Tech PRose

February 14, 2011

Deadly Sins of the Tech Industry: Will the Mini iPhone Become the Rainbow?

Filed under: Christine Rojewski,Technology Industry — techimage @ 7:42 am

As I was reading InfoWorld last week, Bill Snyder’s blog post, “Deadly Sins the Tech Industry Can’t Seem to Shake” caught my attention. In this post, Bill remembers the late Ken Olsen, the founder of Digital Equipment Corp, and the great things accomplished and the not so great things that have seemed to plague the tech industry.

Snyder remembers when Olsen stated “There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home,” before he tried to jump into the game too late and release the Rainbow PC, which of course flopped. This eventually led to the downward spiral of Digital Equipment Corp. and the boot Olsen received from serving for the company, even though that too, was too late, much like what Sun has faced with co-founder Scott McNealy.

But what I found ironic in this blog was Snyder mentioning that almost no one remembers the Rainbow. I couldn’t help but think of the other news released the same day of Snyder’s blog post- the talk of a mini iPhone.

Call me superstitious, but I think both articles hitting me on the same day means this mini iPhone will also be a flop that no one remembers- assuming it even sees a market release. Why? While I believe Apple has released some great products (I’m a huge fan of my iPhone and of the iPad, though I think that sees room for major improvement like a USB jack), this seems like overkill.

According to Bloomberg, the phone will cost less than its predecessor at $200 to keep ahead of Droid competitors. However, it will be one-third smaller than the iPhone 4 and it won’t offer a home button. To me, smaller isn’t always better and I’d feel like I was talking on my iPod. And I might be wrong, but isn’t the home button on the iPhone a huge plus? Taking away a home button will create more unnecessary steps that need to be taken for the user to achieve the goal of getting back to the page, and might be taking consumers to the Droid if they’re worried about cost (which at $200 doesn’t seem so cheap), and don’t want to splurge on the iPhone4 or a two-year carrier contract.

Even more ironic, is to think about how Sun and Digital Equipment Corp. were late to the game, thus spelling the demise of the companies. While I don’t by any means think this potential mini iPhone will be a fatal move for Apple, I do think Apple is late to the game if the development is just to keep the iPhone ahead of the Droid. The Droid models already gaining huge popularity, models far outweigh the iPhone and cost less so it seems like Jobs is a little late on this big idea.

Nonetheless it will be interesting to see what pans out. What are your thoughts on a mini iPhone? Must or Bust?

– Reviewed by Christine Rojewski

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