Apple Reinvents the Phone?

26 January 2007

Update (2009-02-28): Alright, guilty as charged. “No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame.”

After watching the Steve Jobs iPhone keynote, I have to say I’m a little disappointed. While this phone has a slicker GUI than any other phone I’ve seen, it’s not so much the $499 US price-tag, but the stone-age functionality of the phone compared to what we have here in Japan that makes my jaw drop.

Here in Japan, 3 years ago in 2004, for 1 yen, I had the following in a cellphone:

If you go for a high-end phone with more than the above (e.g. built-in TV tuner), you’ll need to pay more than one yen, but the price range is normally below ¥20,000 ($200 Canadian). In its current state, the iPhone won’t sell in Japan even if it’s free; Apple is going to have to do some major work if it wants to compete with even the bare-bones models on the market in Japan.