Dealing with the iBuzz

06 Jul 2007

It's iPhone Pre-release Hype Week as I type, and by the time you read it, the Apple iPhone will be on sale in the States and the first reports will be filtering in on whether or not the fabled iPhone will live up to the hype it's been generating since MacWorld in January.

Hint: It won't.

That's no slander on Apple, necessarily. Reality never, ever lives up to the hype that precedes it, and presumably even the early adopters will keep this in mind when trying out their touch-screen iPod phones.

Still, analysts have been preparing for the worst, issuing skeptical research notes, white papers and press releases warning us that the iPhone may not be all it's cracked up to be. My favorite version of this is giving betting odds on something going wrong with the initial batch of handsets.

For example, the firm is giving 30 to 1 odds that the first wave of iPhones get recalled, and 150 to 1 odds that the screen breaks or cracks like the first-generation iPod Nano, or that the device spontaneously bursts into flames. The odds of someone getting trampled trying to buy one‾ Twenty to 1.

We'll see what happens. But even if the iPhone works fine, there's really no way it can live up to the expectations that have been built around it. To be honest, the iPhone in and of itself isn't all that big a deal. Certainly not out here in Asia.

A phone that plays music‾ See: Motorola ROKR Z6, Sony Ericsson W910, Nokia N95 and the super-sexy Samsung F500. Want a touch screen‾ Get a ROKR, an LG Prada phone or even the new HTC Touch smartphone. By the time the iPhone hits these shores sometime next year, it will be, at best, fashionably late.

One vs two

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