iPhone -- ibust or not?

It all really comes back to the iPhone this week, doesn't it? With plentiful jokes made about the line waiters, newly spawned ideas, and even musicals about the phone itself, it's finally out. And of course, so are plenty of reviews.

There are people making claims all over the board: waitingforiphone.com is claiming an insider told them that over 1 million iphones were sold, while the Wall Street Journal is predicting between 500,000 - 750,000.

In it's one week on the market it has already been cracked, destroyed", and activated without a contract.

But, it's release did grab the media attention around the world -- and the first week of sales figures do have European telecommunication companies sitting on the edge of their seats, wondering if they should buy in (arguably, O2 already got the contract).

So with the lowest estimates coming in at 500,000 sales in the first week, i have to say i think the iPhone has been a success -- especially considering they were able to rope in that many people on what is probably one of the worst cell phone carriers in the US.

But i guess that's just the way it's going to be.

But consider: the iPod was the first of a generation of portable mp3 players. A market that was, for the most part, untouched prior to Apple's entrance. And while they did make one of the sleekest, simplest designs... i gotta say i'm not a fan. And while my opinion is tainted in part by dislike for the player, i still must say there are some serious flaws.

Sure, iTunes is a decent player, but why is the iPod so exclusive - not to mention AAC format! Then there is the audio quality factor of the iPod. I'd much rather have a not-so-sleek mp3 player with great audio quality. And finally, the cult factor. I'm not saying i won't buy the best product available because a lot of people have it, but when there are other products (that often cost less) out that offer the same values, i'll quickly get something else!

So how does this relate to the iPhone? Well, i'm thinking that people have been so floored by Apple's performance the past couple of years -- especially with portable products -- that they have jumped on a boat maybe too quickly. Yes, the preliminary reviews have been ranging from decent to great, okay. But without the Apple name on it, do you think that anyone would have even considered a $600 phone with a 2 year contract from AT&T? I doubt it.

I think that this next year will bring a whole new line of cell phones (which T-Mobile may have already begun) that will either easily keep stride with the iPhone, or very possibly will blow it out of the water.

For now, it looks like the iPhone will (at least in hype and news) rule the smart phone market, and i'll be left wondering whats next. Will the smart phone market blow up like the mp3 player market did, or will the old cell phone giants just play catch up?

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