iPhone

<a href=”http://www.apple.com/iphone/&#8221;
With a little prodding from Quincy, I thought I’d post a few thoughts on the iPhone:

  • Form factor looks beautiful. Thin in the pocket (my Treo is too bulky). And the lack of buttons and a permanent keyboard is great. As much as I like the keyboard on my Treo, it goes unused for 90% of my day to day interaction with the unit. Hiding it makes a lot of sense.
  • The UI is gorgeous and the scrolling via hand gestures is the biggest innovation I see in the unit. While I can use my fingers to kind of navigate my Treo, Apple raised the bar there.
  • The web browser rocks. Zooming into page content looks to work wonderfully.
  • The deal with Yahoo to push email to the device was weird. Not a peep about .Mac. Either Steve is holding back on new .Mac enhancements until Leopard releases or this is a signal that .Mac is going away. Surely this will be my last year as a .Mac subscriber unless they do something interesting. If no .Mac news happens by around June, I’m starting my transition off (have until October to renew).
  • The screen is large which is cool. But I wonder how easily it could crack in your pocket. Also, iPod screens scratch SUPER easily. If they didn’t solve that, after about a month, you won’t be able to look at your iPhone anymore.
  • The Cingulur only announcement was a disappointment. I only pick up Sprint in my neighborhood. I doubt I’ll switch to Cingular. Especially if I have to sign a two year contract. I hate that telecom contract crap.
  • There was zero talk about a SDK for the phone. Third party development could make this device rock. All it could be was that Steve didn’t feel like talking about developer plans. That technical stuff is boring for him traditionally. ๐Ÿ˜‰
  • It’s funny, Jobs talked so much about changing the mobile phone paradigm. But then he signed up one carrier with an exclusive and you can only get the phone with a two year contract. That smells of Apple getting a hit from Cingulur for every iPhone sold and them needing two year contracts to recover the customer acquisition fee (which we mused about at the office today). What would be truly paradigm changing would be to sell an unlocked phone that people could use for any carrier. That way I could approach Sprint and sign up for any type of contract that works for me. If I want a monthly deal, then that’s what I should be able to get. The rumor is Apple needed a carrier to do some tech work on the provider’s end to enable Visual Voicemail. I would have punted on this functionality if it would have let Apple release to all carriers.

Would I pick one up? Probably, if it was available for Sprint. It’s funny though, what’s been going through my head lately is not wanting a fancier phone (than my Treo). Actually, I’ve been imagining a simpler phone. I think Jason Fried was right on in this post about the Motorolla Pebble. What I need on my phone is my calendar, contacts and ability to call people. SMS is cool. Internet accessibility is cool too but frankly, a full fledged browser is not what I need. Simple, basic, quick access to data is all I need. Internet data access today is still too clumsy to be truly useful.

What I could see happening for me in the next year is bagging my Treo (after my contract is up in November), getting a more basic (and smaller phone). And possibly not even signing up with a new contract but buying minutes whenever I need them (I really hate contracts!) and use VOIP for my home phone access. Also, what I have been eying is the new Nokia n800 for portable internet access. I find lugging around a 15″ Powerbook a royal pain when you’re trying to travel light. Unlike the iPhone, the n800 has an open platform (Linux) and can even be used as a phone if you want (via Skype). Quincy used it this summer for her travel reporting and recently gave me a demo and I thought it could work beautifully for a portable internet device for me. I doubt I would carry both devices at the same time. One or the other depending on what I’m up to. Well, we’ll see what happens.

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5 Comments on “iPhone”

  1. Greg Linden says:

    On simple cell phones, the NYT had a good article reviewing some a while back:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/28/technology/28pogue.html
    I kind of like the idea behind the simple Jitterbug phone:
    http://gojitterbug.com/Easy-Cell-Phones/easy-to-use-mobile.html
    Big buttons, just dial. It’s a phone, nothing else.
    After dealing with all the annoying crap on most smart phones, I have to say that something like this is starting to look attractive.

  2. Greg Linden says:

    On the other hand, I should mention that I am also considering the iPhone when it comes out.
    What fascinates me about it is not so much that it is a cell phone, but that it seems like a well-designed blend of a cell phone, handheld, and laptop.

  3. Andrej Gregov says:

    Thanks for the links Greg. I like the Jitterbug. I think it’s perfect for the intended target market (seniors). It’s funny, for myself, I still want many of the features of smart phones. I just want it in an easy to use package. Apple is on the way to delivering that. I’m curious to see how the other phone vendors respond to the iPhone.

  4. Quincy says:

    Whoo! Thanks for the post.
    I admit that I’m very tempted by the iPhone. I already get terrible service from my Sony Ericsson + T-Mobile in the office, so switching providers wouldn’t kill me.
    That said, you mentioned the PEBL. If you are interested in a Motorola phone and you’re not in love with the PEBL as it stands now, you might want to hold out for the RIZR coming out in 2007. It runs Linux. ๐Ÿ™‚
    http://www.mobilegazette.com/motorola-rizr-z6-07x01x09.htm
    I still haven’t decided if I need to upgrade to the n800 yet. I think I would wait a little bit — maybe 3 months or so — so that the good folks at maemo.org can get the ball really rolling. However, it’s tempting based on some of the differences listed here: http://www.linuxdevices.com/news/NS9981902594.html

  5. Andrej Gregov says:

    The RIZR looks interesting. I’m so far off from my contract expiration, there really is no phone that come to mind for me. Though, the Motorolas are certainly strong candidates.


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