The iPhone

Jun 12, 2008
Updated • Nov 13, 2017
Mobile Computing

With the kind of reality distorting statement we’re usually only accustomed to hear from Apple keynotes I’d like to present the exclusive on the iPhone: It has 3G and you heard it from us first.

Apologies for the cynicism, I don’t hate the iPhone, or any Apple product. I think they’re great, but just not the brilliant works of art slash genius slash infallibility slash technology breakthroughs so often proclaimed. They are incredibly good for browsing the Internet and watching media on, but as far as using it as an mobile phone every day would drive me crazy.

One of the commenter's over at ReadWriteWeb provided the following entertaining rant which got a few people going, however I do agree with a lot of what he said:

I'd like to voice an opinion that is likely to make me look like I'm an old dinosaur that is just bitterly jealous over Apple's success.

Well in fact, I'm not. But I am still looking for words to describe how pathetic Bubbleland looks like from a higher perspective, buzzing crazily around Apple, their conference, and the new iPhone.

Just look at that : an army of bloggers "liveblogging" what ? An event primarily addressed to people who write programs working on products of a (still) relatively small company that until now addresses only the 10% of the richer people in the world with their fancy gadgets.

And writing about what ? A BIG event : the second release of a phone that until now lacked what 80% of the phones sold in Europe and Japan have had for the last 2-3 years - 3G connectivity. And guess what : it also does portable music playing and GPS. Woaaah ! Excellent ! Nobody else does that on the market, do they ?

Now, don't tell me guys that the iPhone was a revolutionary phone : it wasn't, except maybe for its stylish look. And this release is anything but exceptional. It basically is a "survival release". Adjust the competition or die. And also adjust the competition's pricing or die.

People are talking about this as the latest genius move from Apple's Steve Jobs. It's not a genius move. It's the only strategy to avoid the short-term failure of the product. Except to Apple groupies (which are numerous in Bubbleland's crowd), this phone had been bought until now for its stylish look. And that wouldn't have gone much further than it was.

However one of the responses to this was equally valid in many ways as well.

Obviously Ralph cares more about quantity than quality. He just treats functionality as laundry items from a checklist as if the mere presence of those items is enough. It's more important to look at the substance of each functionality. What mobile browser compete with Safari? Play music? hold on let me pop in this SD card first. Nice! What cell phone has capacitor-sensor that automatically shuts its screen off to conserve power when the user holds it near his ear then turn right back on if it's far away? There are tiny little details that adds up to the whole simple and elegant user experience.

Yea, I used to own cell phones that make and receive phone calls too. But they also beeps like crazy at 3am in the morning because someone just sent me a text message or when it's about to run out of power.

May be it's not so wise to just look at the army of bloggers flocking to cover the release of the iPhone. What about the hundreds of thousands of developers, or the eBay price that people in Europe and Asia are willing to pay for the iPhone, or the knockoff release of countless handset makers following the first iPhone.

It's good to deflate all the hype surrounding the iPhone, but it's jealous, arrogant, and ignorant to call this phone a "survival release".

I’m interested at what you all think of this? I know there will be a lot of Apple supporters out there, and just as many haters as well, let me know your opinion on this one.

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The iPhone
With the kind of reality distorting statement we’re usually only accustomed to hear from Apple keynotes I’d like to present the exclusive on the iPhone:
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  1. dee said on June 15, 2008 at 10:52 am

    Apple and Steve Jobs are doing what Microsoft did like years back.They are driving the users to there own world allowing to do only what they meant to do. I read an article at this site
    which I say it is pure Market Capitalization which they do by not allowing other companies to try a real time GPS software on iPhone. Apart from that the news on iPhone is really exaggerated.

  2. vvvlad said on June 13, 2008 at 1:32 pm

    I’m also not an Apple funboy, but I really disagree with some of the statements in this article.
    Half a year ago I bought the iPod Touch, and it was my first experience with Apple product.
    I had a really mixed feelings about it. There were some amazing features on one hand and some really annoying restrictions on the other.
    The bottom line for me is:
    1. I have never enjoyed a gadget more than iTouch (and I had many of them).
    2. Apple is the biggest Dictatorship in all hitec world. You do things their way or you can’t do it at all (while using their product). I really hate them for that, sometimes… They “optimize” pictures for you, they tell you how and what content you can upload to YOUR device and you have to hack the device so you will be able to use it properly.
    4. The battery life on iTouch is amazing.
    5. The interface is something which can make a product much better then the others (just try the touch, and you can never go back).
    6. They may discovered DruGadged – when I up in the morning I just want to use it!

    iPhone has all my iTouch has and much much more!
    Even if all Apple stores will disappear tomorrow, I’m sure that the concept they incorporated is here to stay.
    The new iPhone is just an upgrade, and it is true that it lacks some functionality, but I hope it will replace my Nokia N95 soon.

  3. Josh said on June 13, 2008 at 4:09 am

    The Zune 2 I mean… Zune 1 was a joke

  4. Josh said on June 13, 2008 at 4:07 am

    @ DavinoAG

    Aside from the iTunes thing… I would seriously say the Zune is a much better mp3 player the iPod Classic…

    I know it’s been a failure… but I still think it’s better

  5. Bill said on June 12, 2008 at 6:50 pm

    David Pogue, over at the NYTimes, has a review today titled, “An Imitator That Rivals the iPhone’.

    In the article he compare the iPhone to the new Samsung Instinct.

  6. Rarst said on June 12, 2008 at 6:26 pm

    >They are selling iPhones like water, so this is more a upgrade to try to avoid it losing bullet points against the competitors.

    Ahem… They iPhone sold like 5 million units so far… In worldwide market that has more than 1 billion units annually. It is successfull and sells well in home market but very far from actually competing with real phone manufacturers.

    You can’t sell single phone model forever (except razr that should really die at last :) ), that’s why unimportant updates and huge price cut. In my opinion situation qualifies as “survival” pretty well. It’s not do-or-die survival, but more like “Oh those poor guys that tried and failed” survival. :)

    PS seems spam filter ate yet another of my comments from earlier… I am out of jokes about that thing.

  7. Martin said on June 12, 2008 at 5:36 pm

    Are you still experiencing this ?

  8. DivinoAG said on June 12, 2008 at 5:35 pm

    The only problem with the “survival release” comment is that it assumes Apple is doing that as its last breath, which could not be further from the truth. They are selling iPhones like water, so this is more a upgrade to try to avoid it losing bullet points against the competitors. Survival is not really an issue.

  9. noneck said on June 12, 2008 at 5:25 pm

    btw, when clicking to navigate Home after commenting, I got this error:
    “Parse error: syntax error, unexpected $end in /srv/www/sites/ghacks/wp-content/themes/ghack/index.php on line 42”

    delete comment

  10. noneck said on June 12, 2008 at 5:20 pm

    It is a survival release. I wouldn’t be suprised if he was worried because of what nvidia has coming out( The Nvidia phones are gonna blow the people and the market away.

    btw, i like the new theme!


  11. The Tech Juice said on June 12, 2008 at 4:40 pm

    It may be that it is over hyped, but even with that fact, the iPhone is a great product, and almost everything Apple does is worth press coverage.

    Bring the readers what they want. If they want to hear about the iPhone, or if they want the latest news at WWDC, or if they want live coverage, they get it.

    If you have any plans of competing with a giant like TechCrunch you have to actually compete with what they offer their readers.

    Maybe Liveblogging is a silly endeavor used to hype a release, but you know what, it does not create a poor product.

    The Tech Juice

  12. DivinoAG said on June 12, 2008 at 4:26 pm

    It is overhyped, no doubt about that. But it still the best online browsing experience you can get on a mobile device today. See I’m no Apple fanboy; the only Apple product I own is my iPod, and that’s only because other MP3 players are simply not on the same level.

    I do agree tho that this release is somewhat a “survival release”, even if I wouldn’t phrase it that harshly. It’s an upgrade to bring some features that should be there from day one. And Apple still managed to miss the mark, leaving some out, like Copy and Paste (this one is specially stupid), MMS, and video recording.

    The iPhone is a great phone. But nothing from this release convinced me that I shouldn’t just wait for the first Android devices. The idea of MobileMe, for instance, is great, but why would I pay for a service that will offer the same kind of features I get from Google services today for free, and will probably also have synchronization with my Android phone?

  13. Rarst said on June 12, 2008 at 3:39 pm

    You can’t buy iPhone around here.. Which really means you can buy it here for 800-1000 dollars. It sells really well because you can’t buy it except for this much and few people I know that tried to actually make us of it… got rid of it very fast.

    Media/blog reaction is moronic (as usual). I had read yesterday suggestions that iPhone may make trouble for Nokia… made me laugh to tears.

  14. dip said on June 12, 2008 at 1:53 pm

    I agree with darkkosmos, its a product for apple fanboys and the sole reason for the iphone2.0 is that they lacked 3G, which gives you the functionality you already had with any java-supporting mobile combined with operamini (ok bad one regarding videos)… or similar browsers, it’s not like safari is the cherry on the cake, it’s a decent browser, like others on the market. Fanboys claim it has a decent browser and some energy-saving tech under its hood, so what’s more to say about the phone… errrrr?

  15. darkkosmos said on June 12, 2008 at 12:09 pm

    I hate all those mac fanboys even though I’ve got a macbook air. They are just tweeting/blogging/lieing about macs all the way. The latest iphone release was just another release but guess what? Apple fanboys hyped it too much

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