Parks Associates Blog

Saturday, June 07, 2008

3G iPhone: When Everything Old is New Again

The market is buzzing with anticipation over a 3G iPhone. Steve Jobs is expected to unveil the device on Monday when he speaks at Apple's Worldwide Developer's Conference. I wanted to take a step back and offer a few observations on the buzz-phenomenon that is presently occurring.

Recall that the current iPhone uses EDGE, a 2.5G technology with limited bandwidth capability. The new 3G iPhone will boast WCDMA. Now given the amount of anticipation and buzz, you might think that WCDMA is a breakthrough technology bravely being pioneered by Apple. The truth, of course, is that WCDMA is nearly a decade-old technology. The first 3G networks & handsets became available in 2001 when NTT DoCoMo launched service in Japan. Yes, that's right. Apple's much anticipated, super-blockbuster announcement is that it's iPhone will be upgraded to a decade old technology.

The impressive feat in my opinion is not that the iPhone will be 3G, but that Apple has somehow managed to convince everyone it is an important market development. Kudos to Apple for a job well done. With this success under their belt, I would like to challenge Apple to an even more impressive feat: reinvent the wheel and make it look like a momentous leap in technological evolution. I can see the headlines now: Market Eagerly Anticipating Apple's New Wheel

Now that would be impressive... any takers???

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Blogger Timothy Tripp said...

The fact that 3G isn't new is true, but the significant thing about the iPhone is that it's the first mobile device to bring the Internet to mobile users in an unlimitted, and highly usable form. A lot of people will say Blaclberry already did that, and while it's true for email anyone who has attempted to use a browser on a Blackberry can attest that the experience in NO way makes them feel they could get by without a desktop browser. Windows Mobile has a much better browser than Blackberry but never forced carriers to make ALL users have unlimitted data plans the way Blackberry and iPhone do so only about 20% of Windows Mobile users even use their browsers.

The iPhone is poised to make the mobile Internet reach adoption levels similarly to what we saw with desktop Internet when AOL, Prodigy, WorldNet and other ISPs started offering unlimitted Internet for a reasonable fixed price. The iPhone IS for many people all they will need from a computer, and the browser is simply unmatched by anything else mobile. I even typed this comment entirely on my iPhone. That statement says it all.

9:57 PM  

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