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80,259 News Articles

iPhone: 20 questions you need to ask

Is the iPhone really all it's cracked up to be?

11. Will the iPhone be called the iPhone? Jobs says "yes", but that was news to Cisco, the company that owns the trademark and that's suing Apple over the name. It's possible that the two companies will arrive at an agreement, but to date, the name is still up in the air.

12. Will people hate the onscreen iPhone keyboard experience? I got rid of my Palm Treo mainly because the keys were hard to type with - too small for my fingers. The iPhone keys are about the same size as the Treo's, but software, with no tactile feedback. The keyboard looked great in the demo. But what will it be like to use it every day?

13. Can you use the iPhone to make VoIP calls? Using your iPhone over a Wi-Fi connection to make, say, Skype calls, would be an obviously beneficial feature. Will Apple allow it?

14. Will people accept iPhone's slow internet connection? While other phones are embracing 3G, the iPhone's EDGE support gives users a disappointing 2.5G experience. Jobs showed The New York Times web page - how long will that page take to load? For people already using 3G on their phones, going back to a slower device may be too much to ask.

15. Will third-party software vendors be able to create applications for the iPhone? If not, why not? If so, what are they?

16. Will iPhone's single-carrier model in the US wreck the product for most users? Some US cities don't have any Cingular coverage. In other cities, such as New York, Cingular coverage is inferior to competitors' coverage. By limiting the iPhone to Cingular only, will Apple turn away the majority of its potential iPhone customers? And will Apple adopt a similar strategy in the UK market?

17. Will there be any way to wirelessly share files with the iPhone? Like the Microsoft Zune, the iPhone supports Wi-Fi. But unlike Zune, iPhone Wi-Fi is for connecting to the internet through wireless hotspots or networks only. You won't be able to connect peer-to-peer. Will Apple be able to turn on this capability later? Will the company at least enable file sharing over the internet?

18. Will the iPhone kill sales of iPods? Apple has a good thing going with its profitable iPod business. But will people stop buying iPods as they wait for an iPhone? Will investors conclude that Jobs' keynote was a big mistake if iPod profits go down the drain for two quarters?

19. Will Apple be able to accurately fill iPhone orders? No doubt the iPhone is very expensive to manufacture, and, unlike the iPod, is a very complex device, electronically. In the first year of its release, Apple could very easily overbuild - build far more than it can sell in a given period of time - or under build - be unable to keep up with demand, and create long waits and frustrated customers.

20. Will the iPhone really "change the world"? The iPod "changed the world" because everyone bought one. But will the iPhone's price, lack of business usability and other factors really make the iPhone just a niche luxury toy for the rich?

The iPhone vision Jobs unveiled was bold, risky and amazing. Now we can only wait and see what Silicon Valley's master magician really has up his sleeve. If Jobs and Apple can produce the right answers to these 20 questions, they'll make a believer out of me.


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