I think we need to realize that iPhone-lust is not about the UI or the
features. Look at the ads. The calamari add message is about fun,
spontaneity, movies, restaurants, leisure time. It is a lifestyle device, a
contraption you use to signal to yourself and your surroundings who you are.
Its about having the newest, most shiny gadget for people that can afford a
As one of the most expensive feature phones on the market, it has to match
the basic features of its competitors like camera and email. Not having
basic features is not an option. It also need some serious "wow" to set it
apart. The form factor, the nice graphics and the direct manipulation helps
Its not intended to be "exclusive" as for example the Prada phone. The Prada
phone is targeted squarely at the fashionistas. The iPhone is designed to
appeal to people who define themselves as successful individuals and these
people don't want to appear vain.
Justifying the price will not be a problem for people. People who have (or
want) an iPod has already bought the first $300. ("Actually, I was thinking
I should upgrade to one of those video iPods anyway. If I just spend another
$300 I get both a new phone and a internet tablet - sounds like a steal!")
It would not surprise me if they sold more $600 iPhones than $500.
The problem is switching carriers. There are all sorts of practical barriers
to this. Giving people 5-6 months prior notice was very wise.
Apple has always been about industrial design. They look good, they make us
look good, so we forgive a lot.