WiFi is more important than HSDPA for early iPhone success
In a perfect device (updating my wishlist from way back in 2004), there would be HSDPA along with the included GSM+EDGE, WiFi, and Bluetooth. But the truth is, at least in the US a lot more people use WiFi in their office, their home, the coffee shop, and quite a few other places than pay for 3G on their cell. And in the two key places, home and work, WiFi is essentially free. Again this is especially true in the US, Apple’s launch geo for iPhone.
Let’s repeat that: WiFi at home and work is essentially free.
Free is hard to compete with. It’s going to be a long time before my mother pays extra for HSDPA, but she already has 802.11g. If Apple makes the use of WiFi truly seamless, a lot of people will buy. 3G or no.
And besides, who knows what features Apple will have in future versions of iPhone? Jobs has already mentioned 3G for upcoming iPhone models. Perhaps it’ll even be in place before the European and Asian launches.
If you accept that WiFi+EDGE is “good enough” for a lot of people, then why haven’t previous smartphones or mobile computers or whatever you want to call them crossed the chasm into mainstream adoption? In a word, interface. In three words, aesthetics and interface.
Just about everybody hates the interface on his or her phone. Free model or multi-hundred dollar smartphone, doesn’t matter, same dislike. And doesn’t every other phone on Earth look ugly now that we’ve glimpsed an iPhone? The promise of iPhone is that Apple, just maybe, has gotten the beauty of the design and the simplicity of the interface right.
You know, now that I type this I wonder if it’s not so much that Mr. Vanjoki doesn’t get it, as that he doesn’t want to get it. How this chart appears in several months may be the best measure of who’s right, Apple or Nokia: