According to Chris Hazelton, IDC’s mobile technology analyst, referring to iPhone sales, “The first million, no problem. Interest in this product has been generated for years, but the goal set for next 2008 (10 million units sold) will depend on experience [de uso] with the iPhone “.
In the online survey conducted by IDC, focused on users who were planning to buy a new mobile soon, the majority of respondents have shown their interest in the iPhone; But the study has also revealed some pitfalls to its massive acceptance. For example, only around 10 percent of respondents indicated that they would be willing to pay the full price of the product (the iPhone will be available for $ 499 and $ 599 depending on storage capacity), and that they would sign a contract for one or two years of service with AT&T, America’s only iPhone access provider. These figures are close to those obtained in a previous survey conducted by M: Metrics, which indicated that around 9 percent of all mobile phone subscribers in the United States showed a “high” purchase interest in the iPhone.
While Hazelton has not appreciated the numbers obtained by M: Metrics, he has emphasized the possible key points that could limit the acceptance of the iPhone to a much smaller group of users than what Apple and AT&T hope to achieve.
According to Hazelton, “the exclusivity of AT&T could be the main barrier. Only a few users have been with their current operator long enough to leave it without having to pay any type of penalty.” In another survey, participants indicated that they would not be willing to pay or bear the contract penalty fees.
AT&T appears to have obtained an exclusive contract with Apple for a period of five years, which would give the two companies enough time to displace other operators from the consumer market interested in the iPhone. However, again this could mean a slower process than both companies could have planned “and then we still have to take into account the price of the iPhone itself, and the need for an added data plan over the voice plan”, according to Hazelton. “This would probably be around $ 80 a month. People will be willing to pay it if they want to enjoy the iPhone experience, but if we look at it in perspective, it might just be too expensive.”
If the iPhone does not meet expectations, everything would be moot. Under the term “the iPhone experience”, Hazelton brings together several of the problems that the device could face and that have been identified by other analysts, from the lack of a touch keyboard to the slow speed of AT & T’s data network based in Edge. The reaction of users to the iPhone, and especially their expectations, according to Hazelton will be the most important thing in determining the ultimate success of the product.
Nothing could end sooner with the iPhone brand and with all the expectation that has arisen around the product like the word of mouth of the first users; and although the first users of the product will probably be advanced users of technology, some user without advanced knowledge could play a leading role. “In the United States, relatively few users have a smartphone, and the majority are business users. This will be the first smartphone aimed primarily at the consumer market,” he says. “It is a complex phone, basically a computer, and like computers, like Macs, it can hang, maybe a lot.” The news about frequent crashes on the iPhone could turn the device into another Newon, as Hazelton indicates, referring to the PDA introduced in 1993.
In other words, there are many things that can go differently than expected by Apple as of June 29.