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June 25, 2007

iPhone concerns start to surface

Posted by Tricia Duryee at 1:36 PM

Despite a lot of the hype circling the iPhone, especially as we get closer to Friday's launch date, there seems to be some deep-rooted concern whether it will do as well as some expect.

For example, Ryan Burke, an analyst who holds the title of director of telecom and media at Compete, wrote a thorough analysis in today's RCR Wireless News.

The article was based on two surveys Compete conducted about the iPhone. One was taken in January, just after the initial announcement of the iPhone. The other took place in the first week of June. In both surveys, Compete targeted recent iPod shoppers to keep results comparable and to target consumers who were more likely to be aware and informed about the iPhone.

Burke wrote that the biggest change between the two time periods was the number of people who said they were "very likely" or "extremely likely" to purchase an iPhone. In January, 26 percent of respondents said yes to both those questions. Earlier this month, the postiive responses dropped to 15 percent.

He wrote: "As shoppers have become more aware of the device's price and exact feature set, it is not surprising that the unrealistic expectations of five months ago have been replaced by a more realistic assessment of the iPhone's actual features and price."

Apple has a strong history and culture of creating highly engineered and stylishly designed devices, but he said consumers are now expecting that to be a given. Instead, one of the primary things consumers cared about is whether the phone will make high-quality calls.

It's a phone first, right?

"Overall design and look of the device scored much lower than usual as an area of concern, presumably because consumers are already confident in the iPhone's design and have shifted their concerns to other aspects of its functionality," he wrote.

A question to those in the "very likely" category: Why are you going to buy one? Design or functionality? If it's functionality, which feature are you buying the device for?

We have a story in the paper today that demonstrates there are alternatives in the marketplace for just about each feature the iPhone purportedly has. You can check it out here.

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Tricia Duryee
Tricia Duryee
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Angel Gonzalez
Angel Gonzalez
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Kristi Heim
Kristi Heim
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Benjamin J. Romano
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