Originally Posted by aegisdesign
But that's almost exactly the list of items every smartphone this year will have and that most smartphone users demand. Almost every Nokia S60 and Sony Ericsson UIQ phone this year will have all those features. All the HTC phones will. All the Palm phones will (if they're ever allowed back in to Europe). Some of the not-so-smart phones lower down the ranges have most of those features even.
If Apple are doing a 'smartphone' as Wu states, they'll be laughed out of town without those features, and that's just to catch up with what everybody else has already.
Since when has Apple been in the business of piling on features to be competitive, or to "catch up"?
You could just as easily make the argument that the iPod lacks a number of "critical" features that users "demand", such as recording, fm radio, flash card, etc.
Or that Apple's laptops fail to bristle with ports and slots and dedicated function keys. Or that the Front Row remote is pathetically underpowered compared to the massive button count of its Windows analogue. Or that the lack of a tablet cripples Apple's line up.
For a certain buyer these are all indeed deficiencies, but keeping it simple is pretty much what Apple is all about. In fact, it often seems the case that Apple achieves ease of use and elegance because
they limit the function set, which is to say they have the design discipline to resist "competing" by simply piling on "features".
My guess is Apple will follow a similar design philosophy for an iPhone, focusing on ease of use and elegance within a limited function set. Do a few things, and do them really well.
And yes, I'm sure a certain number of buyers will "laugh it out of town", but there would be quite a few more people who find the merger of a Nano and a clean, well functioning phone with a killer interface to be just the thing.