Yesterday I was gonna do a little write-up on this, but I never got to it. Anyway...
On Monday, as you may have heard Apple released their second generation 3G-supporting iPhone. The big shocker was not the features, not the design, but the price. In front of a group of cheering Apple fanatics, Steve Jobs announced the starting price of $199 for the 8GB model, and $299 for the 16GB model.
This places the iPhone into iPod Nano price territory and makes it cheaper then the iPod Touch and the iPod Classic. Sure they will require you to sign a 2 year contract with AT&T, but even so, the iPhone is sure to steal away many sales from all the other iPod models. It is unclear what Apple will do to the prices of the iPod Nano, the iPod Classic, and the iPod Touch at this point. But historically the iPhone has always been more expensive then all three iPod models (even with the 2 year contract) and that is no longer the case. As it stands now the iPod Nano 8GB and iPhone 8GB are both $199. Obviously, something is not right, and those prices can not stay like that for long. Also interesting to note is that the price of the 8GB iPod Touch is still parked at $299 for the time being.
It seems that this may signal the beginning of the mainstream merger between the Smartphone and the Portable Media Player. It seems a bit like the merger of the PDA (Palm/Windows Mobile devices) with Cell phones which pretty much killed the standalone PDA market. (I still love my Dell
Axim X30). Is this the beginning of the death of the standalone Portable Media Player? Or will smartphones like the iPhone, HTC Diamond, and Blackberry Thunder simply make Portable Media Players cheaper?
One thing is certain, the $199 iPhone will be a huge hit when it launches on July 11th. Already, I have had numerous people tell me that their next phone will be the $199 iPhone. Many of these people are not typically purchasers of Apple's products. Now if only it was available for more then just AT&T.
Alright, theres a few details you may want to realize before you rush to go get one that could kill the deal. First off, they will only sell you an iPhone if you activate in store (whether it be an AT&T or an Apple store). This also means you can not buy one online. And you are required to get an unlimited 3G data plan from AT&T which is $30 a month on top of the standard monthly fee. Of course if you are a customer of AT&T, you probably already pay for a similar data plan for your Blackberry or other Smartphone. Although with those other smarthphones you are not actually required to get an unlimited data plan, and with the iPhone you are. Though with any smartphone you really are best off getting the data plan. At the end of the day the iPhone 3G is really quite a deal, especially if you already are paying for an unlimited data plan for your current smart phone.