I've had plenty of people wanting to have a look and a play and everyone has been
- amazed at it's beauty
- able to use just about anything on the phone without much guidance
- grinning from ear to ear while they've had it in their hands
Which makes me wonder if perhaps the iPhone is actually the perfect phone for the Normob. Obviously I'm ignoring the hefty price tag and big old data plan.
A friend of mine who has a phone for calls and texts and that's it, and like any true Normob has no idea what model of phone she has, took one look at the iPhone and declared her immediate desire for one.
Because it was so intuitive, she could actually see herself using most of it's features. Photo's of her children, emails as she moves about, a bit of web browsing if she needed to check something out and of course all with a phone attached, perfect.
I reckon I must use 80% of the features of the iPhone, I probably used about 20% of my N95. I've passed it on to Kate in the office, who was very excited and has spent lots of time fiddling around, loading music and getting it just so. She was however a little daunted by the encyclopedia, masquerading as an user manual that I passed to her shortly afterwards.
Julian has been quite dismissive of my purchase. He believes (correct me if I'm misrepresenting you Julian) that Apple have missed a trick by not making the iPhone exclusive enough. He feels it is too easily attainable and therefore will lose it's caché. I'm not so sure.
Apple revolutionised the MP3 market with the iPod by giving people music on the move rather than just a feature rich MP3 player. They've sold and continue to sell bucket loads of devices that are still the most desirable on the market.
I believe that the iPhone could have the same revolutionary impact in bring the mobile Internet to the masses. The feature laden, geek friendly smartphone alternatives are very similar to the original MP3 players. Ghastly user experience, tricky to setup, awkward to use, tiny screens. Enter the iPhone and you just touch and stroke a few times and you have access to the Internet wherever you are.
I really want the iPhone to succeed and by success I don't necessarily mean commercially for Apple. It's more that I hope that it's a catalyst for a revolution in mobile Internet devices. I hope that other device manufacturers step up to the plate, competition like this breeds innovation and BiP (Before iPhone) things were starting to look a little bleak IMHO.
If the net result is Normobs wanting to and being able to use the Internet on the move then that can only benefit us all.