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Cellphone vendors could exit business if economy remains bleak

post #1 of 350
Thread Starter 
Mobile phone makers are sounding alarms to their investors cautioning that mobile sales are down and likely to only get worse in 2009. However, Apple's iPhone is uniquely positioned within the safer smartphone market, a segment that is expected to continue to grow next year.

Nokia issued its second warning in three weeks that sales of mobile phones are slowing faster than expected due to slack demand from consumers. The company said its fourth quarter earnings will be hurt because it has been unable to cut costs quickly enough to account for the "rapid deterioration of the handset market in the last few weeks."

Fifth place phone maker LG and sixth place RIM also issued warnings on sales and profit growth. The bad news for big phone makers comes on top of the troubles experienced by Motorola and Sony Ericsson, which have both been struggling in the phone market even as the market was blooming.

With hard times ahead, the weaker companies might not even survive as phone makers. Michael Schroder, the head of research at FIM in Helsinki, was cited by Reuters as saying, "If the weakness continues past summer, it is probable that some would get out of the business."

Nokia hopes to win back market share in the smartphone market, the one bright spot in the mobile arena and one where Nokia has lost ground to BlackBerry devices from RIM and Apple's iPhone. However, that outlook also bodes well for Apple, which doesn't have any mobile products outside of its iconic smartphone.

Unlike the other phone makers, Apple sells one highly visible iPhone 3G model rather than the 'hundreds of devices' that chief executive Steve Jobs alluded to as the failed strategy of Apple's competitors in the company's recent earnings conference call.

Apple's simpler strategy of selling one full featured smartphone model has positioned the company as the number three phone maker in terms of revenue and created a strong platform for third party development, recently passing the 300 million downloads milestone with 10,000 apps available.

The iPhone has also soaked up market share in units sold and in terms of operating system use at the expense of rival hardware makers and software vendors, growing 327% over the last year according to figures recently released by Gartner. Despite general concerns about the economy, there is currently no evidence to suggest that Mac or iPhone sales are actually slowing.
post #2 of 350
It sure seems that Steve & Co have once again predicted the future and moved to where the puck will be leaving the others in their dust as they move to score another goal.
post #3 of 350
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple's simpler strategy of selling one full featured smartphone model has positioned the company as the number three phone maker in terms of revenue and created a strong platform for third party development, recently passing the 300 million downloads milestone with 10,000 apps available.

full featured? What about the missing features?
post #4 of 350
This is where I thought Nokia had got it right in the past. Basically they sold a standard phone and then anyone could make and sell additional cases for it. On the other hand is the arguments made by Steve Jobs dependent on the market sector you are aiming for?

What I would be interested in is what is the motivating factor people have for buying a phone, whether or not it is a smart phone.
post #5 of 350
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Nokia hopes to win back market share in the smartphone market, the one bright spot in the mobile arena and one where Nokia has lost ground to BlackBerry devices from RIM and Apple's iPhone. However, that outlook also bodes well for Apple, which doesn't have any mobile products outside of its iconic smartphone.

In addition, there's an even more specific segment that seems to be really popular: touchscreen smartphones. And with the G1 not being much to talk about while the BlackBerry Storm continues to take on a lot of bad press, Apple is in a terribly good position.
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post #6 of 350
Quote:
Originally Posted by jfanning View Post

full featured? What about the missing features?

Um, 'full featured' as in all or most of the features needed by the vast majority of users, with the ability to add just about anything else as demand requires?
Otherwise what you're envisioning is an 'everything to everyone' piece of crap.

But of course Jobs is obviously an idiot who should be slavishly implementing feature demands from every basement blogger on the planet.

Unless of course you look at the fact that he's got the only successful strategy going at the moment.
post #7 of 350
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQB View Post

Um, 'full featured' as in all or most of the features needed by the vast majority of users, with the ability to add just about anything else as demand requires?

As demand requires? Don't you mean as Apple grants you?

Plus, why would you add a feature if it is already full featured?
post #8 of 350
People are finally starting to realise that the "smartphone market" or the smartphone segment of the cell market is poised to become the entire market.

If even smartphones and luxury phones are being sold for a couple of hundred bucks, anything less is rapidly becoming worthless.

Next year, smartphones start to merge with netbooks creating a whole new category (although they might still be called "phones"). The phone that is just a phone is already a thing of the past, although it will take a few years for the full transition and all the old models to be ditched.
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post #9 of 350
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

People are finally starting to realise that the "smartphone market" or the smartphone segment of the cell market is poised to become the entire market.

No they aren't


Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

If even smartphones and luxury phones are being sold for a couple of hundred bucks, anything less is rapidly becoming worthless.

They are not being sold for a couple of hundred bucks, they are being subsidised by the network provider to lock you into a contract. A large number of connections in the world are pre-paid, and using a low cost phone (when purchased a full price)
post #10 of 350
Quote:
Originally Posted by jfanning View Post

As demand requires? Don't you mean as Apple grants you?

Plus, why would you add a feature if it is already full featured?

Ok, then name another phone that meets your definition of full feature.
Make sure you include ones that include ALL features of the iPhone...

Full featured is always a relative term.
post #11 of 350
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

People are finally starting to realise that the "smartphone market" or the smartphone segment of the cell market is poised to become the entire market.

If even smartphones and luxury phones are being sold for a couple of hundred bucks, anything less is rapidly becoming worthless.

One thing I've noticed that's definitely a result of increased smartphone demand is that almost every non-smartphone commercial now prominently advertises the phone's "full qwerty keyboard." So at the very least, full-keyboard lacking "dumb" phones are dead.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

Next year, smartphones start to merge with netbooks creating a whole new category (although they might still be called "phones"). The phone that is just a phone is already a thing of the past, although it will take a few years for the full transition and all the old models to be ditched.

Hmm, I don't see people wanting to talk on a bulkier, more expensive toy laptop.
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post #12 of 350
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQB View Post

Ok, then name another phone that meets your definition of full feature.
Make sure you include ones that include ALL features of the iPhone...

Full featured is always a relative term.

Why? I wasn't the one that brought up the original claim. Is it know that the iPhone doesn't have features that other phones have, so to claim it has full features is an outright lie.

Full featured isn't a relative term, the measure of what features make that list up is the relative part.
post #13 of 350
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

People are finally starting to realise that the "smartphone market" or the smartphone segment of the cell market is poised to become the entire market.

.

Not sure I can agree with that one.
I own a touch and a POC 'dumb' phone that lets me spend the least I can to the carriers.
Frankly, I HATE cell phones and consider them a curse, and am just fine with wifi on my touch.

But that's just me. Do wish the touch had a camera tho'.
Guess I have to get a Zune because the touch isn't 'full featured'.
post #14 of 350
Quote:
Originally Posted by jfanning View Post

Why? I wasn't the one that brought up the original claim. Is it know that the iPhone doesn't have features that other phones have, so to claim it has full features is an outright lie.

Full featured isn't a relative term, the measure of what features make that list up is the relative part.

No, you asked "Full featured? What about the missing features."
You suggested that full feature means that the phone must incorporate every feature known to man to deserve that label, and I simply noted that its a relative term, and its open ended nature allowed for expansion, which you seem to find dictatorial.
post #15 of 350
Quote:
Originally Posted by jfanning View Post

Plus, why would you add a feature if it is already full featured?

Because "full featured" is not the same as "having every feature imaginable, whether you wanted them all or not."
post #16 of 350
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

People are finally starting to realise that the "smartphone market" or the smartphone segment of the cell market is poised to become the entire market.

If even smartphones and luxury phones are being sold for a couple of hundred bucks, anything less is rapidly becoming worthless.

Next year, smartphones start to merge with netbooks creating a whole new category (although they might still be called "phones"). The phone that is just a phone is already a thing of the past, although it will take a few years for the full transition and all the old models to be ditched.

Phones that are just phones have been quite obscure at best for a couple years already. There aren't a whole lot that can't use the internet, take pictures, play music or video, even the free ones (free but with subscription agreement) do that now. The lines have been blurring for some time. About the only thing that separates them in classification is input and form factor, screen size and maybe OS sophistication. Still, that is blurry. I knew a guy that had a flip phone about the size of a RAZR but it ran Windows Mobile.

I'm not sure how you'd make calls with a netbook, would you resurrect the Nokia Taco Ngage Sidetalking? http://www.sidetalkin.com/

Personally, I don't see a whole lot of companies leaving this market. If I had to place a bet, maybe Motorola would, though I haven't been carefully watching the financials of any of the makers.
post #17 of 350
Quote:
Originally Posted by jfanning View Post

They are not being sold for a couple of hundred bucks, they are being subsidised by the network provider to lock you into a contract. A large number of connections in the world are pre-paid, and using a low cost phone (when purchased a full price)

Oh, and non-smartphones aren't being subsidized? You seem to ignore that there was already a ton of demand for the iPhone before it was offered to the rest of the world. Apple imposed limits on the number of iPhones sold per person and required credit cards with the original iPhone after a few months because of foreigners buying them in bulk and then selling them in the gray market in their home countries; the iPhone 3G requires in-store activation because of this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jfanning View Post

Is it know that the iPhone doesn't have features that other phones have, so to claim it has full features is an outright lie.

Yeah...and likewise, many dumb phones lack features the iPhone has: MultiTouch screens with gesture support, large internal storage, accelerometers, desktop-class web browsers, the list goes on. Obviously the author never meant to imply that the iPhone had every feature you could ever think up, he made mention that Apple's business model of offering an essentially unified platform and form factor, rather than splintering that with simple non-smartphones, smartphones with big keyboards, and full touchscreen smartphones as others have, is working very well for Apple.
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post #18 of 350
Quote: Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2
"People are finally starting to realise that the "smartphone market" or the smartphone segment of the cell market is poised to become the entire market."
Quote:
Originally Posted by jfanning View Post

No they aren't

Are too!

Quote: Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2
"If even smartphones and luxury phones are being sold for a couple of hundred bucks, anything less is rapidly becoming worthless."
Quote:
Originally Posted by jfanning View Post

They are not being sold for a couple of hundred bucks, they are being subsidised by the network provider to lock you into a contract. A large number of connections in the world are pre-paid, and using a low cost phone (when purchased a full price)

Well thanks for stating the obvious, but what I was talking about was the cost to the consumer, duh.

To all the more well thought out replies ...

What I was (perhaps ham-handedly) referring to is that there is a new portable platform emerging that basically subsumes the "phone" within it. Pretty much what Microsoft *thought* would happen in 1992. Next years hot netbooks are going to be running Android. Think about that for a sec, then think about Apple's netbook entry (also next year) which will be running the same OS as the iPhone (which Android is very similar to of course). This is a whole new platform, between computers and phones with a whole new type of OS. Convergence is (finally!) actually happening.

A "Phone" stands in the same relation to this "new category" today, as a "calculator" stood in respect to the new category of "computers" in the 1980's.

In the 1980's there were companies that made and sold nothing but calculators, but it became unprofitable. Today there are companies that make and sell nothing but "dumb phones." The whole point of this article is that these guys (the dumb phone manufacturers), are saying that they might not be able to do this profitably anymore. They are in the same spot more or less as the calculator manufacturers.

The typical counter-argument is that the average person, or third-world people, or some other category of people, don't *need* the smartphone features (all they need is to make a call), but this exact same argument was made for calculators and calculator companies in the 1980's.

Just Sayin.
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post #19 of 350
Would you all drop the "fully featured" argument? It's just semantics.

One person's feature is another person's garbage.
post #20 of 350
Quote:
Originally Posted by jfanning View Post

full featured? What about the missing features?

Full featured doesn't mean having EVERY feature in the world, as I'm sure you know. It simply means that it does have all the basic categories taken care of.
post #21 of 350
Quote:
Originally Posted by jfanning View Post

As demand requires? Don't you mean as Apple grants you?

Don't you mean "as every other maker also grants you, minus everything the cell companies don't allow them to"?

Quote:
Plus, why would you add a feature if it is already full featured?

Again, a lack of understanding of what "full featured" actually means.
post #22 of 350
Quote:
Originally Posted by jfanning View Post

No they aren't

Yes, eventually they will.

As before, with cell phones in general, prices of the cheaper smartphones will come down enough, and will become so "required" by people, that they will push all other phones out, except for some free phones being offered on the least expensive plans.

Perhaps ypu don't remember back when the first cells cost almost $2,000, in the dollars of the day (more now), and it cost upwards of $5.00 a minute each way for a call. It was said back then, that most people wouldn't get cells because of the cost.

But look at where we are now.

Don't ever take what you see in the present for what you will see in the future.

Quality, features and price all evolve at a rate that is faster than what some can imagine.

Quote:
They are not being sold for a couple of hundred bucks, they are being subsidised by the network provider to lock you into a contract. A large number of connections in the world are pre-paid, and using a low cost phone (when purchased a full price)

None of that matters in the long run.
post #23 of 350
Quote:
Originally Posted by elroth View Post

Would you all drop the "fully featured" argument? It's just semantics.

One person's feature is another person's garbage.

Exactly, its a moot point

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post #24 of 350
Quote:
Originally Posted by jfanning View Post

full featured? What about the missing features?

What "full featured" mean here is that the iPhone is a phone with camera, an iPod, a gaming device, has full browser, email (including exchange support), and a GPS (that you don't actually pay monthly fee for). Most phones lack at least one of these features. Other things such as Flash support, copy/paste.. etc are software features that can be added with an update.
post #25 of 350
Quote:
Originally Posted by jfanning View Post

Why? I wasn't the one that brought up the original claim. Is it know that the iPhone doesn't have features that other phones have, so to claim it has full features is an outright lie.

Full featured isn't a relative term, the measure of what features make that list up is the relative part.

I'm not sure if you're trying to be annoying, trolling, or what, but your statement sure shows you're trying confuse the issue.

By your standard, no product can ever be called full featured, because no product will every be able to have all features, real and imagined.

Since that's obviously your definition, whether you care to admit it or not, I'll grant your wish, and say that by that standard, the iPhone is not full featured.
post #26 of 350
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

To all the more well thought out replies ...

What I was (perhaps ham-handedly) referring to is that there is a new portable platform emerging that basically subsumes the "phone" within it. Pretty much what Microsoft *thought* would happen in 1992. Next years hot netbooks are going to be running Android. Think about that for a sec, then think about Apple's netbook entry (also next year) which will be running the same OS as the iPhone (which Android is very similar to of course). This is a whole new platform, between computers and phones with a whole new type of OS. Convergence is (finally!) actually happening.

Sorry, I don't follow. Where has it been said or suggested that Android will become a full-fledged OS to be used on netbooks? Also, I don't see how Android is "very similar" to OS X iPhone.

As for a "true" convergence device, it's already here in the iPhone: phone, desktop-class internet browser and email, GPS, camera (which hopefully will be improved), widescreen iPod, touchscreen remote for Apple TV and AirTunes speakers, casual gaming machine thanks to the App Store.
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post #27 of 350
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

... has full browser...

Until mobile Safari has ActiveX and supports IE standards it will never be full featured.

Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Since that's obviously your definition, whether you care to admit it or not, I'll grant your wish, and say that by that standard, the iPhone is not full featured.

Perhaps jfannng should push a term like "well featured" since he wants to be pedantic about it. Though I think he might disagree with well featured, too, to describe the iPhone.
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post #28 of 350
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Phones that are just phones have been quite obscure at best for a couple years already. There aren't a whole lot that can't use the internet, take pictures, play music or video, even the free ones (free but with subscription agreement) do that now. The lines have been blurring for some time. About the only thing that separates them in classification is input and form factor, screen size and maybe OS sophistication. Still, that is blurry. I knew a guy that had a flip phone about the size of a RAZR but it ran Windows Mobile.

I'm not sure how you'd make calls with a netbook, would you resurrect the Nokia Taco Ngage Sidetalking? http://www.sidetalkin.com/

Personally, I don't see a whole lot of companies leaving this market. If I had to place a bet, maybe Motorola would, though I haven't been carefully watching the financials of any of the makers.

Sony/Ericsson has been on the ropes for years, and is very weak. If Palm can't hang on for another 9 months or to to introduce their new OS models, they are gone as well. There are other smaller players that may also have to bow out. In a severe contraction of the market, the weaker players almost always leave, or are bought up.

With smartphones the only area where makers are finding profits, the makers that aren't heavily top loaded with them, have less chance to survive. In addition, those smartphone makers that have a very small marketshare may not make it either, because development costs and marketing remain high, no matter how small your marketshare is.
post #29 of 350
Quote:
Originally Posted by elroth View Post

One person's feature is another person's garbage.

Or rather, yesterday's "full-featured" is today's old hash. Point is, it doesn't matter how one defines "full-featured" as it is always evolving and becoming better. This is what makes the computer/electronics industry great.

But yes, I also see the cellular market steering towards the smartphone. It's just inevitable. Granted, there will always be lesser (dumb) phones, because not everyone demands or can afford a smartphone. And I think Virgil made a great analogy with the calculator market. Industries/markets change and those companies which cannot adjust to change will be weeded out and forgotten. Such is the world of business.
post #30 of 350
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Perhaps jfannng should push a term like "well featured" since he wants to be pedantic about it. Though I think he might disagree with well featured, too, to describe the iPhone.

I think he's got something up his rear that bothers him, and so he's trying to knock it.

While there are things about the phone that can surely be improved, his statement is meaningless.
post #31 of 350
Ever since iPhone i don't hate phones. Even if I hate the phone part of it it serves as an iPod and a portable-game-device. People gonna slowly realize that too.
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post #32 of 350
One reason why Apple will do well here, esp now, is because of their very strong financial position.

This Forbes article which arrived in my e-mail tells a compelling story of what we'll be seeing during this recession.

While it only mentions Apple near the end, reading it shows why some companies won't survive the recession, while other will prosper better than others.

http://www.forbes.com/2008/12/06/cio...partner=alerts
post #33 of 350
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQB View Post

No, you asked "Full featured? What about the missing features."
You suggested that full feature means that the phone must incorporate every feature known to man to deserve that label, and I simply noted that its a relative term, and its open ended nature allowed for expansion, which you seem to find dictatorial.

And you said, "with the ability to add just about anything else as demand requires?"

The iPhone has the full feature set that Apple deems it should have. Take copy and paste and how the masses moaned that it was a feature found on other smart phones, and should have been in Apple's first iPhone build? However, Apple has informed us that it is low on THEIR priority list! Is that not a little dictatorial?

If it is difficult for Apple's iPhone to have "copy and paste" functionality? Well, copy the Bold 9000 series. http://supportforums.blackberry.com/...thread.id=5531

[CENTER]Hold down the caps key scroll over the text to be copied and
click the trackball. The option to copy will come up select it
Move to where you wamt to paste and click on the trackball
Paste![/CENTER]


Just replace "trackball" with "Home Button"!

Camera upgrade in the second iPhone build? - nope! 2 mega pixel and the basic camera funtionality is good enough for you according to Apple!

User replaceable battery? Apple says no, it ruins the streamline aesthetics of the iPhone!

So Apple can be a lot "dictatorial" by way of determining what will be, will be.

Quick unscientific poll...

Who thinks the iPhone should have had a "copy and paste" function by now?

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post #34 of 350
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post

Yada, yada, yada...wahh.

By your logic, any company that makes anything is "dictatorial" if they don't deliver everything everyone wants from day one.

Where's the BlackBerry Bold's (or Storm's) visual voicemail, MultiTouch gestures, and 3D games? Ooh, those BlackBerry dictators are so cruel!

Also, how would one scroll with the Home Button?
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post #35 of 350
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post

And you said, "with the ability to add just about anything else as demand requires?"

The iPhone has the full feature set that Apple deems it should have. Take copy and paste and how the masses moaned that it was a feature found on other smart phones, and should have been in Apple's first iPhone build? However, Apple has informed us that it is low on THEIR priority list! Is that not a little dictatorial?

If it is difficult for Apple's iPhone to have "copy and paste" functionality? Well, copy the Bold 9000 series. http://supportforums.blackberry.com/...thread.id=5531

[CENTER]Hold down the caps key scroll over the text to be copied and
click the trackball. The option to copy will come up select it
Move to where you wamt to paste and click on the trackball
Paste![/CENTER]


Just replace "trackball" with "Home Button"!

Camera upgrade in the second iPhone build? - nope! 2 mega pixel and the basic camera funtionality is good enough for you according to Apple!

User replaceable battery? Apple says no, it ruins the streamline aesthetics of the iPhone!

So Apple can be a lot "dictatorial" by way of determining what will be, will be.

Quick unscientific poll...

Who thinks the iPhone should have had a "copy and paste" function by now?

You're not answering the question either.

It took until version 3 of Win Mobile before copy and paste arrived. RIM has had Blackberry's out for years now. Much longer than the iPhone.

As has been written elsewhere, copy and paste is NOT a simple thing to add, despite what you and a few others seem to think.

Whatever Apple does will last for the entire life of this platform, and so it must be done right. The way RIM does it isn't so wonderful, by the way.

As for the other "problems" you mention, other makers have their own.

I couldn't care in the least for a higher MP camera that delivers the crap that all phone cameras deliver. Big deal. While I'm pretty sure that when Apple comes out with a second gen iPhone, they'll upgrade that, it hardly matters. No cameraphone images I've ever seen are even close to the quality that even the cheaper compact cameras offer. The one cameraphone that did offer decent photo's was made by Samsung, from what I remember, and it never made it in the marketplace.

Would I like to see video? Sure, but not a big deal. Replaceable battery, I suppose it wouldn't hurt, but I've never used one in any of my smartphones, and I don't know anyone else who has either. Besides, there would be negatives going with that as well.

Apple had advertised for a lens engineer with experience in designing small lenses some months ago, or perhaps a year. The job description sure sounded as though Apple was looking to do something to a newer iPhone, so we'll see.

I'd much rather the first editions of new product platforms get it right with fewer "features", in the first place, and then build them up over newer models.

I'll keep my bitching down until a new model comes out sometime in 2006, perhaps around the ADC.
post #36 of 350
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post

And you said, "with the ability to add just about anything else as demand requires?"

The iPhone has the full feature set that Apple deems it should have. Take copy and paste and how the masses moaned that it was a feature found on other smart phones, and should have been in Apple's first iPhone build? However, Apple has informed us that it is low on THEIR priority list! Is that not a little dictatorial?

If it is difficult for Apple's iPhone to have "copy and paste" functionality? Well, copy the Bold 9000 series. http://supportforums.blackberry.com/...thread.id=5531

[CENTER]Hold down the caps key scroll over the text to be copied and
click the trackball. The option to copy will come up select it
Move to where you wamt to paste and click on the trackball
Paste![/CENTER]


Just replace "trackball" with "Home Button"!

Camera upgrade in the second iPhone build? - nope! 2 mega pixel and the basic camera funtionality is good enough for you according to Apple!

User replaceable battery? Apple says no, it ruins the streamline aesthetics of the iPhone!

So Apple can be a lot "dictatorial" by way of determining what will be, will be.

Quick unscientific poll...

Who thinks the iPhone should have had a "copy and paste" function by now?

Yes the iPhone has a few key features that I hope they will add in the near future.
( not even key, how about features of convinience)

Cut and paste is not on the top of my list either.


1. I would like to see the ability to view Flash on web pages
2. Send pictures in texts
3. Editable text dictionary
4. Some of the bugs when you call and the screen turns off and won't turn back on.

There are more but I cant think of them now.
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post #37 of 350
Quote:
Originally Posted by jfanning View Post

full featured? What about the missing features?

Which phone doesn't have missing features?
post #38 of 350
To Rot'nApple,


Apple does not force you to buy it products. So it is not being "dictatorial".

There development speed, or the order of their "to do list" does not irritate me.
What does is all the restrictions they add to some of their products.

I do wish they would try harder to remove all the locks on music and video.
I buy music on itunes, but not movies there are too many restrictions.

At least apple tries to improve their products, when was the last time minisoft fixed anything.
They spent millions on ad campain and my copy of vista has no improvments.
Even there ad campains are just a copy of apples
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post #39 of 350
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

Quote: Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2
"People are finally starting to realise that the "smartphone market" or the smartphone segment of the cell market is poised to become the entire market."

Not unless the carriers start providing the data plans for free. As long as it costs $70 minimum per month just to use a smartphone, most people are going to say "well, that's kind of neat, but do I really need it?" and then go on to buy a regular phone that costs half the monthly fee.

It's important to remember that smartphones aren't being sold for a couple of hundred bucks. They're being sold for a couple of hundred bucks plus $30 or $40 for the data plan * 24 months. So an iPhone is $200 + $30 * 24 = $920, not including any additional monthly fees that you continue to accrue if you use the phone after your contract runs out. That's a hefty chunk of change for a data feature that most people would only use occasionally. Hell, you could buy a midrange PC for that price.

Quote:
A "Phone" stands in the same relation to this "new category" today, as a "calculator" stood in respect to the new category of "computers" in the 1980's.

In the 1980's there were companies that made and sold nothing but calculators, but it became unprofitable. Today there are companies that make and sell nothing but "dumb phones." The whole point of this article is that these guys (the dumb phone manufacturers), are saying that they might not be able to do this profitably anymore. They are in the same spot more or less as the calculator manufacturers.

The typical counter-argument is that the average person, or third-world people, or some other category of people, don't *need* the smartphone features (all they need is to make a call), but this exact same argument was made for calculators and calculator companies in the 1980's.

The difference being, of course, that calculators and computers didn't require huge monthly bills in order to continue using them.
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post #40 of 350
Quote:
Originally Posted by jfanning View Post

As demand requires? Don't you mean as Apple grants you?

Plus, why would you add a feature if it is already full featured?

Because the iPhone is a software PLATFORM that has the potential to be extended in an infinite number of ways, as opposed to a collection of hardware features that are hastily thrown together with a bit of software "glue" to present a wanna-be product.

What the other smart phones lack, besides a well-integrated user-friendly OS, is a sweet development and simulation package (e.g. XCode) for developers to use, an easy path for the developers to publish, and a drop-dead gorgeous easy method for users to discover and install the new applications. If it isn't obvious to you yet just how far Apple is ahead in this race, it will become so when the other device makers' answer to the AppStore is about as successful as the "Zune Marketplace" in competing with iTunes.



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