Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Finally, "some" truth on the iPhone

So, the iPhone hype is bigger than ever with just 2,5 days to go (and with the first in line already in Apple stores) and now the first real reviews are coming out. And surprise, surprise, the iPhone is not all that perfect!

Check out Wall Street Journal's columnist Walter Mossberg video review:

The "keyboard review" is quite strange: in 3 days you'll want to throw the iPhone through the window, but in 5 days you'll love it?? I find that quite disturbing.

The network coverage and the internet speed might actually be the weaknesses of this beautiful smart phone, but it's hard to believe that such simple things like assigning mp3s to ringtones and copy/paste text are not allowed. Also, flash-based animations in the browser are not supported, which means that YouTube or any other flash-based website won't work on the iPhone.

In spite of these somewhat annoying disadvantages, most reviewers are pleased with the new Apple's gadget. Read some more reviews:

  • Read - David Pogue "The iPhone matches most of its hype"
  • Read - Walter S. Mossberg and Katherine Boehret "Despite its network limitations, the iPhone is a whole new experience and a pleasure to use"
  • Read - Edward C. Baig "Apple's iPhone isn't perfect, but it's worthy of the hype"
  • Read - Steven Levy "one of the most hyped consumer products ever comes pretty close to justifying the bombast."
Source: Engadget

1 comment:

Eric B said...

Judging by today’s selloff, I think potential customers are starting to realize how expensive the iPhone will be. If you sign the mid-range $99.99/mo service plan after purchasing the 8GB iPhone model, that alone will set you back $3000 during the two-year contract (without any accessories)!

Here’s a few other potential hurdles that could prevent the iPhone from exceeding its already lofty expectations:

* You must be an AT&T customer to use the iPhone. With a market share of 20%, that means 80% of wireless customers must cancel their current contracts to sign with AT&T. Being a Sprint customer, I would have to pay a $175 cancellation on top of the $3000 price tag for the iPhone. AT&T’s exclusive contract runs through 2009.
* Only 4 & 8GB of hard drive space? My tiny video iPod holds 30 GB for less than $200.
* Recent surveys have shown that the majority of IT departments will not even consider the iPhone due to its PC incompatibilities & exclusive AT&T contract. That will dampen business spending & all but eliminate demand for the higher-tier contracts.

This is the ultimate “sell the news” scenario. On Jan 9th 2007, Steve Jobs announced the iPhone at the Macworld Conference & Expo. The stock has since been on fire rising 50% to $125, adding $30 billion to the company's market capitalization. Will the iPhone really hold that much value for Apple? This huge runup comes after a fantastic finish to 2006 after Apple’s stock bottomed out at $50 in October. Thus, nearly everyone holding Apple is sitting on huge gains.

Expect an Apple selloff on Friday when the iPhone is finally released. 3 similar mini-selloffs have occurred during this recent runup:

* June 26th: Apple announces 6 AT&T service plans for the iPhone. The stock drops 3% on investor concerns over the high prices.
* June 11th: Steve Jobs shows off the iPhone at Apple’s World Wide Developer's Conference. The stock falls 5% after investors saw no “surprises”.
* March 20th: Apple beats 4th quarter analyst earnings & revenue estimates. The stock falls on profit taking.

Apple’s recent success has created impossible expectations. With all the mega-hype already priced into the stock, just meeting expectations will create a selloff. I plan to sell tomorrow and buy back in a couple months. Longer-term investors need not worry because the future looks bright with Macs gaining market share & the iPods continuing their dominant foothold on the music industry.