iPhone: SAND In Your Hand

Back in the mid ’80s, when Apple was getting ready to introduce the first Macintosh, the company gave advance peeks of the new machine and operating system to a few key software developers, one of them being Bill Gates. Gates and his pal Charles Simonyi weren’t told the name of the machine for security reasons so they nicknamed it S.A.N.D., or “Steve’s Amazing New Device”.

It’s interesting to think of that acronym today in light of the day’s announcements because in 2007 terms, a computer is not generally referred to as a “device”. A phone, however, is the epitome of a device… and that’s exactly what we got today: Steve’s Amazing New Device 2007.

In my mind, the iPhone is the second most exciting technology product announcement of my lifetime, after the original Mac in 1984. It is to phones what the Mac was to computers. Jobs mentioned the iPod as the second “revolution” between the Mac and the iPhone but I think both the Mac and the iPhone are much more significant. Music is great and all but the relative importance of the sorts of things you do on a computer and on a phone (now) are several orders of magnitude higher.

There are so many things to say about this iPhone that it’s hard to know where to start. To me, the single most impressive thing about it is that, like a lot of Apple products but specifically this one, there is no other company in the world capable of inventing it. How many times do you see a new product come out and you think “Damn, I wish I would have thought of that!”

The iPhone is no such product.

You couldn’t think of it, and even if you did, your finished product would be a godamned fingerpainting compared to this. It is so fulfilling to watch technology unfold like this, in the hands of the most indispensable and world-changing CEO of our lifetime. It makes all other work you may be doing in the technology world seem like peanuts.

When Apple says they are five years ahead of every other phone on the market with this offering, they are being conservative. If many of the 200 patent applications filed in association with this phone are accepted, there is no opportunity to copycat. If a multi-touch interface turns out to be the panacea of the mobile device input problem, then what are other handset manufacturers to do while they are prevented from implementing it on their own? I mean seriously, how would you like to work at Palm, Motorola, Samsung, or LG right now? Those guys must feel like a nuclear bomb hit them.

So what’s my favorite feature of the phone so far? Without a doubt, it’s gotta be OS X. I was fully expecting WebKit to be a huge part of this phone, but a mini version of the entire OS? There’s no limit to what can be done with this device… including push IMAP email! I sure hope that part of their deal with Cingular is to abolish the command-and-control mentality of preventing users from installing things openly on their devices. I want to be able to install not only my own Dashboard widgets but my own apps.

I also love the little touches like the accelerometer which shuts off the touchscreen when you bring the device to your face and the threaded SMS conversations which resemble iChat.

What are my concerns? Well, really only three things. One, the thing looks really easy to scratch/break/damage. Apple has made several devices in the past which have suffered from extreme scratchability, like the first gen Nanos, and this seems dangerously delicate for a cell phone. Two, no removable battery means you could theoretically run out of juice while watching a video and not be able to make an important call afterwards. Picture being on a long flight. And finally, perhaps the most important concern is the Cingular aspect. In Seattle, Cingular’s reputation is dead last among carriers, and hence I’m not thrilled about having to make the switch. Their data plans in particular would be considered rape in some states. I understand Apple’s need to do a deal with a carrier and I trust their judgement in picking Cingular, but it’s a shame T-Mobile didn’t slide in there instead.

The Cingular concern, though, underscores just how exciting this device is. I mean, the phone is $599 with a two year contract from a carrier I don’t particularly like, I have to break my existing contract and pawn off my existing expensive Treo, but I’m still chomping at the bit to get on board. Additionally, this is a first gen phone I know will be updated within a year, but again, it is of no consequence. Apple has built the ultimate lust device and it’s hard to be anything but thrilled with prospect of owning it.

Last but not least, the iPhone is sweet validation against those who railed against the article I wrote two and a half years ago entitled All Hail The iPhone. “People don’t want their music player and phone integrated” some said. “You’ll ruin the iPod experience if you add phone functionality to it” others claimed. Yes people do, and no Apple didn’t.

That was 2004, when everyone and their mom doubted both Apple’s ability and their desire to make such a device. This is 2007, when Apple once again proved all doubters wrong.

2008? That’s when you forget you ever doubted the thing in the first place.

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99 Responses:

  1. Andrei, the iPhone runs OS X. OS X can handle MS Exchange. Jobs even mentioned support for it during his Keynote (or maybe not all of Exchange, but they completely skipped the Calendar features of the iPhone so who knows).

    I’d bet good money on that it’ll support Exchange at some point or another, just fine. I would, that is, if I were a betting man, which I’m not.

  2. Chris H says:

    “Instead of asking “why” with an incredulous tone, go to http://apple.com/iphone and actually inspect the device. Watch the keynote. We Apple fans aren’t totally insane. There’s a reason for our passion. If you have to ask “why” then you really don’t get it. You’re stuck in a rut of a thought process that doesn’t allow you to see a much bigger picture.”

    Chris F, that sounds like you took my post as anti-Apple. It wasn’t. I’ve never considered Apple fans “insane”. I was, like a whole host of other people, curious as to why this phone is better than existing ones. It’s natural to want to know why any new product is better than others.

    I did visit the Apple site after posting my comment though, which I should have done before. Wow! The interface is truly lovely. Very clear font used too. If it’s really as easy to use as the demos suggest, then a great many people (Windows users included) will be impressed.

  3. Mike D. says:

    Andrei: A lot to respond to.

    1. Yes, the original iPod did very little. It wasn’t the cheaper, nor did it have the most storage of any MP3 player on the market. And although I believe iTunes is a huge reason for the iPod’s current success, it would have enjoyed just as much *early* success (i.e. not a whole lot), without it. People said about the iPod the exact same things as you’re saying now. “Why would I buy this overpriced thing just because….”.

    2. I don’t jive with your math about the true price of the phone either because it provides a ton of things your combos don’t. A phone like the RAZR is essentially worth zero to me. It’s a ho hum phone and you’d be a fool to pay even a penny for it right now. That’s why it’s free from all carriers. It’s data capabilities beyond texting are worthless so let’s not even go there. It makes calls and that’s it… which is just fine. To me 500 or 600 bucks for the iPhone is buying me a shitload of things I’ve never had before, and I’m cool with that. There have always been two types of people in the phone market: those that are willing to spend a little extra and those that aren’t. This *initial* version of the iPhone is aimed at group one. Just like the *initial* versions of the Mac and the *initial* versions of the iPod.

    3. Price seems like really the only major issue for you here and that’s strange to me since the last time I saw you, I was playing the 10 dollar hold ’em tables and you were playing the 50 dollar tables! :) You’re a big balla’ and you’re not afraid to lose more than $600 in one poker hand! But I suspect you’re just proxying what you think the population in general will think of the iPhone and that’s just fine. To me though, this is very simple. In year one, Apple can produce X of these units. They’ve calculated they can more than sell out X of them at $500-$600. X is small so they are probably right. In year two, this phone will be $150 cheaper. And early in year three, there will be three more models, probably ranging from $100 to $600. Now price is out the window and since people get new phones every 1 to 3 years anyway, they are fresh meat. Where the handset manufacturers are extremely vulnerable is that they’ve created ZERO LOCK IN. Blackberry is the only product to create any sort of lock in and even they aren’t so strong. Can you imagine being on an iPhone for two years and even *thinking* about leaving?

    4. You cite Apple products as being “faddish”. Apple products aren’t faddish. Apple *designs* are faddish and that’s perfect for any company looking to get you to buy a new one every few years. An iPod? PERFECT for this! A phone? PERFECT for this! You never hear anyone walking around saying “Apples are SO 1990s”. What you hear instead is “Have you seen the NEW one of those???”

  4. ZenBug says:

    I had heard at some point speculation that there were going to be two separate batteries: one for video/music playback and the other for the phone.

    The specs say:
    – Up to 5 hours Talk / Video / Browsing
    – Up to 16 hours Audio playback

    So it looks like music is powered by its own battery, and everything else is on another.

  5. Scott says:


    Will you be able to update software through “isync”?

    Can use the iphone as a wi-fi phone or VOIP phone?

    Is the Battery sealed? Will they make a external back up battery like the one i finger painted in my dream last night?

  6. The figures on the battery life show no indication that there’s two batteries. The figures are similar to the specs on the Video ipod: if you’re using the screen a lot, it will chew through the battery quicker than if you’re only using the audio playback. So things that take more battery power and will therefore give you the 5 hour threshold instead of 16:
    – Anything that uses the screen (video and interface)
    – Talking (the transmitter in any phone is a power hog)
    – WiFi or Edge or BT two-way communications (transmitting again)

  7. Richard says:

    I think everyone is expecting to be able to write apps for this phone. I predict that like with iPod games Apple is going to keep the phone closed to outside developers. This will kill some people’s excitement regarding the phone.

    Another thing is that manufacturers will copy the interface as it’s nothing new. There have been published articles online that show almost identical funger interfaces ie. zooming by ‘pinching’ on the screen and such.

    What Apple does do though is bring all these things together well. Even though they might have not invented all the bits and pieces that make up the phone they certainly have packaged it beautifuly. I hope that being tied to a single operator, the price, battery life or day to day use won’t let us down.

    I’m betting someone will produce a external keyboard for this sucker. I’m in for 10 bucks ;-)

  8. Ben says:

    In my opinion, here is why the iPhone is FAR from impressive:

    * NOT OSX proper
    * It will not be open to to 3rd party developers
    * it will not include sync via wifi or Edge
    * No planned music downloads

    Not allowing developers to write/users to install 3rd party software on it is the real killer. If this is supposed to be a “computer in your pocket”, why don’t you have any control over what software is on it? In that respect it is certainly inferior to existing smartphones. I really don’t see what everyone is so worked up about now that I’ve heard the details.

  9. Guido says:

    Never under estimate what people will pay for a cool – and sometimes effective – device. While the iPod may not be the best, it certainly hit the market hard.

    This “phone” certainly is expensive and different. My question is in a market that has a pretty high use and turnover rate (I’d say the avg power cell phone user, flips a phone 2 years), will people pay this high of a price for a phone? I think they will and they will lineup to do it.

    I agree with the concern about damage to the touch screen, most skin/case producers out there will most likely have something viable for screen protection, I know pmpproducts is already saying they’ll have iPhone skins..

  10. @ben:
    Where did you find these details. I’ve seen nothing that confirms that third-party vendors cannot create app or widgets for the phone. I’ve seen nothing that says it won’t sync (I’m positive it will sync via cable, willing to bet that it will sync via BlueTooth and would be surprised if it indeed couldn’t sync via WiFi).

    You say no planned music downloads, but I’d again be surprised if by the time the actual product release hits (phones in public hands) that Safari couldn’t access the iTMS or recognize MP3 downloads when it sees them for playing. Pure conjecture on this one though.

  11. Andrew says:

    Both Gizmodo and TUAW have posts stating that, as far as they have been told, users will not be allowed to install their own applications (and Gizmodo says they spoke with Phil Shiller and Eddie Cue, Senior VP of Worldwide Marketing). Regarding over the air iTunes downloads: from what I hear about the EDGE service, this would be (a) slow enough that you probably wouldn’t want to and (b) probably cost a fortune. Now as far as downloading via Wi-Fi….perhaps in the 2nd generation, and you’d definitely need a better battery for that, as well for Bluetooth syncing perhaps. I think keeping over the cable syncing makes sense, if you’re plugging it into your computer to charge, might as well sync it up too.

    It’s also been posited that Jobs was running the iPhone during the keynote over Wi-Fi, if that’s true then you can still make calls over Wi-Fi. Which also means you may not need as many minutes in your plan or as expensive a data plan as you think.

    It’s also been said that including 3G would have raised the price of the phone, and Jobs said in the keynote that they went with EDGE since it’s currently more widespread than 3G and HSDPA. Perhaps the European and Asian models will have 3G instead of EDGE.

    Here’s my question: will current 5th gen iPod chargers work with this? If so that’s $30 I won’t have to spend on a car charger.

    And does anyone think the price might drop a little for the holidays or no?

  12. “[The Razr] is a ho hum phone and you’d be a fool to pay even a penny for it right now. “

    That’s the crux of why I can’t understand why Apple is calling this new product an “iPhone.” I’d claim that 80% to 90% of the current cell phone market uses their phones for simple calls, texing and the occasional photo. The Razr and other cell phone options do this more than reasonably well, that combining them with an iPod nearly covers all your general consumer use cases.

    The iPhone is *not* a phone. It’s a mobile computer, such that if you want to do a lot of email, maps, contacts, etc… Business tasks for all intents and purposes… it’s possibly worth the cost increase.

    I think the iPhone will fail in this incarnation simply because it’s the wrong product marketed the wrong way. Apple needs two different products: a cheap iPod+cell phone straight up for consumers who don’t want to carry around two devices and a new product defining breakthrough for the PDA/mobile computer market.

    The iPhone should be for the latter, which is going to take quite a bit of time to bring the costs down, evolve it over time, educate the market both on why the thing is useful and even how to use the new multi-touch interface, yada yada yada. In the meantime, Apple dropped the ball on creating a stepping stone to that device by creating an iPod that has a phone in it, which most people like me want right now.

    Obviously, I can easily afford this thing. But no way in hell am I paying through the nose for it. I’ll let you and Dirk subsidize that adventure.

  13. Mike D. says:

    Patience, Dre., patience. Your cheaper, less-able phone will come soon enough. The first model is always the most expensive one. Heck, two years ago, a 1 GB SD card was $250. Now they are FIVE DOLLARS.

    I think it matters little what they decide to call this thing. Phone, portable computer, etc. It is a beautiful object capable of eliminating at least two much less beautiful devices from your life, and that is enough to sell several hundred thousand of them at $600 a pop. By the way, I dropped a bunch of cash on Apple stock right before the keynote, so my phone is already paid for by the optimism of others. :)

  14. Steve says:

    MultTouch is a biggie, I agree. Perhaps it’s the new Mac Mobile GUI. If so, we may see it deployed on iPods and MacBooks in the future. Can’t wait.

    It’s the great reconvergence of the Apple OS. No more IPod OS and Mac OS. The split was a bit troubling, and the iPod OS is primitive. And it’s the reconvergence of Macs. One definition of a Mac is any device that runs OS X, yes? So will we have the Mac Nano (iPod), Mac Books, Mac Nexus (iPhone), and maybe a Mac Game.

    I do want my music separated from phone use, by the way. It’s simple really: I don’t want to pay for hardware and service I won’t use. I expect my next iPod to be MultiTouch, and I will not pay $500 plus a contract for the honor.

  15. Ed says:

    The iphone is amazing but two things some of you have pointed out is no expandable memory and can’t remove the battery. Every cell phone has a removable battery how could Jobs miss this. The phone carrier from seeing their prices it’s just to pricey for me since I would like it for web browsing when I am on the road or need to find a location. I’ll wait for the next gen and see if the other carriers pick it up or if apple will sell an unlock version.

  16. Andrew says:

    I’d claim that 80% to 90% of the current cell phone market uses their phones for simple calls, texing and the occasional photo. The Razr and other cell phone options do this more than reasonably well, that combining them with an iPod nearly covers all your general consumer use cases.

    I’d argue that Apple products (perhaps more appropriately, recent Apple products) simply aren’t made for this audience. For example, I’ve tried selling my parents on a Mac, even a low end iMac or Mac Mini, but their argument is always the same: they can get a computer and a monitor and a free printer or scanner or whatever if they go with Dell or HP. This is something John Gruber brought up in his post “Windows: The New Classic” when he said

    Whatever market share number you peg the Mac at — 2 percent, 5 percent, or anywhere in between — you must keep in mind that it (that is, the Mac user base) is not comprised of a random sample of just any 2-5 percent of computer users in general. It’s a very specific self-selecting segment of the market: people who care about their computers, and who are willing to pay more for something better.
    So even if Apple only has 2 percent of the total market today, it’s 2 percent from the best part of the market.

    I would argue that the iPhone was not built for people who simply want “simple calls, texting, and the occaisional photo.” I’m a college student and I’ve seen more and more students with Treos — only they really don’t need them. This is who the iPhone is aimed at — consumers who want (or think they will have a need for) it’s features and are willing to pay a little extra for them. For example I don’t use enough email or mobile web browsing to need push-email, however I would use these features in the iPhone — especially with the Wi-Fi functionality.

    I don’t think the iPhone will be a RAZR-style success, at least not yet. But I do think Apple will come close to their projections by probably the end of 2008. As a side note, I also think this is going to be Apple’s next big product placement, and I can’t help but think that once people see this thing in the hands of Jack Bauer or someone in the big summer blockbuster (albeit summer blockbuster in ’09) that will help a lot.

    2) Price. $600 to replace my current $250 30GB iPod with effectively an 8GB Nano seems absurdly silly.

    3) Price. $600 to replace my $250 30GB iPod when the battery life will *at best* be 5 hours and I’d be lucky to get one video on it to watch before the thing dies while I take a phone call seems absurd.

    Apple doesn’t want you to replace your 30 GB iPod with this. Apple wants you to replace your 30 GB iPod with an 80 GB iPod, and buy an 8GB iPhone, and a 17″ MacBook Pro, and 30″ Cinema Displays for every room in your house. I’ve never figured out why every time Apple announces a new product people assume they’re supposed to replace what they already have. I didn’t see that anywhere in the keynote.

    No, Apple is betting that you will buy it for everything but the iPod functionality, and the people who want a phone with MP3 functionality who have been disappointed will buy it for that, and people who want the browsing capabilities will buy it for that, and people who want a phone with a decent interface will buy it for that, and people who want something damn sexy will buy it for that. And soon the iPhone — be it this top of the line model or a stripped down version — will be the mobile phone. And in the process, I hope it’s motivation for manufacturers to rethink their design, and for carriers to rethink what features their customers really want.

  17. Chris says:

    What are Apple doing launching a product with a name that they know is registered to someone else? Why did they not call it ApplePhone? Like the AppleTV.

  18. Andrew says:

    Cisco and Apple were reportedly negotiating this and where at one point close to having a deal (like, Monday night), but apparently Apple didn’t deliver a signed agreement in time, and now Cisco is taking them to court.

    Apparently Cisco only owns the trademark “iPhone” in the US, while Apple owns it in several countries around the world.

  19. Chris says:

    As America is probably the largest market for the phone, it needs to have ownership of the name for that market. The new phone has generated so much good publicity, it seems a shame that Apple have launched it under a name it doesn’t own. Cisco have got them by the short and curlies!

  20. Nic says:

    I throw this in just because of all the heated debate around Cingular’s service – Expect an announcement shortly that Cingular will no longer be Cingular, but AT&T.

    Whether that will change anything, I can’t say since I live rather far away in South Africa where we pay ZAR 2.00 (+/- USD0.27) per Mb of GPRS/EDGE/UMTS/HSDPA data.

    Article: http://www.itweb.co.za/sections/telecoms/2007/0701120859.asp?S=Reuters&A=REU&O=FPW

  21. Colin says:

    Blah.. blah.. blah.. Is it cool ? Hell yeah ! Will I buy one ? When the price comes down a bit.

    Does more then half the worlds population care about it ? No ! They’re not part of the Digital Revolution.

  22. Andrew says:

    I throw this in just because of all the heated debate around Cingular’s service – Expect an announcement shortly that Cingular will no longer be Cingular, but AT&T.

    That won’t fix whatever complaints people may have about Cingular. I’ve never had their service, so I at least hope the coverage is good where I live, and I’m wondering if the phone will still be fully functional over Wi-Fi, since that means I wouldn’t need as expensive a data plan or perhaps even voice plan.

  23. Omar says:

    While Apple, Inc.’s products are years ahead of the competition, one thing that should not be overlooked is why Steve Jobs is the head of one of the most innovative companies in the world, and why people rave about the products they put out: his ability to communicate.

    The keynote speech video was the first time I actually saw Mr. Jobs, and I was astounded at how he controlled the room. His demeanor not only commands you to relax an open up as a listener, but you want to like what he is selling.

    Those funny Mac TV ads with the two guys representing a “PC” and a “MAC” now make even more sense to me. The PC is anxious and speaks fast with sporadic movements. The MAC is cool, calm and collected.

    Mr. Jobs showed the accuracy of those ads when the clicker wouldn’t work for him during the presentation. An amateur probably would have started sweating and making movements conveying the seed of anxiety inside. What’s the result of this? The listener, closes up. They can’t even help it. It’s a natural subconcious reaction…instinctive reading of body language. They become less willing to receive the message of the person, as they do not want to be controlled by someone that is not in control of themselves, or the situation.

    But Mr. Jobs, after a few clicks that did nothing, stated the situation to the crowd (to his backstage technicians). “My clicker is not working.” He then calmly walked to the side of the stage, with no quickening paces and no looking nervously for help, to grab another one. When the second clicker failed, he stated the situation again and then seamlessly went into a slightly humorous story about an old roomate he had. When the situation was fixed, he continued as if there was no derailment. Truly there wasn’t. It seemed as though the moment could’ve been scripted into the presentation from the beginning. It was a shining picture of confidence and class, and is a great example of what it takes to be a leader of people.

  24. “When the second clicker failed, he stated the situation again and then seamlessly went into a slightly humorous story about an old roomate he had.”

    Not just “an old roommate” — he was talking about his buddy Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple. :-)

  25. Omar says:

    “Not just “an old roommate” — he was talking about his buddy Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple. :-)”

    Shows how much I know! Is it obvious I don’t own one Apple product? Not even a iPod.

    That co-founder sure is/was a prankster. Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk.

  26. Lance says:

    If many of the 200 patent applications filed in association with this phone are accepted, there is no opportunity to copycat.

    …why I hate the direction of the tech industry.

    I don’t want to be locked into using itunes as my only music player.
    I don’t want to be locked into buying over priced mp3s from itunes.com.
    I don’t want to be locked into a contract with Cingular as my only provider.

    I want service, web standards, competition and innovation – not fat-cat lawyers that, for instance, nearly removed Blackberry from the US market over some silly patent.

    but IP laws allow for innovation

    Show me the proof! They allow for some people to make a crap load of money. Innovation comes from need; people have done it for thousands of years with or without lawyers.

    iPhone is an innovation device that will be a cross over for many people into smartphones.

    I won’t buy one.

  27. Rex says:

    Pogue FAQ.

    Cingular is your only option for at least two years, it will not synch with Outlook, you will not be able to install applications, it will not run Mac apps, it will not open Office files, you cannot connect to iChat, no games, no support for Flash in the browser, no video capture.

  28. Eric says:

    This is why I’ve been importing phones from Japan for the past two years:

    My reaction to the iPhone isn’t more of surprise, but “it’s about time”. I’ve been wowing people with my Sony Ericsson M600i (in white) for about 6 months now, attesting to the quality of Japanese phones.

    I sincerely hope Apple includes 3G in the first-released phone, mainly so we can start the push towards 3G in America right away, not delay it until 2008.

    As a smartphone consumer/power-user, I won’t be getting the first revision of the iPhone, knowing how many bugs and problems plague a new device and tend to “brick” it when doing firmware updates. Not sure if Apple plans to allow this, but their first 6 months could potentially be hell if they haven’t squashed most of the bugs.

  29. As a die-hard mac fan I’m really excited about this phone.
    Finally i’ll be able to send text messages to my under 30 associates without having to get out a magnifying glass.
    Dick Tracy has arrived.


  30. Willi says:

    Great post Mike. I felt the same way after I set up my Sonos system. And compared that feeling to the first time I selected a track on a CD player.

    You’re also right on about the RAZR. I bought a RAZR when I moved and had to switch carriers (which didn’t support my older phone) and the RAZR is a whole lot of nuttin’. It is basically a neat looking phone. It doesn’t give me anything (useful) that a cheap cell phone doesn’t provide except extra weight and trendy looks.

  31. mukund says:

    Though I love Mac but I am a no die-hard-fan of anything.
    Whats good is good. whats not is not. Simple.
    About iPhone.
    I have used nokia phones since ages and got all soughts of gadgets. And when I saw iPhone only thing Which i can deffer it from other things is Mac OS X in it. Rest of the things are all duplicates and Apple should be ashamed if they go on filing for patent for rest of the things like No KeyPad and others etc.

    Other then that iPhone is a No-Mirracle.
    We never expected such a thing from Apple. Apple is know for unique things. The only unique thing in this is Mac OS X which was expected. They have done nothing out of the box for this phone.

  32. Emily says:

    I don’t want to be locked into using itunes as my only music player.
    I don’t want to be locked into buying over priced mp3s from itunes.com.

    Lance, do you not buy proper CDs anymore? I’m rather astonished. Almost all of my mp3s are rips from my own CDs; the only iTMS-purchased items I have are the late-night moments of weakness when I must listen to that Dolly Parton song or I’ll just DIE.

  33. Lance doesn’t have to get an iPhone then. He is welcome to get another phone if he so desires. As angry as people are about iTunes, you can use other jukebox players. You can burn your music and rip it back and it will be DRM free. Lance could get Zune, I hear the DRM on that is less restrictive–not.

    Currently no network is without its holes, we would hear the same carping no matter which cell company was chosen. But one had to be chosen. And although I agree that the iPhone is not a miracle, I would say that it is a well balanced convergence of technologies that fix a lot of what is wrong with phones out there. Again Apple has hit a home run because they create hardware and software that they labor hard in order to make it work for the user, not have the user work for it.

  34. phate says:

    hi mike… so the iphone is cool but i think that is better wait for a second release… more some cool stuff could be upgrade.. Remember the first feature of iPod..? … cool but the second release was better.. .and now we got the iPod video…

    iPhone is a great innovation technology from apple, especially for the UI… but it haven’t an UMTS connection for example… or some features of the experience can’t be extend with additional application software…
    and some others competitors have created some cool technologies… just like Nokia…
    Do you know the AEON phone..? .. so there r some images on my web site here:


    cool touch screen innovative technology…
    however i’m an apple fan from the first iMac… and the iPhone is in my next xmas gift list :)…

    santa phone.. :)…

    PS sIFR technology is really cool :)… i’ve posted the link in my del.icio.us bookmarks… innovative… a web technology innovation just like the UI of the iPhone..

    see ya…


  35. You are crazy if you think apple thought of all this. I am sitting here with my Treo that does nearly everything the iphone will do plus more. It plays music, it plays video, it streams my TV from home, it has a removable sd card currently 4gb, and runs 3rd party apps including M$ exchange (apple will not) and it is a 3g device. Apples iphone is a 2g device.

    I agree that apple put it all together better and has a great marketing machine but to say that Apple thought of all this is a bunch of crap.

    The only thing my CURRENT phone wont do is the screen flick, and adjust video to portrait automatically, thats it.

  36. Oh yeah, theres even an iphone skin for windows, though Apple is aggressively trying to stop its spread.

  37. http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/macworld2007/windows-mobile-5-already-does-what-the-iphone-does-227778.php

  38. andrew says:

    while i think the iphone looks really nice, it’s chopped liver compared to much of what’s available in Japan. Heck, the thing doesn’t even operate on the 3g network! -_-;

  39. Mike D. says:

    andrew: Chopped Liver? Instead of typing a vague sentence and then ditching, how about providing some examples? I’m willing to bet the Japanese are among the MOST impressed by the iPhone. What good is 3G without a great interface, great content, and great features? I have EVDO which is trivially close to 3G and it’s barely even worth talking about.

  40. That’s the crux of why I can’t understand why Apple is calling this new product an “iPhone.” I’d claim that 80% to 90% of the current cell phone market uses their phones for simple calls, texing and the occasional photo.

  41. Before the coming iPhone, the US market was about 3-5 Years behind the Japanese cell market. This product will probably in addition to bringing at least our phones up to the current world standards, will probably also encourage multiple services to innovate on the service side as well.

    As far as what features are and are not currently present, this is a 1.0 product for Apple, one that puts a foot in the door. The original iPod models topped out at 400.00 and had few features, and now they have many features and top out around 349.00 for the top level products. Imagine what the iPhone market will bring.

    As far as nothing new under the sun, Apple may not have reinvented the wheel with this phone, but I think it fixes a lot of what was broken with the numerous different cell and smart phones out there. Skipping voice mail messages, who would have thought? A keyboard that exists onscreen, makes sense to me. Yes, it’s not going to be easy using a keyboard onscreen, but I think after awhile, it will become second nature. And the sensor and multitouch features are just another example of what is right about this phone.

    Finally, there needs to be innovation in regards to batteries, and I think a product like this that capitalizes on the convergence capabilities of the phone might be the “brand product” that really causes companies to knuckle down and get things working. Jobs will do for the Phone market what he has done for the computer market; make everyone play catch-up.

  42. Antje says:

    Big post, but i do not agree that the iPhone is now bigger than the iPod – ist has the capabilities of being bigger then the iPod but in my point of view there is no big change in that phone.

    But there will be an everybody will love it!

  43. Great post. I absolutely had to chime in here because IMO apple has done it again – for the average consumer anyway. I love the simplicity and elegance of the entire unit, but the thing that has always kept me from chasing the latest PDA or gadget has always been either usability (iPhone handles that brilliantly) or compatibility issues. Unfortunately, I spent most of my days on PCs and to have a device with the ease of use of an iPhone be able to get down and dirty with Microsoft’s wares would change my computing lifestyle ten fold.

  44. Leechio says:

    iPhone looks great, as do the majority of Apple offerings these days. But apart from the draft 802.11n wireless hub and multi-touch (which has been knocking round in its infancy for years), Apple haven’t released anything ‘new’ in the past decade or two. They take something that’s already on the market, something that’s been tried and tested, then throw designers at it to make it look pretty.

    I’m talking about mp3 players, BSD, media centre PCs and now cell phones. Even the Apple TV is essentially a fancy looking XBox without the gaming capability (with roughly the same price tag)!

    Apple deserve credit for their advertising campaigns and awesome product designs, but as far as ‘revolutionary’ products go, they need to do a lot of work to earn my respect.

  45. kevin says:

    Now there’s the Nokia e90. Might be a good alternative to the iphone
    * 128 MB of operating memory (RAM), about 80 MB available, providing unlimited multitasking
    * HSDPA 3.6 Mbps, UMTS, EDGE
    * built-in GPS receiver
    * 800×352 pixels internal screen
    * fully functional 240×320 external display
    * qwerty keyboard
    * quadband 850/900/1800/1900 GSM, 2100 WCDMA
    * Wireless LAN 802.11 b/g 54 Mbps
    * Bluetooth 2.0
    * A2DP profile for stereo audio over Bluetooth
    * USB 2.0 Full speed via USB Mini-B connector
    * 3.2 MPix camera with autofocus

    It’s basically a portable laptop


  46. phate says:

    so watch this concept… the amazing nokia888…

    ultra cool


    is an innovative design plus an interesting interface… unfortunaltely is a concept… but… i hope that something like this technology could change the future of the mobile design…i think that with the new material like the oled panel we can use the body of our design gadget with more emotional appeal and with a great user experience…

    and another plus… this phone is cool :)

    really interesting concept…


  47. phate says:

    also u can find the video on you tube… in the link of my blog there’s a photo too… :)…

    search on you tube.. nokia 888


  48. Mike Howard says:

    Is it pretty? Yes. Am I full of lust? Yes. Will it outshine the iPod/Mac in its revolutionary impact? No. I love this phone. It screams “sexy” and I’m pretty sure the overall interface will deliver the goods (although I’m very suspicious of the keyboard…tactility has its advantages)…but I’m less than optimistic for the iPhones “rule changing” ability.
    What Apple is doing with this product (which it hasn’t successfully done before) is to surrender a major portion of control – by injecting Cingular into the mix. We’ve all had varying experiences with cell providers so I’ll not bore you with frivolous anecdotes, but let’s face it – the “Cingular Experience” is NOT the “Apple Experience”. Yet, Apple has tied itself to Cingular – a mistake.

    Steve Jobs was particularly emphatic when he mentioned the “200 patents”…but they won’t save the iPhone. Hardware patents are notoriously difficult to defend (how many razr look alikes are there?). The iPod has thrived due to style and software interoperability – not its patented click wheel. If you are hoping this tome of patents will insure the iPhones success then you might be a bit disappointed.

    Ultimately, the Mac and iPod presented us with a way to do what we wanted with less aggravation and with relatively little intellectual investment. Unfortunately for the iPhone, visual voicemail (which I have long been awaiting) and a juiced-up touch screen will not deliver the same result. It’s a phone, and regardless of the amount of name-haggling that has occurred with Cisco, it won’t make it into the hallowed halls of tech legend where the iPod and Mac currently reside…that’s not to say I won’t have one come June — did I mention it’s frickin’ awesome??

  49. […] Mike Davidson – iPhone. S.A.N.D. in your hand […]

The Ocean in 185 Lines of Javascript:

Mesmerizing. Try tweaking some of the variables in the “sea” section of the code.

“"Design had been a vertical stripe in the chain of events in a product’s delivery; at Apple, it became a long horizontal stripe, where design is part of every conversation.””
Why I Just Asked My Students To Put Their Laptops Away:

A great essay about how toxic everyday distractions can be.

Humanity's deep future:

A group of researchers at the Future of Humanity Institute talk about where our race may be going and how artificial intelligence could save or kill us all.

Steve Jobs speaks about the future at the International Design Conference in 1983:

31 years later, it’s safe to say this is one of the most prescient speeches about technology ever delivered. Jobs covers wireless networking, tablets, Google StreetView, Siri, and the App Store (among other things) many years before their proliferation. A fantastic listen.

How to travel around the world for a year:

Great advice for when you finally find the time.


A fantastic app for prototyping your design work onto real world objects like billboards, book covers, and coffee cups. This seems like just as great of a tool for people learning design as it does for experts.

50 problems in 50 days:

One man’s attempt to solve 50 problems in 50 days using only great design. Some good startup ideas in here…

How to Do Philosophy:

If you’ve ever suspected that most classical philosophy is a colossal waste of time, Paul Graham tells you why you’re probably right.

TIME: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us:

Stephen Brill follows the money to uncover the pinnacle of corruption that is the U.S. Health Care system. A must-read article if there ever was one.

DIY Dot Org:

A beautifully designed site full of fun and challenging DIY projects. I could spend months on here.

The Steve Jobs Video Archive:

A collection of over 250 Steve Jobs videos in biographical order

Self-portraits from an artist under the influence of 48 different psychoactive drug combos.

Water Wigs are pretty amazing.

David Pogue proposes to his girlfriend by creating a fake movie trailer about them and then getting a theater to play it before a real movie. Beautiful and totally awesome.