My god, this is getting out of control. It seems like every Apple announcement provides an oppurtunity for self professed pundits to extrapolate how Apple action X equates to something bad Y. Usually this revolves around Apple’s crippling of the device for whatever reason. In the iPhone’s case, they are controlling third-party applications to ensure consistency and security. Oh, and it uses FairPlay (as do the iPods, etc).
Here is something being missed: this device is not out for six months and few people have actually used it in person in its current form. In fact, I could theoretically host a dinner party for those people in my townhouse.
So lets examine the hand-wringing points:
Closed OS: Yes, its closed. Surprised? Why should you be? Apple’s reputation currently is about security, consistency, and “it just works.” Any talented 13 year old could write an OSX app with minimal fuss. Any person can download said application and install it. If its malicious, it dies among the noise of the platform, being that the OSX platforms install base ensures that any such problematic software would be eliminated by virtue of chaotic choice.
If any talented kid could write an iPhone app, would malicious code, stupidity in programming, etc be as carefully controlled? I wager not. I also wager that the cause of the close-out of the OS is not necessarily totally necessary save for the stupidity of US cell phone networks. If the cell phone was missing as a means of IP communication from the device, I think that the system would be open for third party development. Just my opinion.
Could you imagine for a second the press if malware got onto the iPhone and spread? Think about it: fingers would point in so many directions it would look like a meeting at work. It’d be amazingly cluster-fuck worthy. AMAZING.
Anyhow, don’t for a second think that this won’t be hacked. And when it does, the barrier to entry for use of hacked third party apps will mitigate the potential for disaster. It always works this way. Its why the ringtone market exists still even though any moerately talented computer guy knows how to side-load a song onto their phone.
Cingular Only: It required extensions to the GSM network for its “innovative” features (which really, I have them on my IP based phone at work…), so no T-Mobile. That is just business. Sucks, but its true. It sucks that we can’t have unilateral access to the Internet from mobile devices.
But… its not innovative at all! Then why are people talking so much? If there was one phone that did everything the iPhone does (even in its current beta state), then why hasn’t anyone seen it?
Not enterprise class: Yahoo didn’t invent anything new to do push-email people. Expect reverse engineering and quick patches to appear pretty much instantaneously. You know how Seven’s push solution works? SMS is sent to trigger the phone into syncing…..
But… the keyboard! Won’t anyone think about the keyboard! My 13 year old cousin can type 60 wpm on a cell phone, I think we’ll manage.
Apple sued a blogger! Yes, and Cisco didn’t defend their trademark. These things go hand in hand. If I’m not mistaken, Digg C&D’ed anyone that uses their trademark too. They just apologize after. Its the way trademark law works folks.
It uses FairPlay: Here’s a solution: buy a CD, rip it, sync it. Or just wait a few months as I think the DRM situation will be changing fairly quickly.
The hand wringing is out of control. Lets put things in perspective for a minute please.
Apple made a big show out of a beta product which will be released in June. It has some amazing features and the customary Apple feeling of “tightness” in terms of integration, design, capabilities, technology and paradigm shifts in expectations from comparable devices. They also have released TWO major trojan-horses into the market place in terms of spreading their tentacles of integration into different facets of people’s lives. Apple is about integration, and they get that tight integration through equally tight control over communication between the constituent parts of their system.
You do not HAVE to use Apple products, just as you don’t have to use Microsoft. I use Apple and like it, and I’ll be getting two iPhone’s on release for the same reasons I have two powerbooks, a Mac Book Pro, two Airports, a Mac Pro and an iMac.
All those wishing for Apple to be Microsoft or Linux are completely missing the point, but it does make for good Digg bait, now doesn’t it?