That iPhone Hoopla

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock or haven’t connected to the web since the beginning of this year, you’ve been reading about Apple’s newest technology contraption, the iPhone. A mobile phone, video iPod for music, and PDA that can browse the Internet, while supposedly powered by Macintosh OSX under the hood. It’s a smart looking and creatively designed product that promises to revolutionize the handheld technology arena.

As previously mentioned, anyone who writes about technology has written an article or blog about this new device, most hailing it as the greatest thing since sliced bread. That may well be the case, and down the road apiece, this may change things quite significantly. Additionally, Apple does make great products. Consider the ubiquitous iPod for example.

Ted Landau, long-time Macintosh author and advocate has posted his more critical take on the iPhone in an article on his excellent website, MacFixIt. In the article, he makes some valid points about this possibly revolutionary new piece of technology.

  • It’s Expensive. Not only is the purchase price compared to other devices at the top end of the range, it will likely require high-end wireless services.
  • Limited Storage. The iPhone uses a flash drive rather than a hard drive like other iPods use.
  • Stuck with Cingular. I am not a Cingular subscriber, so I’ll not make an attempt to evaluate their service, but the fact of the matter is that the iPhone user is limited to that carrier at this time.
  • It’s Locked. Folks will be limited to Apple’s software as well as the functionality as allowed by Cingular, the wireless provider.
  • Size Limitations. Apple claims it will have a touch screen keyboard. It’s already hard enough to “type” on one of those small keyboards. What is going to happen when there is no tactile response at all the “pressing” the keys?
  • Watch out. Early adapters had better be careful when using one. I suspect it will easily be lost or stolen. And there were cases where people were mugged or pickpocketed for the new iPods.

On the other side of the coin:

  • It appears well designed.
  • The iPhone looks cool.
  • The interface appears clean and elegant.
  • The iPhone appears easy to use. Not that it would take much compared to today’s cell phone interface and software design.
  • The product is designed by Apple, their design concepts are exceptional.
  • It will improve and the user experience will get better.

Look, I don’t want to completely denigrate what is likely a revolutionary product. I just think it’s going to take some time to work the kinks out and make a more satisfactory device for those using it. Like Mr. Landau, it’s likely that I am not the target customer for this device anyhow. I own a cell phone that I use for one purpose: to make calls. I don’t need a web browser nor a PDA, nor do I want to get email on my phone. I carry a laptop almost everywhere, and when I need to get connected I can. Besides, there are plenty of times that I really don’t want to be connected.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.


One response to “That iPhone Hoopla

  1. My husband is a gadget-aholic, and we’re hard-core Mac fans in our house, but so far he’s resisted the siren’s call. Of course, we just got our latest Verizon plan, so we’re locked in. He hates Cingular. We live in an area with bad cell reception anyway, and it was the worst.

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