Some People Like Buttons

Mike Davidson - Apple Just Killed The Market for Phones:

At the risk of sounding like a fanboy of the highest order, how on earth could the average customer justify purchasing any other mobile device at this point? If you can still get a free phone somewhere and that suits you, then great. But for the person thinking of spending between $99 and $799 on a Nokia, Motorola, Palm, or Sony, how can you even think about those alternatives given where the iPhone just went? The quality/feature/usability gap is so large that even a hatred for AT&T can’t keep people away now.

I have to demur. Granted, the iPhone is great already, the App Store will unleash amazing things, and the pricing shows that Apple is gunning for much larger market share. But even if you think that Apple design is objectively better, not everyone likes it. Many people use Vista voluntarily.

In particular, the no-buttons thing is an absolute dealbreaker for some people. Students typing no-look text messages under their desks come to mind. People scared by complexity who just want a phone that dials do too. And so do rocket-thumbed business email addicts. Some people just like buttons. And the other cell-phone companies will still have a good-sized line of business serving them.

(Via Daring Fireball.)

I’ll also suggest that the market for free (or “free with plan”) phones is still pretty significant — I know I’m certainly a non-paying member.

Getting an iPhone would require moving a 4-person family plan to AT&T. End of discussion.