Last year the gadget world was awash with one word, iPhone. Apple who typically made high-end home computer with their iMacs and Macbook laptops they carved out a decent niche for themselves amongst graphic designers and Photoshop professionals the world over. But much like their rivals Microsoft they realised that they needed to diversify and having catered for the desktop computer market and the laptop market they looked to taking on the ultra-portable market with mobile phones.
The first iPhone went on sale in America on June 29th 2007 and thousands flocked to Apple stores in the States to get the latest gadget from Apple. Once the dust settled the nay-sayers chimed in, it turned out that a lot of features that most other mobile phones from companies like Nokia and SonyEricsson were strangely missing in the iPhone. These features included a good quality camera, MMS messaging and 3G data.
Whilst some of the missing features were reinstated through later firmware updates the lack of 3G data speeds was the point many were annoyed with despite free Wi-Fi and unlimited data with UK partner O2 it gave the impression that the iPhone was behind the times before it had even come out.
One other factor that affected UK sales was that the contracts you had to sign up to were excessive compared to usual mobile phone purchases, you had to pay similar prices for an iPod for the handset and then upwards of £50 per month on an 18 month contract. In the UK we are used to paying little to nothing for the phone of our choice as they are normally subsidised by the network.
Whilst it enjoyed some success the iPhone is far from perfect and is understandable since it was the company’s first outing in the mobile phones market. Due for announcement at the WWDC conference in June is the next iteration of the iPhone, dubbed the 3G iPhone as it will now sport the faster data speeds people are used to. Among other speculations are a second front facing camera to enable video conferencing and a sleeker black colour scheme. The handset is likely to be slightly bulkier than the original iPhone but since it was slimmer than most mobile phones originally this shouldn’t be too much of a problem, especially compared to Nokia’s hefty N95.
The trouble is that once the phone is announced it will go on sale immediately in the United States of America and probably make its way across the pond in a few months as per the previous model. The only concern here is that people who had bought the original are now locked into an 18 month contract which will only be just over half way completed; now the new and obviously more desirable model will be coming out and may leave early adopters a bit sour about the new model.
Whilst no one really knows the concrete details for the new model of the iPhone they won’t have long to wait as it will be shown off at the WWDC conference and no doubt have millions queuing up outside mobile phone stores all over again.