Summers here as you can see … kids an all got out a few weeks back and did the pool thing. And… a couple days later… the heat caused an algae bloom and the pristine blue you see here… was about as green as Kermit the Frog.
But much fighting, many chemicals later … and a new gas grill for fathers day and I suspect to be back showing picks of sparkling water again. Heck it may even get warm enough around here again to actually USE the pool. We’ll see… I’m a skeptic on such matters.
All this talk of summer does get me thinking of all the cool stuff coming out – sitting around the pool with a nice cold somethin er other… some muzak… soaking up the sun. Which brings me to answer a question someone asked me the other day, "You think there’ll be a Zune Phone??". (Like I’d actually know????)
Here’s the skinny – I have no idea if MS is going to make a Zune Phone. My guess (and Steve Balmers statements) tend to make me think the answer is … no. In fact, I’ll go one better. Not only "no" but HELLS NO. Yeah – I know everyone is expecting the iPhone to cause a mass panic. Let me be the first to say, if anything can kill the iPod – it’ll be the iPhone.
Heck… I’ll go one step farther. The iPhone … will kill Apple. And the reason why is hinted at in part by this video off YouTube.
The amount of hype they’ve put into the iPhone is unheard of – well, unheard of since the last Apple Product release of any consequence and yeah, let’s face it – it’s cool looking. At least in the Ads for it – not too many people I know have actually held one. Those that have – have only had brief periods to interact with it. But everyone knows the price… $499 for the low end version.
Now – cool as it is… how many people are going to drop $500 for a cell phone. Honest answer is – at first a lot. But the real question is – will it be enough? Honest answer… not enough. Whats more – how many carriers will be selling and supporting it? One that I know of. So Apples really limited themselves in this area. I’m not saying it’s not cool. It is. I’m not saying it’s not 10 times the phone of most of them out there. But to be honest with you…
My Motorolla Q – is a great phone. Has a lot of the same features that the iPhone has (aside from the cool interface) and I hear a lot of people complaining about it’s price and right now you can get one of those for half what an iPhone is about to charge you. And I can get a Samsung F700 for much less – and it’s actually trumps the iPhone on some features. Bottom line… the iPhone may very well spell a very expensive venture for Apple. They may have cornered the market on cool – but at the end of the day – one tends to spill drinks on cool things that are meant to be functional, and scratch it’s cool screen, and yell into it, and beat it and toss it and … well do stuff you do with cell phones. At $499 a phone – I’m not sure it’ll take the abuse, or that people will be willing to put up with a product that frankly is going to break and they’re going to need to replace in 2 years?
I’m saying that initially – sales will be hot and strong – and then as the first negative reviews and recalls for (probably small) problems come in – people will start to ask themselves – do they really need a $499 to $699 phone? When that happens – the swan dive that is the iPhone will begin slow at first… and then crater. Apple will weather it – Steve Jobs isn’t an idiot. But he’s not Steve Balmer – who before he commits dollars has a pretty good idea of what it will take and hou long it will take him – – to make those dollars back. Steve B and I both agree – Zune Phone? Well Balmer may never say never (he’s wiser than I in that regard) but I personally can’t see any concievable scenario where you can sell that idea to paying stockholders when it fails – and it will fail.