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Valeria -- I think Apple has changed the game for wireless manufacturers and carriers in the US. Until this device I dare you to think of the last mobile phone with this much hype. Heck, I dare you to name the last consumer electronics device with this much hype.

Why is it so hyped? Because consumers want it. Plain and simple. Apple has (finally) broken through with a device that combines aesthetics with functionality. More and more copycat devices are on the way. If you were Motorola, wouldn't this be a kick in the ass for you? Would you have your design teams working overtime to try to catch up?

Apple did the same thing with the MP3 market. There had been hundreds of players before the iPod. Some from big names like Sony and others from small upstarts trying to make a name. In the end it was the company that used physical and experience design to win people over. Companies are still trying to jump to Apple's new curve with mixed results.

Like you said, consumers vote with their wallets and I think we know where people are going. Look for more and more copies of the iPhone and look for more device manufacturers to release phones with similar feature sets. It's hard to play catch up btw.

Stephen:

I disagree with you. I think Apple has a track record of working out the problems in version 1.0 and providing an experience that is worthwhile to mention.

We live in one of the countries where consumers have a big say -- we vote with our wallets, or we should. Signing up with a carrier to have a mobile phone connection so far has been a necessary evil. Wireless customer service is rated worse than insurance claims. And that is low.

Mine is a what if... I remain optimist that consumers and providers of phones can change how things are run. I'd be curious to hear what everyone else is thinking?

Carriers have wielded considerable power in most transactions to date -- co-branding being a large part of it. In their effort to homogenize their in-store experience, they've removed the essential point of interest: the brands themselves.

The iPhone seems to be getting very mixed reviews -- "great iPod, lousy phone" seems to sum it up. However, coming off their iTunes/iPod success (and overlooking their Apple TV problem), they had enough leverage to get one carrier to let them do what they wanted.

Does this spell a change in the carriers' ways? Probably not. I can't think why it would.

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