Apple Macworld misfires

So the Apple TV and iPhone are finally announced and visually impressive with a very refined user interface – but some of the technical specifications aren’t quite there.

Apple TV

First off the Apple TV tops out at 720p high-def – what!? For less than Apple TV’s $299 I can get an Xbox 360 that does video & audio streaming at 1080p. Sure the 360 is missing HDMI and the slick software but it does play state of the art 3D on-line games.

Video scaled up to 720p by the device and then scaled up to 1080p by the TV is ugly.


Apple’s iPhone is supposed to be state of the art but GSM really isn’t good enough. The world is moving on to 3G and UTMS is essential in the likes of Japan and important even in the USA. Other manufacturers do it, why isn’t Apple?

Secondly this is supposed to be state of the art Internet? Where the hell is instant messaging? You’ve got the UI with SMS but what if I want to talk to iChat, Google Talk, ICQ, MSN Messenger users? Zip.

Thirdly where is the SDK/API? Initial reports are indicating that it is a closed platform.


Phone users seem to fall into one of two groups. People who want a voice phone with maybe a few extra features who won’t be prepared to pay $499 (plus the cost of a 2 year contract) and the second are existing smartphone users who often need to install additional applications and maybe even games. No mention of J2ME, no mention of an SDK. Nada.

It’s a slick product but for now is just functionally incomplete compared to what I have. Smartphone + iPod all the way.


Jobs also thinks they are going for 1% of the massive mobile market share. Funny as ex-Apple’s Kawasaki puts this goal at number 11 of his Top Ten Lies of Entrepreneurs.

My god who decided to let the Cingular CEO on stage to read their corporate brochure.


6 responses

  1. Avatar for steve

    iPhone: I think it's a typical Apple product. Very nice interface that will win them a lot of friends, nice physical design which will win them kudos, and a general aura of 'cool'. Apple have never led on ancilliary technical features in the device market - the iPod lagged behind competitors in features for ages and arguably still does, but people still buy it because it looks nice, it's nice to use, the core function (playing music consistently on the move) was very well implemented and Joe Average probably wouldn't use the other features anyway. As perceptions of the masses gradually change I'm sure there'll be new iPhones adding those features just like there were new iPods. The SDK really won't matter to most.

    The only problem will be the price I think, but chances are that will drop relatively quickly just like the iPod did in the face of competition.

    I'm a technical sort of person but I don't give a toss about 3G (until it becomes cheaper), watching TV or using IM on my phone. I just want a nice phone, that's why I buy it - I really don't have the time or inclination to play with a ton of other features. I think in the mass market, a phone that just does the core things well with a great design could sell well, if the price is right.

    steve January 10, 2007
  2. Avatar for Damien Guard

    But that is my point.

    The sort of guy who doesn't need these features won't be prepared to plump down $499.

    The sort of guy who does already has very likely has requirements the iPhone can't meet - or indeed without the SDK be supplemented to meet.

    Damien Guard January 10, 2007
  3. Avatar for GrinGod

    I also noticed on the specs of the AirPort Extreme w/ 802.11n that the ethernet ports are 10/100. Surely they should have put gigabit ports in it?

    802.11n is set to be 200 - 500Mbit/s so why are they castrating wired users?

    GrinGod January 10, 2007
  4. Avatar for steve

    Yeah, but you can't consider the RRP. $499 translates to a lot lower once you get down to discounted prices and bundling. Most ordinary GSM phones have a RRP of over $300 and $400 isn't that unusual - you can find the D900 online without any service provider for over $400. My D800 is about £170 (sterling now) but I got it for £9 on a contract deal - by comparison the iPhone would probably cost around £100 with a similar deal, less if you count discounting from RRP.

    Apple products are always a bit more expensive spec-to-spec and people buy them because of the 'cool' factor

    steve January 10, 2007
  5. Avatar for Damien Guard

    No, you misunderstand it.

    That $499 and $599 is when you buy it bundled with a 2-year contract from Cingular who also have a multi-year exclusive deal so you can't even buy it without their contract for more or discounted elsewhere.

    Damien Guard January 10, 2007
  6. Avatar for steve

    Ah, well that's a bit crap then. I only read the headlines and assumed the price was RPP like everyone else.

    An exclusive deal with one provider is a pretty dumb move if you want your phone to become commonplace. You're right, there's no way I'd pay that kind of money for an iPhone.

    steve January 10, 2007