A couple of days ago I laid my cojones on the line and predicted an Apple cellphone (aka the iTalk). Lo and behold, today mobilegadgetnews.org comes up with this stunner of a quote:
“More cell phones are sold in four days than all the Apple computers in history.”
Now this has diddly-squat to do with an Apple cellphone, but it does cement my opinion that if Apple are looking into growth areas, and are happy (as they were with the iPod) for an electronic device to drive Apple mindshare (and drive users to buy Apple PCs), then I reiterate my position that an Apple iPod-style cellphone is where it’s at. Shit, if the kids are demanding iPods for Christmas, the mere hint of an iPod phone will get the marketing team salivating.
So what’s stopping them? Here’s my thoughts:
- Interface. How does Apple build a slick, iPod-style interface while being constrained by the inherent requirements of a cellphone (keypad, SMS system etc.)? Not too difficult for the Apple engineers I imagine, but they’ll be wanting to be innovative about it of course.
- Nokia. About 30 seconds after the iPod phone appears, expect a large-capacity Nokia MP3 phone. Would they be able to make headway against the iPod’s mindshare?
- The sell-out factor. Like Google, Apple is a love-mark among the faithful. Will getting (further) into consumer electonics dull the brand and result in calls that they’ve sold-out? Google are teetering on the brink at the moment after the IPO and desktop search. Personally, who gives a crap? Someone has to be a market leader at some stage. Microsoft has borne the brunt of this at the moment, and frankly it would be refreshing to see how someone else could handle the pressure.