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Portables (Apple)

+ - The ghost of the Newton haunts Apple's iPhone

Submitted by
PetManimal
PetManimal writes "David Haskin has looked back at why the Newton failed to succeed in the early PDA market, and warns that Apple may be setting itself up for a similar failure with the iPhone. The iPhone appears to have a revolutionary interface, and the product has generated tons of interest from the Mac community — just like the Newton did, back in the 1990s. But the iPhone also shares with the Newton a hefty starting price — $500 for the iPhone, vs. $700 (in 1993 dollars) for the Newton. And Joe Public may not be so keen on the cost, as recent survey data suggests (see Slashdot discussion). Moreover, Haskin notes that the iPhone will have to deal with two additional factors that were not issues for the Newton: Competition, and wireless service providers: 'Besides overcharging for iPhone, Apple faces significant competition, something it didn't face in 1993 when it launched Newton. And you can bet that competition from the likes of Samsung and LG will both be good (although probably not as good as iPhone) and most assuredly cheaper. It's also becoming clear that Apple may be suffering from excessive hubris. That is evident by its strong demands on its partner in the U.S., Cingular/AT&T. The demands, including a slice of the cellular revenues and control of the sales channel, were so strong that Verizon Wireless turned the deal down. I'm more convinced than ever that, after an initial frenzy of publicity and sales to early adopters, iPhone sales will be unspectacular. If Apple doesn't respond quickly by lowering the price and making nice to AT&T, which surely will be ticked off, iPhone may well become Apple's next Newton. Remember that two years after Newton was introduced, a smaller, cheaper PDA appeared — the Palm Pilot — which truly did rock the world.'"

In a consumer society there are inevitably two kinds of slaves: the prisoners of addiction and the prisoners of envy.

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