INTERVIEW: Google Apps, Subsidizing, Features

wjp09

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Feb 25, 2007
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#1
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businessstechnology/2003724582_brier28.html

Here's an edited version of our chat:
Q: One point of skepticism is the price. That BlackJack is pretty nice, and it costs $500 less than an iPhone ...
A: Here's how I'd explain it. The most popular iPod, a 4-gigabyte Nano, costs $200. If you've got a RIM BlackBerry or Palm Treo, you probably paid $200 minimum. Then you've got a phone that you got for free or paid maybe $50.
You're at $450 or $500. The question you've got to be able to ask yourself is, is this device going to be able to replace those three, so you carry one? That's the question.
I think when people get their hands on it and really experience it — the touch screen is phenomenal, this touch screen is like nothing you've ever used — to experience that, the skepticism, I think, around some of those things will go away.
There are other things — you have the widgets, some of the Google applications that are coming — there are just so many things here that the price will not be an issue.
Q: So you don't think you'll have to subsidize the phone's price?
A: We're not talking about that.
Q: What's your impression of Apple?
A: It's a great company. I know there are lots of interesting thoughts out there about how Steve and his team have done so many things, but they have been such innovators. If you look at the music side, it's hard to argue that they aren't driving a lot of things.
Q: What's your favorite iPhone feature?
A: I don't know if I can answer that. It's a pretty incredible browsing environment. That's the first part that I think will blow people away. It's the first widescreen iPod they've ever done; it is very, very good, works extremely well.
I think the other thing people haven't really thought through is that Apple's so good at simplifying things. That's just what they're known for; they've really simplified the phone. The standard phone applications are really intuitive, whether it's receiving a phone call, putting that person on hold, adding another party and bringing a conference call together.
Q: Won't the full-powered browser hurt AT&T? People won't need to use its services as much — they'll just pull things from the Web, instead of calling directory assistance, for example.
A: No, actually it won't. I think it will be great for us, and here's why. One of the things with this device — people are going to be asked to have an unlimited package — people are going to have to have a package with us to browse. That's one good thing for everybody.
I think this is going to create a new way people use handheld devices because the browsing experience is as good as the PC browsing experience. So I think it's not going to hurt us at all. I'm excited about what it will do for the industry in terms of how people view mobile browsing.
Q: What's the risk in your deal with Apple? Are there downsides or concerns?
A: Not that I can see. The thing I get asked about a lot is, obviously, that our companies are different cultures. But they have been incredible to work with.
The one thing we found as commonality is our pursuit of customer experience. Whenever we got into discussions, the thing we kept coming back to was this unwavering "what's the customer experience going to be?" That's gotten us over the hump every single time.
Q: What do you think of Jobs?
A: He's a great guy. I've been dealing with Steve a lot. I think my prior comments fit: He is all about the customer, the customer experience, making sure that what customers get meets expectations. That's what my mesh has been.
Brier Dudley's column appears Mondays. Reach him at 206-515-5687 or bdudley@seattletimes.com.
 
May 6, 2007
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#2
Great, thanks for the info. It really got me pumped and answered our question of plans. There you go, folks. The iPhone requires a data plan to browse. :D
 

reptilexcq

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Jun 5, 2007
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#3
So you have to pay to browse? Give me a freaking break...this thing should be FREE like you use internet from home. I don't pay for browsing at HOME! I pay for the internet only. They better not talking about charging for browsing using wifi. If it's browsing using their service...sure i would agreed to some extend.

First of all i don't get it....we pay like $50/month and we can't even surge the internet unlimited? And we have to pay attention fee called DATA PLAN or whatever. So essential the $50/month is for PHONE only?
 

Youngbinks

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Jun 4, 2007
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#4
So you have to pay to browse? Give me a freaking break...this thing should be FREE like you use internet from home. I don't pay for browsing at HOME! I pay for the internet only. They better not talking about charging for browsing using wifi. If it's browsing using their service...sure i would agreed to some extend.

First of all i don't get it....we pay like $50/month and we can't even surge the internet unlimited? And we have to pay attention fee called DATA PLAN or whatever. So essential the $50/month is for PHONE only?
I would think it would be fairly safe to say that browsing on your home router or a wifi (if it is free for laptops) would also be free to browse with on the iPhone. Then when you are not around said wifi or router then you use your data plan. If not, then it really does seem to make little sense.
 

jpmihalk

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May 16, 2007
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#5
Browsing using your home WiFi would be free. Browsing using AT&T data service will be either have a monthly fee or a pay as you go by kb deal. Just like every other WiFi enabled phone like the Cingular 8125 and 8525.
 

wot_fan

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Mar 7, 2007
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#6
First of all i don't get it....we pay like $50/month and we can't even surge the internet unlimited? And we have to pay attention fee called DATA PLAN or whatever. So essential the $50/month is for PHONE only?
The iPhone is no different than any other data phone in this respect. If you want data through your EDGE connection, you have to pay for it. Just because I get TV from my cable company doesn't mean that I should get internet for free. The same holds for your cell phone, just because you have a voice plan from AT&T doesn't me you get data for free.
 

wjp09

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Feb 25, 2007
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#7
Good analogy wot. In short they charge you because you WILL pay for it. Thats the end of it.
 

ColsTiger

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Mar 8, 2007
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#8
Good analogy wot. In short they charge you because you WILL pay for it. Thats the end of it.
Or you will WANT to pay for it after you realize what a great browsing experience it is compared to other phones. I'm not crazy about having to pay for a data plan because I've never had one before, but the reason I've never had one is because it was always so crummy. If this internet browser works as good as they say it does, then I'll be hooked on it by the first day. I want mind paying for then.