Quick Quotes: iPhone 3.0 Edition

What have I got to say about iPhone 3.0, available today, and iPhone 3GS, coming on Friday? Here is my quick take.

Editor’s Note, March 29, 2010: For about six weeks during summer 2009, and following my April 30 layoff from eWEEK, I put out my shingle as an independent analyst. I had worked as an analyst for JupiterResearch from 2003 to 2006. But the role just didn’t feel right, particularly given the economy. This post represents a feature of “quotes” for journalists to use in their stories.

“The 3.0 version closes the gap Apple left open for competitors. The iPhone will get features, like search and copy and paste, that are standard on competing smartphones.”

“Too many new iPhone 3.0 features play catchup with other regular handsets or smartphones. Today, the Twittersphere is aflutter with tweets praising copy and paste. Yeah? This is a basic operating system function available for decades. The original iPhone released in 2007 should have had the capability.”

“Apple’s handset distracts from the real meaning of today’s iPhone 3.0 software release. Smartphone users get some valuable, but still fairly modest, new features. By comparison, iPod touch gets a huge upgrade. What other media player or handheld game console sports features like copy and paste or universal search? The 3.0 upgrade sets iPod touch appart from every other non-3G portable media device sold by any company, anywhere.”

“Most early reviews call iPhone 3GS an ‘evolutionary’ rather than ‘revolutionary’ device. They should also have called the 3GS divisive. Feature differences between iPhone 3G and iPod touch caused some fragmentation in the App Store. Increased fragmentation is now inevitable, as application developers support features like video that are standard on the iPhone 3GS, but not the 3G.”

“The iPhone is not the gold standard by which all other smartphones are measured. Too many reviewers dismiss other excellent smartphones, such as the Palm Pre, simply because they don’t have the same features as iPhone. Of course they don’t have the same features. Competition is about differentiation.”

“Flash isn’t missing from iPhone 3.0 by accident. Apple has embarked on an insular strategy, tying video content to the App Store, QuickTime and H.264. No one should expect Flash anytime soon, if ever, on iPhone. Apple is gambling that iPhone/iPod touch and App Store will become the platform for consuming the mobile Web. Rather than the Web browser, people will use iPhone applications. No Flash required.”

“The $99 price for iPhone 3G is likely to do more for the smartphone than release of the 3GS. The price is magical, sure to spike sales volume, and will put tremendous pressure on other smartphone manufacturers to heavily discount their handsets to compete.”

“AT&T is being extremely generous in changing iPhone 3GS upgrade pricing. Too many 3G customers claimed entitlement to something undeserved.”

“AT&T shouldn’t have caved to iPhone 3G customers whining they didn’t qualify for lower subsidized pricing. The little iPhone whiner revolt is ripe to spread. If iPhone upgraders are so entitled, why shouldn’t BlackBerry users be? AT&T had best watch for spreading customer rebellion about subsidized phone upgrades, or gasp, lawsuits.”

“The foundation for Apple’s mobile platform play is 40 million devices—iPhone and iPod. The $99 iPhone 3G will rapidly extend the install base. The question to ask: What number of devices will give Apple critical mass of applications and developers? The Nokia N97 and Palm Pre could answer that question over the next three to four months. If Nokia and Palm don’t get the developers, Apple can claim that its platform has reached the critical tipping point.”

Photo Credit: Robert Scoble