I don't know anyone who doesn't covet the impending iPhone. Even I, who eschew virtually all things material (I am typing this post on a 1991 KayPro 200 computer) would like to have one to fiddle with. Positing all that though, I have a question. Will the iPhone be off brand for Apple?
Here's what I mean. When something sucks, Apple usually finds its place in the market by making that suckiness better, or eliminating that suckiness altogether. Certainly that was the case with the Mac and with their Airport. But with the iPhone, they are hopping into the sack with the devil: AT&T.
"Record your message at the tone...When you are finished recording, hang up."
Wow, thanks phone company for that compelling information and customer service. Thanks to that automatonic voice, I now know how to leave a message.
Now if I were Steve Jobs, I'd have insisted AT&T eliminate that banality. And if I were AT&T, I'd eliminate that crap and build a campaign around having done so.
Personally, I believe the iPhone will succeed. But it would succeed even more if big, dumb companies like AT&T took a page from smart, smaller companies like Apple and learned how to treat customers with respect.