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How Upgrades Should Be Done

Sascha Segan:

Never mind the cut and paste. Never mind the picture messaging, or all the other stuff that should have been in iPhone 1.0. Never mind the new payment methods that will shake up the mobile shopping marketplace. The most radical thing Apple said at the iPhone 3.0 software release was:

“The upgrade will be available for free, this summer, to all iPhone owners.”

Why can’t any other smart phone vendors do this?

Two points. First, yes, Apple’s iPhone upgrade policy and iTunes integration is a killer feature. When you buy an iPhone, you’re buying a phone that will get better and offer more features over time. No one else can say that, at least yet.

Second, though, what’s with the “or all the other stuff that should have been in iPhone 1.0” silliness? Does Segan really think these features haven’t taken time and effort to develop? Should Apple have waited until this coming summer to ship the first iPhone?

Update: Android phones, at least so far with the HTC G1, follow a similar upgrade policy. We’ll see how it works when the G1 is two years old, though. And my friend Aaron Swartz says his beloved Sidekick has a great update system, too. Also, one thing the G1 and Sidekick offer which the iPhone does not is over-the-air software updates. I wonder how many iPhone owners never find out about updates because they never bother syncing with iTunes on a computer.

Thursday, 19 March 2009