Geek Dad

Today will likely be my most memorable iPhone announcement. Because, more important than what was revealed in Cupertino, Anna and I found out we are having a boy: Shawn Junior (actually, no, that will not be his name). This afternoon, instead of refreshing liveblogs, Anna and I celebrated our soon-coming little dude by having a calm, classy lunch and talking about what potential names we wouldn’t mind shouting out the back door.

As I type this Anna and I are home, the iPhone announcement is concluded, and I’ve read through the live blog update of the announcement by This is My Next. Apple’s video of the event is also available, but I have not yet watched it in its entirety (though I did watch the first portion with Tim Cook).

No doubt you too have already heard about the iPhone 4S with its faster dual-core A5 chip, smarter antennae that gets speedier download speeds, a significantly improved camera, and Siri.

As I read through and watched portions of the announcement, these are the things that stood out to me:

  • Tim Cook stated that iPhone has 5% of the worldwide mobile phone market. He said:

I could have shown you a much larger number if I had just shown you smartphones. But that’s not how we look at it. We look at the entire market for handsets because we believe that over time that all handsets become smartphones. This market is 1.5 billion units annually. It’s an enormous opportunity for Apple.

It is not uncommon to list total iOS numbers when calculating Apple’s marketshare of the mobile platform. But Tim intentionally left out the total iOS marketshare numbers and simply gave Apple’s share of worldwide mobile phones.

I can’t put my finger on why exactly, but this statement and its slide stood out to me as one of the most strategic and purposeful slides of the event. Perhaps it’s a way of stating the fact that even though the iPhone is selling at an astronomical rate, it still has an enormous market to penetrate. Perhaps this slide was a banner to Wall Street and everyone else saying, we’re doing great and we are nowhere close to slowing down, nor are we running out of track“.

  • Sales of the iPhone 4 account for half of all iPhone sales since 2007.

Remember how iPhone sales would wean before a new iPhone announcement, but not this year? The iPhone has become a mass market consumer’s device, not just a nerd’s, and the 4 was the phone that was present when that happened.

  • The iPod classic was not even mentioned in the announcement, though it’s still for sale on Apple’s website.

  • The iPhone 4 at $99 is a total steal, and the free iPhone 3GS is a shocker.

The free iPhone 3GS is the next step in Apple’s fight for even more of the marketshare. It will be very interesting to see how these three iPhones perform against one another between now and the next year’s iPhone.

  • In light of above, does this mean that in 2012 the iPhone 4 will be the free iPhone and the iPhone 5 be the new one? And thus, in 2013 will we see an iPhone 5S?

  • Siri. It’s only available on the iPhone 4S, and only available in certain countries. In my link to the Siri website earlier, I wondered out loud if Siri’s exclusiveness to iPhone 4S is a sales ploy to entice more folks to get the 4S, or if Siri needs that A5 chip? Or if it’s something else?

Reader, Kyle Deas, wrote me with an interesting theory of why Siri is only available on iPhone 4S: Since Siri also needs an internet connection, it’s possible and likely that a good amount of Siri’s processing is being performed in the cloud on Apple servers. Therefore, limiting Siri to just the iPhone 4S could be a way of throttling initial usage while it is still in its beta stages.

If Kyle’s theory is correct then it means that Siri could potentially come to the iPhone 4, iPod touch, and iPad 2 via software updates. (Heck, maybe even the original iPad since it also sports the same A4 chip as the iPhone 4.)

And so, what if early next year when the iPad 3 ships, iOS 5.x also ships and brings with it Siri for all supported devices? And if so, that brings up another question: how will Siri and iCloud work together?

Geek Dad