iPhone iPhenomenon


I'm not sure what to make of this iPhone phenomenon. I have to give kudos to Apple for once again taking the world by storm with an innovative product release along with the usual hype.

I have a coworker that waited all day to get one, and many others that have since purchased one. They all seem to like their new little device a lot. And from the ad-hoc demos I've had of the phone it is pretty impressive. Apple really does know how to make a great user interface. Using your fingers on the touch screen is very intuitive and just works the way you think it should. In fact, I haven't heard much in the way of a negative impression of the iPhone from anyone except for this guy.

One possible negative, depending on what you currently pay for cell phone service, is the price. As this site outlines, the total cost for the first year (assuming you buy the $599 unit) is $1,936. For the first two years, which is the length of the service contract, it comes to $3,232. That's with the minimum voice plan and the unlimited data plan. (What's the point of having an iPhone without the unlimited data plan?) That's a lot of money; about 5% of your net income if you make $50K per year.

Another negative is the constant cleaning of the screen that is required to remove the massive amount of smudges that accumulate from one's greasy finger-tips. I have an acquaintance that compulsively cleans his all day long. Apple might be inadvertently adding fuel to the obsessive/compulsive fire for many of the neurotic tech-gen'ers that will buy an iPhone.

Possibly the biggest down-side is how closed the iPhone development environment is. You cannot load your own applications onto it. Instead, third-party applications must work via the built-in Safari web browser. This means that in addition to traditional web pages, you may run Java Script and AJAX applications. However, it appears that Java and Flash are not supported at this time. I don't think there will be a shortage of web applications for the phone, there are already sites catering to them, and many more will come.

Even though I've listed some issues with the phone, it is really a pretty cool device that has a lot of potential. Unfortunately, I don't see owning one in my near future. I think it is a little expensive for the amount of use I would get out of it. Besides, I'm holding out for one of these. Maybe not as sexy as the iPhone, but they are free and begging to be hacked.

In related news… to keep abreast of what Steve Jobs is up to, have a look at his blog.

AT&T is like an overweight slob that's been given a chance to date a supermodel; if it doesn't shape up soon, it'll be easily replaced.

– Chris Taylor, CNN Article

Tags: hardware iphone phone technology