The Apple iPhone will be available in a couple of days. Most of IT websites, news web sites, analysts, professionals are predicting a immense success.
For sure the iPhone will be a success. It might even be as successfull as the iPod. The iPhone and and the iPod share the same 'success genes ' which are : Brand image, Ease of use, Design, Integration and finally the most important one 'a consumer product designed and taylored for consumer by consumer thinking people'
However,some differences can be identified between the two products :
- Operator locked
In order to purchase the iPhone, you need to take a two year contract with AT&T. Eventhough you would consider to buy it and get it shipped overseas, it will not work.
- Operator backend related
Most of the iPhone unique features require an operator taylored made set up . In order to expend its geographical coverage, Apple need to engage other operators in the rest of the world.
- USA Availability only
Back in 2002, the iPod was released in all region at the same time. The iPhone will be limited at launch to USA and sales figures might be down by 20% because of the lack of sales from Europe or Asia.
We should not forget that despite the immense iPod success at launch, it only started to sky rocket later when iTMS service was fully available, when the TV commercial was released and when the marketing actions hit all regions.
The iTunes Music Store customer experience is not similar in all regions. Europe is for example dying to get movie video download while the Asian music stores availability are lacking behind. Despite that, the iPod is still a huge success in those regions, eventhough sales would even be better if the iTunes Music Store features would as advanced in those regions as they are in the USA.
The iPhone success might face a similar situation and its full potential might be totally unlocked in a near future. However, most probably like you, I am dying to get my hands on it....