wild i’d speculation

December 16th, 2006

So Gizmodo is claiming Apple’s iPhone will be announced this Monday, Dec. 18th; Digg’s inebriate-in-chief Kevin Rose spilled what he knew a couple weeks ago with, and I quote, “It’s small as shit, it’s got two batteries, and it’ll be $249 for 4 GB and $449 for 8 GB. urp.” CNET, in a bid to be first at something — even if it’s “first to be super wrong” — has already proclaimed the iPhone a flop, and eWeek has suggested that actually the second iPhone is the one to wait for; so according to eWeek, you should wait to buy the second imaginary phone, the one that will be released after the first imaginary phone.

It’s important to take a second and remember that these guys dress up, wear ties, and get paid for this.

Barring the Big Gigantic Why™ of why Apple would choose to cannibalize the very last week of 2006 holiday sales to pre-announce hardware that directly competes with their primary holiday product (the iPod nano), it’s still fun to engage in wild-eyed speculation; and if CNN can do it, so can I. Here’s three of my personal, unfounded, eyes-closed, hand-waving theories, listed in decreasing order of pure, unfettered alpha-consumer desirability:

  • Theory #1: The iPhone is a sexy little iPod nano style mini cell phone, like Motorola’s ROKR, but not as asstastic. Syncs with the Mac OS X Address Book, iCal, and does instant messaging and SMS. Hooks into your Mac laptop via Bluetooth and provides an E-Z, mom-friendly persistent internet connection via the cell phone connection. Users can buy songs, TV shows and games directly from the iTunes Media Store, and users can pay for minutes via their existing iTMS account. Gee-whiz feature: speech recognition software allows the user to pick songs from their music library by just saying the names of the songs out loud (which will cut down on iPod-related traffic accidents!).
  • Theory #2: The iPhone is an iPod add-on via the dock connector — a wifi VoIP module that turns your existing 5G iPod or iPod nano into a VoIP phone like the totally nifty Netgear and Belkin Skype phones. Apple and/or a phone company partner will run a gateway service that allows the VoIP service to call out to land lines. Gee-whiz feature: the gateway service routes your land-line calls and instant messages out to your iPod and vice-versa.
  • Theory #3: The iPhone is a software product like iChat that does VoIP and calls out to landlines via the Apple + partner gateway service. Cross-platform voice calls for Mac & PC, free for now, but upgraded version coming with Leopard 10.5. There’s precedent: they tried to pull this with iChat AV in Tiger, and although I don’t think any Panther users shelled out just for iChat AV, it’s possible they’re going to try this again. Unfortunately for Apple, Skype already exists, but the telecommunications market is a huge, huge market, so it’s more than likely that Jobs wants in. Gee-whiz feature: built-in answering machine software for VoIP calls notifies you of VoIP calls you missed while you were away.

…or, even more likely, I’m wrong. We’ll see on Monday (or not); until then, squirrel away $250-450 dollars, and post your pet theories in the comments area below.


12 Responses to “wild i’d speculation”

  1. … iPod nano style mini cell phone, like Motorola’s ROKR but not as asstastic. … is aiPod add-on via the dock connector — a wifi VoIP module that turns your … Theory #3: The iPhone is aSoftware product like iChat that does VoIP and … [ldopa.net/2006/12/16/wild-…]

  2. Jon says:

    I sincerely believe that if the iPhone is not a real cell phone, that I, you, and many other certified Apple fanboys will commit ritualistic suicide out of disappointment. And Apple could not afford to lose such a dedicated and uncritical (of Apple) audience.

  3. Jeff says:

    I think you’re right, in fact, I asked my girlfriend to pick up a new package of straight razor blades today, “just in case I had to slit something”.

  4. Joshua says:

    Jeff, I find your ideas intriguing and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

    … wait, I’m an editor of your newsletter.

    OK, since I’ve got absolutely nothing riding on it, this is what I “think” the iPhone is.

    • Tiny. The front is all screen.
    • Touchscreen with a gestural interface as well as visible buttons.
    • Is fundamentally an iPod and marketed as such.
    • WiFi capable, but defaults to cell when not in WiFi range.
    • Costs more money than I have. Which doesn’t take much.

  5. Nick says:

    I predict the iPhone will be “the most user-friendly colostomy device I’ve ever encountered.”

    Or not.

  6. Jeff says:

    Off goes Gizmodo from my Christmas list.

  7. Joshua says:

    Well, we know iPhone isn’t going to be the brand name.

  8. Jeff says:

    Yep — I think you were right on with the iPod branding idea, but I’m sure they want to be *extra special careful* with the iPod brand name; they don’t want to kill the golden goose.

  9. Joshua says:

    I hear that golden goose is delicious.

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