Opening weekend sold maybe 700,000 units, and there are reports AT&T has activated one million units already. Add to that the positive reviews it received prior to launch, and more great reviews received after launch, and you have all the makings of a stellar product launch and success.
Still, from both RIM and Verizon we hear little more than business as usual, nothing to see here, move on.
For example, we get a casual attitude from Verizon Wireless’ General Counsel Steve Zipperstein, who says the jury on the iPhone is still out:
“”Despite the hype about the iPhone in the media over the last couple of weeks, the product has only been available for the last 10 days,” said Zipperstein. ” The jury is still out and we will have to see how the market reacts.””
Right. So if Verizon released a phone that sold a million in 10 days, you wouldn’t be peeing your pants, giggling like a little school girl and counting your stock options.
I agree with Mac Daily News on this one, what jury is Steve talking about? OJ’s?
Meanwhile, Jim Balsillie, co-CEO of Research In Motion Ltd., shrugs off the iPhone after being asked if anyone at RIM had managed to get one:
“”I haven’t seen one,” he volunteered with a shrug of his shoulders and a bored expression.”It’s possible, I guess. I mean, you watch these things, but you really have to just focus and do your job.””
And yet, being bored and unworried about the iPhone has not stopped him from warning us all of how dangerous it is:
“He is also intensely critical of what appears to be an effort by Apple to wrest control of the customer experience in the consumer market. For example, the iPhone is being sold through Apple’s own stores, instead of strictly through AT&T Inc…. The phone is free of AT&T’s logo and software and is tied closely to Apple’s iTunes music store,”
Having the AT&T logo in the info bar isn’t enough? It certainly makes it clear whose signal you’re using, which is what AT&T is providing. Customers are not served well by not having a glued-on AT&T emblem? If carriers want their logo on the phone, let them make the hardware.
Selling through Apple’s store is a problem? Can you possibly be serious? Having your phone sold in the most successful retail outlet in history is somehow a bad thing? A store that makes demo phones fully available on WiFi for customers to feel, touch, and use is a problem? Allowing the customer to activate it at home so your sales staff isn’t bothered with that mundane task is somehow an issue? Wow.
Being tied to Apple’s iTunes is a problem as well? Um, what? The dock-and-sync Apple has brilliantly perfected over the years — that hundreds of millions of people already know how to use — is a selling point, Jim, not a drawback.
So this is apparently the crux of the matter to Jim:
“”It’s a dangerous strategy,” says Balsillie. “It’s a tremendous amount of control. And the more control of the platform that goes out of the carrier, the more they shift into a commodity pipe.””
You don’t think cell service is something of a commodity already? How bad would it be if hardware makers made great hardware unshackled from the unreasonable constraints of carriers who want to sell us $2 ring tones, $3 songs, $15 crappy games and large monthly fees for streamed videos even though we already have those things on our PCs?
I’ve got a great idea. Why not have the carriers worry about their primary reason for existence: the signal? Quit the other crap and deploy faster and stronger signals to more places. They could make their money on $80+ monthly voice/data plans that customers actually feel provide their money’s worth, instead of building proprietary networks and ‘services’ to peddle a bunch of stuff we have or could get elsewhere if they didn’t cripple our phone so much.
Jim is pandering to the carriers here. No wonder he’s ‘co-CEO,’ I wouldn’t want him running the whole show. It seems RIM is successful despite his brilliance.