Why the iPhone will not sell well

OK, read Ed’s last post below on the iPhone.   I just went to the Apple store and checked out the new iPhone.  Besides the high price and lack of a buttoned keyboard, I think there’s something even more basic that may prove to be the iPhone’s Achilles’ heel:

The screen smudges with fingerprints easily basically because you have to touch it all the time to do anything.  But the whole point in the phone is to have this cool, mini-display for videos and Internet, etc.  The display is cool (particularly for YouTube videos), but who wants to watch with fingerprints caked all over it.  Maybe Windex can start selling portable iWindex.


4 Responses

  1. At least so far it seems you may be wrong (although these early adopters may have been purchasing ‘blind’ whereas later customers will become aware of all the ‘problems’ that are bound to emerge (battery, screen etc.) still the sales numbers seem pretty unbelievable considering the price point and the market its directed to (i.e. not to business users).

    see Bloomberg
    “Shoppers bought as many as 500,000 units over the weekend, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster said, more than twice his projection of 200,000. J.P. Morgan Securities Inc. analyst Bill Shope estimated sales were 312,000. Before the phone’s debut analysts expected Apple to sell 50,000 to 200,000 units.”

  2. Ed, the cellphone market involved over 800 million units shipped in 2005. That year, Nokia (No.1 then) shipped over 80 million units. The cellphone market is heavily saturated. It’s probably even a tighter market today.

    500K units is peanuts.


  3. but for a cellphone that has a very high profit margin (almost no phones sell without a $200 subsidy by the service provider, that money is all going to apple from at&t) and is not really targeted at the mass market (most people are not going to spend $500 for a cell phone, no matter what bells and whistles. 500k units the first weekend is pretty impressive considering this is only united states, which is not a prime cell phone market (europe and asia are much more likely to buy expensive cellphones and are often 2 generations ahead in product lines) it was impressive. (razr one of the best selling phones sold 500k a week, although for a sustained period so it will interesting to compare. the razr became a commodity phone however and Motorola lost out on profits as they failed to find a replacement)

    unlike the razr which sled into the mainstream, the iphone will not necessarily be able to continue its sales as it really is possibly more of a niche product than the ipod, but who knows however, people buy overpriced ipods (guilty myself) at a rate way higher than one would expect consider the market is loaded with ample more affordable alternatives.

  4. Never bet against Steve Jobs. Apple, the Macintosh, Pixar, the iPod and now the iPhone.

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