The Reason iPhone 4 is Generating So Much Interest
I just read this post from MacRumors saying the new iPhone is generating 10x more interest than the prior model. There are a number of reasons for this, but primary amongst them (in my view) is that we’re at the point in time where a typical cell phone user is making a purchase decision and the cost of an iPhone isn’t that much more than the basic phone they’re using right now. And it comes with a boatload of features they can see being useful.
This is a different situation than we saw just a year or two ago, and the reputation the iPhone has built up for being an excellent device is paying dividends in terms of non-technical people being comfortable with buying one. Make no mistake- a smartphone is still a big leap for your average user: “Download iTunes onto your computer, sync and charge the phone through your USB cable, etc”. This is strange stuff compared to cell phones most people are used to, but it comes with a benefit: The iPhone gets better and better as more features become available through software upgrades. When was the last time a non-smartphone got better with age?
As much as early adopters have complained about AT&T doing away with unlimited data plans, I think a $15/month entry point for data service on the device is a huge win for your average person. It greatly reduced the total cost of ownership of an iPhone over a 2 year period and you can do a ton of stuff with 200MB per month. $30 x 24 months is $720. $15 x 24 months is $360. That’s a ton of value in exchange for the heavily subsidized iPhone 4 for $199 (or even an iPhone 3GS for $99).
As Apple continues to improve its mobile platform in conjunction with more and more people going to smartphones we won’t call them smartphones anymore. But there will be more options out there. It looks like a race between Apple, BlackBerry, and Android if you ask me. Android is intriguing but I’m sticking with Apple for now. The iPhone 3GS (and the iPod touch I had before that) represents the best tech money I’ve spent in the past decade.