Oops, slipped into Apple Cultspeak for a bit there. Sorry about that.
(I'll drop the Your Turn in a little early so you don't miss it, as this is a super-long entry. Sorry.)
Your turn: Where do you stand on iPhone-mania? Is this all just a little much? Click the comment link below and sound off. But no profanity: my mother reads this every once in a while.
The good news in all of this - aside from the fact that we won't have to deal with iPhone craziness in Canada for at least another few months - is that I got some pretty neat media attention from the growing Apple iPhone mania. Here's the rundown:
- Business News Network. I was on TV again earlier today, discussing Research In Motion, the fate of the BlackBerry, and the iPhone's impact on the other, more business-focused fruity device. I spoke to Kim Parlee, and the link to the interview can be found here.
- InformationWeek. I was quoted in Rick Martin's story, iPhone Dives Into Ocean Of New Smartphones. Here's what I said...
"The iPhone's arrival is serving as a catalyst for the other handheld makers to finally get serious about their converged smartphone offerings," says Carmi Levy, senior VP for strategic consulting at AR Communications. "The smartphone is finally emerging out of its awkward adolescent phase."
[Snip]. Later in the article, when I was asked to comment on the Helio Oxygen device, I said this:
What's more, says Levy, "Helio's online/call center subscription model allows customers to bypass the typically Byzantine retail channel and provides more direct control over the service through the life of the device." Providing relief for mobile phone users fed up with the traditional carrier-dominated model, this innovative system "could be just as significant as any flashy hardware launch announcement."
- The Ottawa Citizen. I spoke with Vito Pilieci, who wrote Canadian access to IPhone won't come easy. Also picked up by other papers in the CanWest chain: the National Post and the Victoria Times-Colonist. The Global National television network also ran it. Here's what I said:
And getting it to work in Canada could be even harder.
"I wish them the best of luck," said Carmi Levy, senior vice-president of strategic consulting for Toronto research company AR Communications Inc. "There is no guarantee that the product will work the way it is supposed to."
[Snip] Coleman noted that it is against Rogers policy to unlock the phones of other networks.
She refused to comment what Rogers employees will do if people manage to unlock their IPhones and demand that Rogers activate the phones on its network.
Levy agreed that opening the IPhone to work on other networks will be extremely difficult.
"You can bet your mortgage that Apple has locked it up," he said, adding that it will take talented hackers a long time to figure out how to take off the AT&T locks. "It's not something that I or my mother-in-law could do. Most people just won't want to spend the time, money or effort to do that."
- Montreal Gazette. Marc Saltzman interviewed me for his piece, Why the iPhone is on hold in Canada. Also picked up by MSN/Sympatico. Here's what I said:
"Like it or not, the U.S. market is an order of magnitude larger than the Canadian one - there are 10 times as many consumers there, as there are here - so it makes bottom-line sense for Apple to get things rolling in its most critical market before it turns its attention elsewhere," says Carmi Levy, a senior vice- president at AR Communications Inc., a Toronto-based marketing communications firm.
"Demand will also far outstrip supply in the first few months - so much so that Apple will likely not be able to satisfy the American market, let alone international ones," says Levy. "So by staging its launches on a country-by-country and continent-by-continent basis, Apple can create new hype cycles in phases around the world, and in doing so minimizes the risk of disappointing local fans with months-long waiting lists."
Can Canadians do this (use it in Canada with a transplanted SIM card) with the iPhone? Not likely, say the experts.
"While this is a fairly quick, easy and inexpensive option for most basic cellphones, it's a little more involved for a sophisticated device like the iPhone," explains Levy. "Apple's new offering extends well beyond basic voice or data service and as such its rich multimedia toolset might not be properly supported by a hacked SIM card solution."
Even if the technical issues could be overcome, Levy points out a more basic problem. "Simply getting an American-sourced iPhone for a SIM card transplant could be the biggest challenge of all - there's no telling how long the lineups will be at American stores after the device goes on sale."
"Maybe early Canadian adopters will want to call ahead," Levy adds, "on something other than an iPhone, of course.