Damn you Steve Jobs!

In your astounding brilliance, you’ve managed to make the coolest thing ever. Again. The iPhone has an 8 gig hard drive, a 2 megapixel camera, and OS X. It can play video, it can connect to WiFi networks and view normal websites.

In my bag, I usually carry my laptop, a black and white Palm device, a lovely iPod, my cell phone, and my 4 megapixel Olympus 4040Z. I love all of them, and have no deep desire to part with any of them (though upgrades are always welcome).

This new iPhone can do much of what each of those devices can do, and it looks damn good while doing it. It even has push email, the main weapon in Blackberry’s dominance of the smart-phone market.

Of course, it won’t be available until June, it costs a good chunk, and I’m not on Cingular.

The other thing I’ll note is how easy Apple’s life has been because it chose to build OS X on a Unix/Mach base. They made a tremendously smooth transition to Intel chips, and now they have the OS running on a cell phone. It’ll be interesting to find out what they had to do to port it to that third platform, and whether programs like Skype will work on it. The idea of being able to carry a videochat-capable device around in your pocket is pretty cool.

It’s like we live in the future, at last.

Comments

  1. #1 cephyn
    January 9, 2007

    “This new iPhone can do much of what each of those devices can do, and it looks damn good while doing it.”

    Um, well yes, it can do all those things, look good while doing it – but it doesn’t do it as well as any of those things.

    It’s not as powerful or versatile as a laptop. It doesn’t work as well as a data/phone if yours is 3G. It has push mail, if you use yahoo – it has nothing to interface with exchange or outlook. It’s half the megapixels of you camera. It only has 8GB so it can’t store anywhere near the music of an ipod, especially once you load it with other media and stuff you download for it. All for the low price of $600 and a 2 year contract only with Cingular!

    Color me unimpressed. It’s a nice looking (until you scratch the crap out of it) multifunction device that does nothing well while looking pretty. 8/

  2. #2 sinned34
    January 9, 2007

    All these stupid widgets built onto a cell phone. You know what I’d finally like to see on a cell phone? GOOD RECEPTION!!!

  3. #3 Josh
    January 10, 2007

    Cephyn, I agree that it may be a jack of all trades and master of none. I’m envisioning it as a palmtop computer that happens to also have a camera and cell phone. When I know I want to go photographing, I can still take my camera. When I know I’ll need a few weeks worth of music, I can still take my iPod. And when I know I need all of my usual applications, I’ll still lug the laptop.

    But for a lot of my daily travels it can replace all of those functions (assuming the camera lens is worth talking about). Serendipitous photography is great, and being able to do quick email checks, news reading, etc. would make it easier for me to take a weekend away without the laptop.

    I imagine that it will be possible to read PDFs on it, so I can even bring papers or ebooks to read on a plane.

    And since I can’t check my email or mess with data on my current phone, the details of 3G or whatever aren’t terribly important to me just now. Knowing that there would be a push email-capable smart phone that plays well with Macs is nice, though. And given that it runs a version of OS X, I imagine that it won’t be too hard to install software to allow syncing to exchange/outlook.

    Maybe I’m being affected by the Reality Distortion Field, but I’m optimistic about this. The devil, as always, be in the details.

  4. #4 freestatetownie
    January 10, 2007

    Cephyn,
    “It’s not as powerful as a laptop. Doesn’t work as well as a dataphone… 1/2 the megapixels of a camara. Not as much music as an ipod”…

    BUT IT IS ONE DEVICE! Quite a bit less bulky than a bag containing a laptop, a phone, a camara and an ipod.

    Jeez. …nothing is ever good enough if it isn’t cheap, disposable and windoze based.

    Get over your Apple envy and just switch over from the dark side.

  5. #5 Mike
    January 10, 2007

    They have to stick all singing and all dancing stuff on phones now, because if all you want is something that makes and receives phone calls and text messages – well, they’re selling them for about $20 apiece in Africa now.

  6. #6 Jason
    January 10, 2007

    Disclosure: I work for Apple, but I have no special knowledge about the phone. I heard about it yesterday for the first time, so my opinion is–at best–an educated guess.

    By the way it has an 8GB flash drive, not a hard drive. That’s awesome.

    For me, the main thing is the interface. I hate the interface on every phone (smart or dumb) I’ve ever used since the dawn of cellphones. If Apple’s touchscreen actually works without a styulus or traditional keyboard, I trust Apple to make the interface, as they say, “just work.” That’s what they did with the iPod and many other apps I use on a daily basis.

    Regarding PDFs, it looks like the phone is running a version of Safari, which renders PDFs pretty well. If not in Safari, I’m sure the picture viewing app would display them. Again, if the interface works out, this is going to become the best ebook reader on the market.

    On the other hand, I wouldn’t get too excited about installing other software on the phone. Apple seems to want to keep the platform closed, so, although it is running OS X, the process of moving data to and from the phone is going to be controlled tightly by Apple. Hacks will be countered with firmware updates until (I predict) after a few years, when Apple has built their market dominance, a more open development kit will be available.

    That said, if it doesn’t turn my iPhone into a brick, I’ll be trying the hacks myself.

    I also wonder if it will support VPN. Without that, it’s not going to supplant the other smartphones for most big businesses.

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