Straws, Grasping Thereat

From Matt Richtel’s “AT&T Hoping the iPhone Has Coattails,” The New York Times’s entry into the iPhone doubters race:

The shift will be like the one caused by the skinny Razr from Motorola, the once wildly popular phone that became perhaps the first that people regularly asked for by name, said Chetan Sharma, a wireless industry consultant.

“The Razr redefined expectations,” Mr. Sharma said. “The iPhone will have a similar and larger impact.”

The fundamental difference, of course, is that the appeal of the Razr was almost entirely in its hardware. I know a bunch of people who own Razrs and I don’t know one who doesn’t despise the software.

“AT&T set the initial price [for the iPhone] very high, so it’ll likely do better once they lower the price, and align it with the value they offer,” said Mike Lanman, the chief marketing officer for Verizon Wireless.

They’ll sell even more of them when the price goes down? You don’t say. Someone has taken Econ 101. And isn’t it cute the way he thinks AT&T set the iPhone’s price?

Mr. Lanman said Verizon already had at least 18 music-capable phones. In the next few weeks, he said, it plans to introduce a new model of its Chocolate phones that allows not just downloading of songs over the air but also transferring music from computers.

Yes, that’s right, what Verizon needs are more phones. Why stop at 18? I’d like to choose from at least 40 different similarly-featured phones.

Mr. Lanman said he was not worried that AT&T would steal customers because Verizon’s network infrastructure is superior and offers better connection coverage and stability. “For Apple, I think the big risk is the AT&T network.”

Translation: “We’re seriously regretting that we told Apple to go fuck themselves last year, and if you see Steve Jobs, can you tell him that we’re really very sorry and that he should call me?

Edward Snyder, an equity analyst with Charter Equity Research, said that many people would be turned off by the price; older customers who can afford it, he said, will not care about all the fancy features of the iPhone, while younger ones who are excited about the device will not like the cost.

Fancy features like “web browsing” and “email”. Old people don’t use crazy stuff like that. And I doubt there will be any young people at all lined up around the country on June 29 to buy an iPhone as soon as they can.

Over all, Mr. Snyder said, the iPhone will appeal to maybe 3 percent to 5 percent of wireless phone users. And he said he was skeptical that it would work as well as advertised.

Because if it actually worked as well as advertised, shit, even Edward Snyder would buy one.

“Implementing a cellphone is absolutely more difficult than anything Apple’s done to date,” he said, noting that, in particular, the phones might have trouble delivering consistently good voice communications and that the devices could suffer overall reliability problems. “Go out and buy an iPod and hold it at waist level and drop it. That’s the end of the iPod.”

They just made this “Edward Snyder” guy up, didn’t they? If he actually exists, someone please let him know that Apple started selling flash-memory-based iPods a few years ago.

“I don’t think Apple’s going to be a big player in this at all.”

I am so writing that quote down.