iPhone – Worth the Fuss

Rumors and all the other stuff floating around the web the last couple of weeks have driven me crazy … especially all the iPhone stuff. Here’s why, when Apple gets into a business they really get into it. The new Apple iPhone is perhaps the most revolutionary portable device in my lifetime. Is that too much to say? I guess if you throw in medical devices and other life saving items this pales in comparison, but I have to say Apple blew the doors off this one. I guess the thing that gets me is that they did everything we all thought they couldn’t do — deliver a device that packs all phases of communications and access into an incredibly small and sexy package. One thing I find very interesting was Steve saying that he is after 1% of the cell phone market. I’ll obviously be part of that … now I must get one … damn it!

You got that right, Steve.
Photo, Engadget.

15 thoughts on “iPhone – Worth the Fuss

  1. Cole, if this isn’t the coolest thing Apple has ever done…I don’t know what is. Maybe OS X and the original iPod come close, but this thing is OUTRAGEOUS.

    The age of computing is over…pervasive computing is here and in a big way. Even Apple made the symbolic name-change to Apple, inc. from Apple Computer…

    What a day!

    This device will undoubtedly have huge implications in higher education, too.

    What I’m waiting to see, is if they’ll sell an “iPod-only” version without the phone/internet communications/plans for maybe $599 or something.

    Obviously, the price of the iPhone is being hugely subsidized by Cingular. An iPod-only version would make a lot of people happy, especially those who just can’t switch plans or just bought phones, etc.

    It’ll be a nice gift for myself, when I get back from Marine Corps Officer training, in August…


  2. I followed the keynote on the Engadget live blog. Who knew refeshing a Web site to see a bunch of text and pictures could be that exciting?

    I got an LG CU500 from an AT&T exec last October. The live video streaming is impressive, but the phone part is near impossible to use. Absolutely amazing that Apple figured out almost every area where cell phone interfaces are idiotic, repaired them, and *then* blended in their unique brand of experience. What a change from the Motorola ROKR…

    The “i” must stand for “insanely great”…can’t wait to get one. I’ll donate the LG to my (almost) two year old…looking like a kid toy the more I look at it (and a boring toy at that).

  3. With the touch sensitive screen, sharp graphics, and baby OSX, it would be great if Apple also released an update to a Hypercard-like authoring environment for the iPhone, so we could create some interactive applications besides widgets.

  4. Its funny, I was looking at my Treo 650 tonight and just about threw it out the window. How many people do you think are looking at their phones doing the same thing right now? I wonder why it has taken everyone so long to see the path? I guess it has a lot to do with the fact that Apple has an uncanny way of looking at things in a whole different light. All I know is that I hate my Treo more than ever. June can’t come fast enough.

    As the macdaddy’s thought, I was sitting in an ETS conference room watching the refresh thinking how lame it was — that was until Steve laid the absolute smack down on us all. Jeez, now that was worth the hype. I am missing my iLife 07 announcement.

  5. Say didn’t Apple release something else today? Something about TV I think…whatever πŸ˜‰

    Frank, it seems like one of the great things about the iPhone (and I do mean *one*) is the OS X core. I don’t know if you’d ever be able to Hypercard script the thing, but I’m sure we’ll see some way to build Cocoa apps for it. I’d even guess that Realbasic will be working to get their stuff running on the phone. There’s no info posted on app building at the Apple Developer Connection yet, but I’m sure it’ll come once they get FCC approval. Unless they decide to make it hard (think iPod…lots of us have wanted to make apps for it, but there’s no obvious way to do that).

    Hopefully not. I’m ready to bring it on the iPhone…

  6. The iPhone does in fact look like a complete revolution in mobile computing. With all its features, I only wonder why they built the name around the word “phone.” It almost does the device a disservice because non-macdaddy’s may take a while to warm up to it, erroneously thinking it is just a phone. With a revolution like this, we almost need a new word to describe what this device is. (“It’s a phone, it’s a browser, it’s a music player — it’s SuperDevice!”) What might have made a better moniker? “iWorld”? “iConnect”? “iMe”?

  7. Cole, I was thinking the same thing about the way that Apple looks at things. It blew me away, to see an almost eerily similar keynote slide in yesterday’s presentation to the one Jobs gave when he introduced the iPod and iPod mini. In those slides, he showed the same kind of comparison between all of “the usual suspects” and their bad-looking products. It’s not until I actually see it in Steve’s slideshow that I truly realize how badly designed most consumer electronics are. Apple sizes up these markets and somehow delivers a product that can redefined it, rather than simply enter it by rehashing a current design. Steve’s got some brilliant hardware and software engineers working at Apple, that’s for sure.

  8. At the risk of raining on the parade a bit, the iPhone — while dazzling — does seem to depart from the formula that made Apple’s most recent revolutionary device — the iPod — such a wild success and cultural touchstone. Consider this passage I read recently about the iPod. It really resonates in terms of what made the concept of the iPod such a breakthrough:

    “The design [of the iPod] is a combination of an irrestistible sleek look, a compelling size, and, most importantly, how it works. At the very moment the world of gadgets has become incredibly complicated, the iPod offers the serenity of simplicity. TV ‘clickers’ are incomprehensible. Who can program a microwave oven, let alone a DVR? Most of us use perhaps 5 percent of our cell phones’ capabilities and even more haven’t figured out how to change the ringtone. Not the iPod. It’s brilliance rests in its intuitive simplicity. Product designer Bruce Claxton says, ‘People are seeking products that are not just simple to use, but also a joy to use.’ That’s the iPod. The iPod is the anti-gadget. Gadgets have buttons and switches that only serve to frustrate users, while the iPod’s total simplicity allows it to become an extension of the self. This is what makes it so compelling and essential. As Apple says, ‘You can do it all without looking.'”

    With apologies to the incredible looking user interface on the iPhone — I’m drinking the Steve Jobs kool aid here, too — is it better for a single device to do a single thing crazy good (a la the iPod), or will it prove better to have that same single device do three or four things — each of them crazy good in their own right — all together in one single unit?

  9. Tom, I feel your thoughts on the all in one design of the iPhone … before it was announced I was skeptical that Apple could actually bring a phone to market that was compelling beyond what has been done. I assumed it would have beautiful industrial design, but never thought I would look at it and say that it is all I need to take with me when I travel. The bulk of what I do while traveling is web, email, and music. Obviously a full blown laptop gives you real data entry, but for short trips the iPhone is honestly all I need — and the convenience factor is outrageous.

    I think it will be very interesting to watch the space evolve now that Apple has reinvented the notion of a true mobile device. I feel bad for Palm (and Windows Mobile) right now, but I am excited about the iPhone. I can also say that I would pay full price for it (without the contract) as it gives me unparalleled flexibility — sort of like a laptop that can run both Mac OSX and Windows πŸ˜‰ What will they think of next?

  10. Yeah, Palm and Windows Mobile were just doing the same thing over and over: polishing their turds. No matter how shiny they are, they’re still turds…

  11. I see Tom’s argument about the swiss army knife problem as well. I think the reason so many smart phones have sold is that they allowed you to carry one less device (no more phone plus a PDA). If those things sold as many as they did with horrendous design — I have one (not that I bought it) and hate it everytime I use it either as a phone or a palm — I think an elegant solution to this problem with the addition of removing my iPod from my other pocket will sell like mad. I think that the actitivites that get collected into this one device are really things that make sense to have together in one place. It makes sense to have my phone numbers in my phone, have my calendar tell me where I am supposed to be next to the number I need to call if I can’t find the place, along with a way to connect to Google maps to help me navigate. Lastly I want to listen to music or podcasts on my way to the place and watch video in the outer lobby while I wait. All these activities are things I do while going somewhere or things I do when I am somewhere other than in front of my computer, so being able to do them all with one device makes sense. But hey, I have been drinking the kool-aid for years.

  12. Revolutionary it is – the iPhone certainly looks impressive and will be interesting to see in practice. I seem to be one of the few skeptics. πŸ™‚

    What I don’t understand is the return to Apple’s battery issues – why they refuse to make the battery user accessible. It seems even more critical with this device. When traveling, I don’t want to use my 5 hours of battery life watching a movie and listening to music on a cross-country flight and then not be able to call someone when I arrive because my smartphone hasn’t got enough juice.

    Also, there are rumors that you won’t be able to build applications for the iPhone because Apple won’t allow the right access into the OS. Sounds familiar from the early days of the Mac, and a good way to stifle the creative forces that would turn this into a true powerhouse.

    Finally, I don’t see how this is going to replace my BlackBerry as a mobile email machine – I just can’t see the virtual QWERTY being any better (or more usable) than a physical one, no matter how cool the screen is.

    I think the iPhone will be ultimately more revolutionary in the kind of advances it inspires in the competition, or maybe the next devices in Apple’s series.

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