Here are a few of my thoughts on what I like and don't like abt the iPhone, and why it will only work and sell well in the US, but not in Asia (Japan included).
What I don't like:
1) Closed system OS. Apple only allows first party software, so it's not a smartphone by conventional/general terms. Being that a true smartphone is a platform device that allows software to be installed, be it 1st party or 3rd party. Sorry, but personally when it comes to smartphones, if there is no content, I might as well look for better smartphone platforms to rely on. (wider platform support like Symbian or Windows Mobile 5.0, in this case)
2) The phone's aesthetics/design. Touch-screen but no stylus input? Virtual touchscreen QWERTY keypad? I say good luck to those who're heavy smsers. There's a reason why some HTC and O2 smartphone devices comes with a true QWERTY keyboard. Apple if this is the reason why you sacrifice usability for slimness of the device, the possibility of ppl owning this phone has just reduced by 1000%. Some ppl still prefer conventionl or traditional methods, just like why modern cars these days still have steering wheels, why ppl prefer a norm piano instead of a digital piano etc.
3) No OTA (over the air) iTunes Store downloads or WiFi syncing to your host machine. What a freaking joke. This is like no difference from Microsoft's Zune, the features are there, but you can't use them in normal terms. What's the point?
4) No removable battery (again?!) Apple I really hope your iPhone won't become like what happened to those Powerbooks with bloated/damaged battery issues previously. When such things happen and it's time for a recall, I shall see how you will clean up this whole mess. Once bitten, twice shy.
5) 2 Megapixels camera. Read after me....two megapixels...in 2007 (2008 for us in Asia). I don't know if it's an overstatement to say this is a piece of state-of-art device/gadget to my friends next time, when they see me carrying this phone, with only a 2 MP mobile-camera. So much for convergence.
What I do like:
1) Make no mistake, this is one sleek piece of convergence gadget, even to non-Apple fans like me. Widescreen videos, music, internet and making calls all in one. To ppl who're suffering from high-tech gadgetry sickness like me, I'm not sure if I will be able to resist buying this, even if it's not for making calls/using as a phone. Just buying it for its multimedia aspects is already considered cool enough.
2) Auto-push emails (apparently limited to Yahoo email only), Widgets and Google Maps. Wow what can I say...should interest any non-Apple fangeeks even abit, if any.
3) Bluetooth 2.0 with A2DP Profile, and 8GB storage for your music and videos. I like music-playing devices with A2DP support, so in this aspect I think it's really a good idea, no wires. Storage wise I think it's sufficient enough for me.
Why I think it will work in the US:
1) Majority of US telco carriers are still on GSM/EDGE, with little 3G coverage anywhere if any, so this is not a major problem for the carriers, as well as for the subscribers.
2) US is Apple's biggest market share, I don't need to say or explain this further. This piece of device will definitely have no problem selling in the US.
3) There's probably none other smartphone that's as nice looking as this.
Why I think it won't work in Asia (Japan included):
1) No 3G support. This may not mean much to u guys, but it is to me. Imagine no roaming support when u go to overseas countries like Taiwan, Korea or Japan. You need a 3G-enabled hp to be able to roam. However this is still early to tell, there are speculations that since Japan is Apple's 2nd biggest market there, and recently Softbank has a contractual agreement deal with Apple there, there might be a 3G release of iPhone for Japan afterall, released by Softbank. (NTT DoCoMo and au KDDI is out definitely, due to incompatible network)
2) Content choices. Under such a closed OS platform like OSX, I'm not sure if people will be obligating enough to opt for this over so many other choices on the Asian market, in terms of smartphone offerings with open platform like Symbian and Windows Mobile.
3) Technology Advancement. I think I don't need to repeat this, but every 6 mths we can see a major technology improvement, whether it's for the mp3 market or cellphone market here in Asia. Apple might be able to move this thing out in 2008, but whether it can create sales is another matter altogether.
That's about it. However make no mistake, Apple's entry into the mobile industry will definitely shake up the market, and put some pressure to the other manufacturer and major players like Nokia, Sony Ericsson and Samsung etc. Now that Apple wants a share of the pie as well, manufacturers will have to vie with each other and start worrying abt prices for chips, parts etc for their mass production of their own cellphone models.
My 2 cents.