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iPhone week one

January 17, 2007

No one doubts iPhone music chops, but other concerns have been popping up this week

There have been a lot of so-so and a few really great articles on iPhone in the week since it was launched. What follows are my favorite blog posts, articles, and videos covering iPhone in week one.

David Pogue published an early first pass in his “Some Hands-On Time With the iPhone” after spending about an hour hands-on with an iPhone prototype the day Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced it at MacWorld. He followed that up with answers to a wide variety of reader questions in “The Ultimate iPhone FAQ” and “The Ultimate iPhone FAQ list, Part 2“.

Time covered iPhone’s development with “Apple’s New Calling: The iPhone“. Doubt after reading that one that Jobs is a bit paranoid? Read Fortune’s piece on “How Apple kept its iPhone secrets” to assuage yourself of that misgiving. Bogus prototypes to mislead employees and disguised software to hide the interface from development partners. You name it, and Jobs and company probably did it to keep iPhone hush hush the last couple of years. Good thing or bad thing, you be the judge.

What about the negatives of the device itself?

Lack of third generation wireless (3G) has been picked at by Nokians and others. Read my take in “WiFi is more important than HSDPA for early iPhone success“, which was picked for the Carnival of the Mobilists carnival #58.

Alan Reiter did a great job slicing and dicing the (lack of) imaging capabilities in his “Apple iPhone might be revolutionary, but definitely not for wireless imaging“. 2 MPix cellcam support, average at best. No flash or lens cover, argh. No video, OMG! One of my biggest disappointments with the first iPhone model.

And that leads naturally to my other really big disappointment: Lack of developer support.

As Jobs put it to the New York Times:

We define everything that is on the phone

Oh Steve, does your hubris have no end? Wait, I guess it doesn’t, as NYT reports Jobs continued with:

“These are devices that need to work, and you can’t do that if you load any software on them,” he said. “That doesn’t mean there’s not going to be software to buy that you can load on them coming from us. It doesn’t mean we have to write it all, but it means it has to be more of a controlled environment.”

What about the hundreds of millions of Java ME handsets running mobile apps, Steve? Don’t most of those devices work on a regular basis? Would the mobile Java ecosystem have been possible if it’d been “a more controlled environment”? No way. Open wins in the end.

If you agree, consider signing the iPhone Third-Party Application Support Petition and blog your take far and wide.

Looking for more reasons to dislike iPhone? Check out “10 Ways the Nokia N800 is Better Than Apple’s iPhone“. Or if you’re just looking for more about iPhone and don’t know where to start, visit “All Things iPhone” for a running commentary of what’s known, unknown, and speculated.

Perhaps Stephen Colbert summed up our first week love-hate relationship with iPhone best in giving Apple a “double wag of the finger” while stating:

You can count me out as a customer, until you send me one for free

Watch the video for the true word from week one:

Only one week in, and it’s already been an interesting ride!


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  1. Prediction: iPhone + Cingular = lot of hype and surprising, Cube-like, lack of adoption. Either a major refactoring is done with it within 12 months or it goes the way of the Cube.

    The pricing is targeted at the PDA/Smartphone crowd (who are the only ones who will pay $499+ (after discount) for a phone. They want key features for productivity (Outlook/push sync – and that DOESN’T mean Yahoo! mail), apps for many things that can be quickly ported over – WindowsMobile, Palm-style – to cover gaps in the offering, and flexibility with providers (unlocking capability in case the one their with really turns out to have poor service).

    The IPod component might have saved it if they allowed Skype at WiFi hubs (but that is blocked by Cingular not wanting any VOIP to run on it). In any case, I think that baring some MAJOR changes, this iPhone diversion is going to prove very disappointing come Q3 earnings…

    Finally – the one quote that showed the complete lack of understanding of the mobile marketplace – dooms the device:

    “Jobs: “Java’s not worth building in. Nobody uses Java anymore. It’s this big heavyweight ball and chain.”

    So, this phone is going to have to be completely driven by Apple app ports and/or a group of ISVs that can make money on a proprietary/tiny platform where apps can only be sold for

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