For many years as a user of Apple computers since the Macintosh LC I was quite happy to be a member of the minority of computer users at odds with the majority of other computers users, happy to stand out as a member of “the cult of mac“. Now of course things are different pop into any Starbucks anywhere is the world and you will see Macbooks everywhere, Macs are slowly becoming more mainstream.
This week I was in California and it seemed that almost every other person was using an iPhone, in the Google office it was more extreme almost everybody had one. Yet back home in the UK, I think I have seen maybe two or three other iPhone users in London, and one user on a train from Manchester, the contrast with San Francisco is enormous !
Although there are well known limitations with todays iPhone, no 3G, poor camera, no MMS, the iPhone is by a very long way the best mobile phone I have owned, I actually don’t think it is the spec of the iPhone that is the problem is Europe.
So what has gone wrong, clearly Apple hoped that the iPhone would in Europe follow the success of the phone in the US market, but of course the markets are very different.
Despite the widespread (compared to the US) availability of SIM free phones in Europe, most people still expect to be given a free phone when opening a new contract or renewing an expired contract.
These operator provided “free” phones are not low end models either, the number of people on the train I see with Nokia N95’s is staggering – many I’m sure not even aware of the capability of their “mobile computers”, against this few people outside the geek minority are willing to spend nearly three hundred pounds on a iPhone.
Never mind, I enjoy my smugness as a member of the “cult of iPhone”, knowing that I have spent a large sum of money to have a technically superior device, others think is an extravagant waste of money… ah yes back to the good old days !!
Written and submitted from home, using my home 802.11 network.
6 replies on “The cult of iPhone”
I replaced my n95 with an iPhone just before Xmas and haven’t looked back. I miss the gps, but everything else more than makes up for it.
I know if a fair few others who have iPhones, but no-one outside of the techie circles. All my other friends are impressed whenever they play with it, but would not consider spending the extra money to buy one themselves.
Written on my iPhone. Before this, would have never considered using my phone to browse the web, never mind replying to comments etc…
iphone and iPod touch both look very cool (although I think I’ll stick with a 160Gb classic), but I’d like to see some accessibility features for people who maybe arent as dextrous, or who simply cannot operate such technology in the standard way. A bit like, dare I say it, the ‘sticky keys’ feature on Windows.
Ed – much of what you say may be right.
In my experience the big drawback for most people I know are:
1) The transfer to O2 (being able to make a “free choice” of phone and computer kitseems to be at odds with having to use a specified operator. I’m not sure what Apple hoped to achieve by this move. Perhaps they think they have a better commercial deal….but I suspect that net they will lose out!)
2) Possibly as a result of the above move – the mothly fees are a bigger concern that the cost of the kit. I know several people who could handle the up front phone cost but were not keen on the monthky package!
As for me – I’d happily have an iPhone. I long since gave up having two phones (one for work and one for personal use) and I’m bound to Vodafone through a work contract for a while yet.
I’ll expore getting an unlocked device (from France?) sometime soon no doubt. But I think that iPhone v2 will tip me over the doption edge!!
I thought you could not purchase an iPhone in Europe yet, there was no carrier to sell them, the only way was to get one in the US and unblock it to use it in Europe, let me know if I am wrong.
I’m told by my lovely wife that half the attendees at BETT (educational technology show in London) were toting iPhones… including her.
Also interested to see Apple advertising the MacBook Air in the Observer Woman magazine today.
[…] 22 February, 2008 Map reading and navigation can be challenging – personally, finding my location on the map when touring a new place is not always easy. As a result, I thought for many years that having a device that could guide me ‘home’ would be really useful. Of course, away from home, ‘home’ may mean the hotel that I’m staying in. Today, it is possible to have such a device, as many smartphones are capable of finding their location and use services such as Google Maps. […]