What's so cool about the new iPhone announced recently, to be available in June? Oh, sure, it's a beauty, and it's like a souped up iPod with Internet and phone and voicemail and text messaging and video playback and all that jazz. But as a smart-phone, it's really not all that impressive:

a) It has no real buttons. First impression is "Oh, that's so Star Trek, so cool!" but on second thoughts, it's not that cool. We humans need the textile feedback when we dial numbers. I've used touch screens before and it is almost impossible to type without actually looking at the screen. With a real phone, you can feel around the keys and know which keys you're pressing just by touch. There's no such feedback from a touch screen. Talk about inconvenience, especially for text-messaging. That's probably the number 1 drawback of the iPhone.

b) There's no video recording mode. Not a big deal, I think, but many smart-phones now have video recording capability, so the lack of such in a state-of-the-art iPhone seems a bit of an oversight. It does have a 2MP still camera.

c) Non-replaceable battery. What's up with that? No second battery? It might be okay for an iPod but for a phone, especially one with so many bells and whistles and graphics-intensive applications, it's most likely that battery will go fast (the running joke is that the iPhone can do this and that and this and that, and it will last 20 minutes).

d) Storage. OK, it's still very impressive for a phone, but don't call it a better iPod. A typical video iPod can hold 30 - 60GB of data. The iPhone can only hold 6 - 8GB. After all OS and all the software and email and text messages, etc. how much storage do you think is left?

Don't get me wrong, it's a very sweet piece of hardware and software. So sweet, actually, that I'm tempted to get one just for the bragging right. I am just not convinced that it's the phone that will change the world.

What really makes me take notice, though, is the technology behind it. The touch screen and the human interface. I can see so much potential. In fact, Steve Job's initial interest in the technology was to develop a better tablet PC, before he got sidetracked and went for the cell phone market (which was actually a smart move, considering billions of phones are sold each year). But I think the real beauty of this technology goes back to a tablet PC, probably something that is flat, thin, and small enough to fit inside a suit pocket. Remember the scene in The Minority Report, where Tom Cruise manipulated the screens with his hands and fingertips? That's what I'm talking about -- the future. Imagine writing with your fingers, manipulating files and folders with a sweep of your palm, or editing pictures and videos and spreadsheets with touch. I think Steve Job really was onto something, but I doubt the iPhone is it.


Unique said…
I don't know, Ray. When I want to call someone I want to push some buttons. I want to hear a dial tone.

I don't wanna take a picture, make a video, shine my shoes, make a milkshake, or anything else really - I just want to make a phone call.

And I really hate teeny tiny phones that get lost behind a credit card.

Just wait - you'll see. When you have oldtimers eyes and you can't see what the heck you're doing - you'll understand.
Nichola said…
My mobile already has a built-in iPod (Motorola Rokr) so this iPhone is no big deal to me...but I do love gadgets and change my mobile every 6-12 months. The only thing wrong with it is I still don't have your number, Ray. ;)
Ray Wong said…
It's 1-877-CALL-STUD
Unique said…
Ray - You owe me $400. I dialed that number and now I have a yard full of 2x4s.

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