iPhone, Marketing

Vasectomy, Dementia & Star Wars


And now for something completely different.

Sure, we mostly cover tech, computing and fun stuff but a friend mentioned he had to break his appointment for his big Vasectomy because of some crisis at work so I had to forward him this study linking dementia and vasectomy’s – as I’m not a doctor, I cannot say there’s any validity to it but just in case you need some ammo not to get the big V.

But as in all cases, a Star Wars quote once again proves to be fitting for this situation …



“I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened.”

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Filed under Gadgets, General, Toys, Universe

The iPhone: 1999-2007 & The Final Answers


The iPhone: From rumor conception to the actual keynote announcement to the lead up process & to the actual release next week has been amazing on so many levels. Whether you like, love or hate it that it’s actually coming out next week, it has been an interesting and amazing ride so far. It has inspired to all forms of craziness from a thousand iPhone concept drawings to grown bloggers who cannot resist making a snarky comments while glowering at the iPhone web pages.

So, it’s fitting we take a nostalgic look back at a product that’s not actually out yet – because like everything else about the iPhone – everything about it breaks the rules.

First, believe it or not, Apple actually kicks off the whole trillion-word internet craziness by buying the domain, (which points to you a certain in 1999! FIERCE WIRELESS does a nice timeline.

At that point, Apple never said never but also never said there would be a phone, that never was not much reason for a thousand budding CAD & graphic artists to believe they had the Jonathan Ive like stuff but in 99.99% of the case, um, not so much. PRODUCT DOSE picks the worst 15 (good choices). Or the then ALL CAPS LEAK SPYSHOTS OF POSSIBLE IPHONES … only to actually see the photos/illustrations and realize – uh, no. GIZMODO does this roundup. Or at the AppleiPhoneBlogspot.

What other product could inspire so many to stop work on their fake celebs nudes portfolio?

After nearly 8 years, finally the big announcement – it’s real and Steve Jobs is holding it in his hands. In the 6 month run-up after, we have heard every rumor. Even when facts are stated in the keynote presentation with a photo, until last week, there were people convinced there was no SIM card slot and apparently a giant SIM card would slam into the Earth killing us all.


Here are the official specs in case you missed it (VIA APPLEINSIDER & updated from Monday):

• System requirements
– Mac or PC
– iTunes 7
– Internet access is required, and a broadband connection is recommended
– Mac: Mac with a USB 2.0 port, Mac OS X 10.4.8 or later
– PC: Windows PC with a USB 2.0 port and Windows XP Home or Professional (Service Pack 2)
• External Controls
– Volume Up / Down
– Ringer / Silent
– Power / Lock
– Sleep / Wake
– Menu Button
• Dimensions
– 4.5 x 2.4 x 0.46 inches / 115 x 61 x 11.6mm
• Weight 4.8 ounces / 135 grams
• Input Method – Multi-touch
• Operating System – OS X
• Screen size – 3.5 inches (Optical Glass)
• Screen resolution – 320 x 480 at 160 ppi
• Storage – 4GB or 8GB
• GSM – Quad-band (MHz: 850, 900, 1800, 1900)
• Wireless data
– Wi-Fi (802.11b/g) + EDGE + Bluetooth 2.0
• Camera – 2.0 megapixels
• Battery
– Lithium
– 8 hours of talk time
– 6 hours of Internet use
– 7 hours of video playback or 24 hours of audio playback
– Up to 250 hours—more than 10 days—of standby time
(Battery life varies by use)
• Connectors and other input & output
– 30 pin iPod connector
– 3.5mm jack includes audio and mic support
– SIM tray
– Built-in speaker
– Built-in microphone

Official Photos including pics of dock and other included accessories. The new Apple video guided tour.

So, if you plan on panicking over something, make sure it’s not on this list so at least we can decide in our last week on Earth without an iPhone if we should head for the hills with you (aka: Is there an official AT&T store in your underground bunker?)


“The iPhone might be the Newton.”

Sure, if you’re a Polish man who’s been in coma since the country was communist, that might be a legitimate conclusion. For everyone else … the Newton was an attempt to change people from scribbling in notepads to scribbling on a monochrome glass-plated device that then converted your handwritten scribbles into computer typed text. Never mind whether it ultimately succeeded or not, the Newton wanted people to make a distinctive change from the status quo of using pen & paper (a 3,000 year old tradition) to electronic.

What does the iPhone ask you to do? The only real difference is it asks you to type on a touchscreen versus the current tiny keyboard of a Treo or Blackberry. Is tiny typing on a chiclet keyboard a 3,000 year old tradition or is it a 8 year function that is barely tolerated because the next other choice is typing on a even tinier phone keypad where you need to type a key 4 times to select a letter?

Here are the “radical” questions that the iPhone asks of you?

Do you want a phone & an iPod?
Do you want a 3.5″ screen in two views?
Do you want to use your fingers for all your navigation?

It’s LESS of a task than asking people to use a stylus to point at things – the iPhone is not trying to change some 3,000 year-old ingrained tradition – equating it as a comparison to the Newton not only shows you are way past your use-by-1995 date but also that you need to actually understand what you are saying.

“The iPhone requires a 2-year commitment!”

How many phones that do not come out of a cereal box require a commitment of 1 or 2 years? Now, I’m not saying I’m for this nor do I think this is a good thing, I’m just pointing out that 98% of phones over $20 require a commitment so why is the iPhone 2-year commitment scary but not a Samsung phone also from AT&T? Are you so unsure you might need a cell phone or service in 5 months? Then you probably want to buy a $39 phone from Target & $25 worth of calls to see what you think first.

“People will hate typing on the touchscreen”

Of course, NO one who has complained about the touchscreen has actually used the iPhone one yet so let’s not be hasty about making declarative statements. However, since 97% of people have non PDA like cell phones today – are you saying that the worse case scenario, the iPhone touch-type screen is going to be worse than a typical tiny keypad requiring you to hit the same key 4 times to type a letter or 2 other keys plus those 4 keys to type a # sign? So, we know the iPhone touchscreen typing will beat about 97% phones out there – the benchmark is not that high … selling a couple billion cellphones with crappy to non-existent keypads proves that people really don’t care that much about the keyboard right now – at least not enough to spring for a PDA like phone (well 97% don’t) so the bar is set pretty low even if every PDA phone out there with its chiclet keyboard beats the iPhone touchscreen, the iPhone will be satisfactory/better to 96% of users.

(and yeah, never mind the video iPod, visual voicemail and the syncing thing also included as part of the deal).

“It’s really expensive!”

You would’ve thought that when that line of reasoning fell apart when the sales of the iPod zoomed, but here it is again. You could actually break it down different ways:

“It’s twice or three” times the cost of regular cell phones!”

Disneyland costs $65 just to get in. You can go to the county fair for $10 dollars. Both have costs posted on a sign before you pay. You decide if it’s worth it compared to “the regular” choice. Whether it’s Coke versus Koola-Cola or BMW versus Kia, it’s not the SAME THING for different prices. It’s DIFFERENT things for different costs. You decide if it’s worth it. It’s pricing is in US dollars, there’s no tricky conversion, it’s not 18,000 Apple credits which you have to convert or they are trying to trick you. It’s very straightforward – apparently not even a rebate form to tinker with. It’s $499 or $599 USD plus tax. Apple is not selling water or some ozone-free environment where it’s a real necessity of life – they can price it as they want. You ultimately decide if you want it. No hard sell, no free trip to listen to sales spiel … Apple did not buy up a “cheap” supplier and eliminated a consumer choice, it’s just another choice.

It should be pointed also that everyone sells a phone costing MORE than the iPhone but yet, only the iPhone is pegged as wildly super expensive while the more costly $650 Prada or the $950 Nokia are “top of the line” choices.

“It’s just a $249 iPod Mini Plus a $250 cell phone”

Actually you CANNOT buy a VIDEO 8GB iPod for $249, you can buy an 8GB Nano for $249 but it does not offer you video playback. You also do NOT get a 3.5″ screen – so if was an iPod ONLY with a 3.5″ screen that played video, it would presumably cost at least $75/$100 more … so you’re really paying an extra $200? $150 for the Apple cellphone portion – even if don’t bother getting the phone service portion, you have a widescreen iPod that plays video like no other – sure, no one is logically going to do that but two years down the line, you still have a widescreen video iPod, after two years with your RAZR, what do you have left when the contract expires or you move onto another phone?

“The phone service contract, it will cost you thousands!”

It’s no different than any other data/smartphone – again, I’m not saying it’s a good thing we pay for each text message when I can text for free on the internet but that’s the price we have allowed the FCC to allow just a few companies to set the price of admission. Sure, who wouldn’t like it cheaper? We know the cheapest price is maybe $600 a year for cell phone service in the US – if you have family members, texting and internet access, you’re probably paying closer to $1,400 a year or more – maybe the iPhone AT&T plan is more, maybe it’s the same but unless you’re the Polish coma guy, you are not paying $0 for cell phone service now so the cost is not from zero but from where-ever you are at now – even if the iPhone costs more.

“Apple has never sold a phone before (it might not work)”

It’s a cell phone – not a hovercraft. Having sold over a billion phones now, it’s safe to presume Apple could find a handful of cell phone designers & engineers who would be able to help them build a phone … after all, while the components are nice or many even top of the line choices, they are just components – the key is Apple supplying the software & interface. The rest is just assembling parts and we know that Apple knows how to manage that process. They are also partnered with AT&T – even if you loathe the company, they certainly know the cell phone business from the dull, boring logistical operation viewpoint. And as INVESTOR VILLAGE noted, they are testing out the phone as we speak, it’s not like the first ones off the assembly line are being sent straight to your hands. You have one company who knows how to build state of art consumer electronics and you have one company with 15 years of cell phone experience. Now, the iPhone may not be everything you want it to be but it will work as well/as poorly as every cell phone on the planet.

“I.T. Says they won’t support the iPhone”

I.T. is often confused. They seem to forget that they are supposed to support the employee, making their lives easier to further grow the company – somewhere along the line, most IT departments have become the DMV of the company – more of a bureaucratic hinderance and ‘can’t do that’ mentality (aka: because that would involve more work for me). So, that might be a battle you might lose or might win – depending on how long your title is though this one senior, senior exec I know at a billion dollar company cannot load chat software – sure, he has an expense account in the tens of thousands and can close multi-million dollar deals with a handshake but he can’t load chat software? WTH?

“Stand In Line (Or Stand On Line for your East Coasters) or internet in?”

REPLY HAZY. On one hand, we’re too old stand in/on line for anything but on the other hand, it does make rioting much more convenient while you are there when they run out of iPhones (just kidding 🙂 ) or will you be like an 8-year old kid dashing from store to store all out of breath, sweating like a cape buffalo and eking out the words, “iPhone” before collapsing and other walk over you to get their iPhone and you wake up in a hospital with a receipt for a $650 Prada phone in your pocket?

Or will you be at home the same time you notice a back-hoe in the street digging a giant hole to install the new fiber? Noooooo, not today!!!! Or your wireless keyboard stops working and the letter A, P or T do not work at all?

Whatever happens, Friday at 6 PM where-ever you are will a test of your luck, skill and mental acuity (if you have a credit line of $40,000, should you buy 80 phones?) At this rate, in years from now, people will remember where they were at 6 PM Friday the 29th – either when the rest of the world went mad or you were the one leading the charge through the streets … and remember the Apple store glass doors are HEAVY. If you run into then at just the wrong angle, you will be KNOCKED OUT and you will not receive any medical help until 10 PM so you’re warned. Have fun. I think I might have a blog post topic for next Friday 🙂


Filed under Advertising, Apple Mac, Computing, Gadgets, Internet, iPhone, Marketing, mobile, Retail