Pan’s iPhone

Saturday January 13, 2007

Chuffed to bits that Pan’s Labyrinth has been nominated for 8 (eight!) BAFTAs, which might mean it gets some renewed life at the cinema coz it’s only at two screens in London right now. The Queen was nominated for 9 BAFTAs. I just downloaded it and took a quick peak to make sure it was a decent copy but I gotta say initial impressions were not very good: Helen Mirren looks nothing like Freddie Mercury.

Much hullabaloo over Apple’s iPhone. Whatever you think of the actual product, Jobs again demonstrated his mastery of marketing, even whipping up the financial markets into a frenzy; Apple’s 8% share price rise is evidence of that. Here’s my take on the product itself:

The space is the right one. PDA meets phone meets MP3 player is obviously the way all mobile devices are heading. All the manufacturers knows this, so the race is on to deliver it

  • Looks great. Quelle surprise.
  • No support for 3G. This is a bigger deal in Europe than in the US where, AFAIK, 3G is not so prevalent.  Cringely has an interesting take on this. My take on it is that in Europe it will significantly harm its chances of success, it’s difficult to imagine people downgrading the speed of their connection just for a slicker integrated device.
  • It doesn’t support J2ME applications. Which means all the Java applications that work on other phones, and there are hundreds, won’t work on the iPhone. Again, a bigger problem in Europe than in the US.
  • Battery and Sound Quality. Several of my Nokia phones have had built-in MP3 software, but it was always a very dissatisying experience because the sound quality was always very poor and whenever I used them to play music it would suck the battery dry very quickly. It will be interesting to see if they can preserve the sound quality of the iPod whilst managing to have a decent battery life.
  • Keyboard. I’ve never used a touch-screen keyboard that was of any use for writing messages – they’re fine for navigating around screens, but as proper input devices – useless. So the iPhone is significantly flawed as a business device.

Conclusion: for the US I’ve no doubts it’ll work, but for the more mature European markets where, perhaps, user-expectations are higher and standards are more embedded (3G, J2ME) they’ll face a tougher time.

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