Sunday, January 14, 2007


iPhone Review + Bashing + Speculations

iPhone came out. It is a handphone released by Apple, a company increasingly unsure of how it can make computers that everyone will buy, to such an extend that it dropped the word "computer" from its original name "Apple Computers", to just being an Apple. Of course, as a result of its uncertainty in surviving as a computer and OS manufacturer that makes things largely only compatible with itself, it had to start selling things like MP3 players and phones to make more things compatible to itself, so that consumers are given the illusion that Apple is pretty much compatible with everything around them, although the reason is because everything around them starts spotting the logo of a half-eaten Apple.

Following the failed attempt of Motorala Rokr (you still see anyone using it now?), they came back with an interesting piece of gadget called the iPhone. iPhone, as many would already know, is the name of an VoIP phone by Linksys. Negotiations were held between Linksys and Apple over the name, but without coming to a mutual conclusion, Steve Job the current CEO of Apple who was kicked out of Apple a few years after he found it, decided to just go ahead and tell the public about it.

During the first MacWorld Keynote held this month, iPhone was presented to the world.

Steve started off by telling his keen audiences that Apple is releasing three products: A Phone, a Music Player, and an Internet Communicator. He then wowed everyone by saying that the phone, the music player, and the internet communicator is one product. Everyone went crazy. I started to think. I can tell people that I have invented a special cup. It can be a coffee cup, a orange juice cup, and even a cup to store rain-water. And best of all, I can do all that with a single cup. Lets call it, MyCup. Yell with joy everyone. Please!

He then said that Smartphones aren't smart because they are not user friendly, and regular phone sucks because they don't have enough feature. Oh well, I think that Smartphones are not userfriendly because the users are not smart enough to use them. Anyway, he then claimed that iPhone is something between smartphones and regular phones, user-friendly and feature packed. In fact, he said, it is even better than a smart phone! WOW! Let me see the day when iPhone contain any productivity suite. Isn't having productivity suite on the go one of the main reasons why people buy smartphones?

He introduced that there is a 2megapixel camera on the phone, yet did not demostrate it, whether it can take videos etc, or any of the features related to the camera (such as exposure setting, macro, etc). Flashlight?

There is no 3G support on the phone, something that major telephone companies are embracing around the world. Instead, it has wifi connectivity, but unlike gadgets like PSP (which can stream podcast and vodcast directly from any wifi spot), or Zune (which allows you to share songs with others), it is use for unexciting things like Google Map and emails (PSP's flash enabled webbrowser can handle that too). Notice of course, that PSP came out many years ago, and iPhone will be available to US only June this year. Outrageously outdated features. And for Asia, iPhone will only arrive next year. By then, technology would have moved on even more and iPhone will an expensive paper weight.

Of course, credit must be given to the decision dump stylus from this touch screen device (yucks! say Steve Jobs). Of course, using fingers to navigate your device is very convenient. But just imagine all the finger grease, sweat and oil that you will be bathing iPhone in. Oh, Steve overlooked that.

Gesturing system is cool of course, but this stuff had been around for years! Opera the webbrowser has that many years ago. Of course, bringing the gesturing system to a touch screen handheld is an interesting concept, but certainly not "creative", or "revolutionary".

Oh, on top of that, there is multi-touch where you can use more than one fingers (i.e three fingers in a pinching action) to zoom in and out of an image. Interesting and cool. Sure. But how practical? So far, Steve only demostrated that you can use multi-touch to play with images. Are there any more uses? He never demostrate.

iPod wise, the usual features (or rather, lack of features). No sound enhancement (EQ is not sound enhancement) unlike even cheap china mp3 players. Average music playback quality. No drag and drop. Use with iTunes only.

He said there are three sensors. One to detect if you are holding the phone to your ear. One to detect the orientation of the device, and one to detect light and adjust the brightness of the screen. Very cool. If not for the fact that the first mentioned sensor is added as a must. Without it, the touch screen will go yaya when you hold the phone to your ear, and iPhone will screw itself terribly and not be able to work. The second sensor had been available at least two years ago on Sony's HDD MP3 player. The last sensor that adjust screen brightness had been available in most LCD/Plasma TVs since more than 1 year ago.



"Anyone can create a Digg clone, but you can’t duplicate the community. Anyone can create a mp3 player, but can’t duplicate the Apple experience of an iPod and iTunes. It isn’t always about specs and the latest features. You don’t have to be bigger and faster than the competition. You just have to do the important things better. Apple does that and while you have the largest tech companies in the world converging at CES, it is one tech company that is stealing all the attention this week."

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