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Inside the iPhone — 3G, ARM, OS X, 3rd Partyware

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the informed-speculation dept.

Communications 318

DECS writes "After heading off the top ten myths of the iPhone, Daniel Eran of RoughlyDrafted has written a series of articles looking 'Inside the iPhone,' exploring (1) why Apple didn't target faster 3G networks, (2) a substantiated look at how the iPhone is indeed running OS X (contrary to reports that it isn't), and (3) what it means to users and developers, and how ARM is involved, in Mac OS X, ARM, and iPod OS X, and why the supposedly 'closed' system Apple describes for the iPhone won't preclude third party development."

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I heard (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17604364)

that inside the iPhones is all kinds of little electronics and wires. WOW!

FUD much? (5, Insightful)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | more than 7 years ago | (#17604366)

"Open development has both benefits and disadvantages. The reason Linux has made so little impact in the desktop market is largely because a fully open system tends to devolve into anarchy.
"Who supports what? What version is the standard? Where is the commercial incentive to develop for it? Who makes it all work together in a nicely integrated package, and once that happens, it is still open?"

It's all so confusing?!!? Windows, take me away... !!!!

Re:FUD much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17604472)

I don't think he's totally wrong. I mean, most desktop customers HAVE chosen Windows.

Re:FUD much? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17604560)

Such a loose interpretation of the word "chosen".. ;-)

Re:FUD much? (1, Funny)

lanc (762334) | more than 7 years ago | (#17605002)


what do you mean "chosen"?

Re:FUD much? (5, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#17604528)

The reason Windows is so unsuccessful as a platform is the fact that there are cheap, well-supported developer tools available. Right. Apple lost the desktop war, in a large part, due to having a much smaller developer ecosystem than Microsoft. It seems they haven't learned.

As to the price, my current phone was free with a cheap contract and has 1GB of flash, an ARM CPU and both Java and C++ SDKs. The UI is a little rough around the edges, but I don't think I'd pay $500 for a better UI. It does everything I need a phone to do, and third party applications allow me to use if for things I didn't imagine I would need it for when I got it. Oh, and it does 3G data transfer and lets my MacBook Pro connect to the Internet at a reasonable speed when I'm mobile, which the iPhone doesn't (who buys a device with only EDGE these days? Even a year ago when I got my latest phone it was hard to find one. Buying music from iTMS over EDGE is going to be very painful).

Re:FUD much? (5, Informative)

bheer (633842) | more than 7 years ago | (#17604660)

> It does everything I need a phone to do, and third party applications allow me to use if for things I didn't imagine I would need it for when I got it.

Indeed. I wonder if the iPhone will ever run Skype, for example (XDAs sold in the UK do). The article in the submission goes through embarrassing contortions to 'prove' that a walled-garden approach to software is good in the face of all evidence. Even the iPod marketplace is a bit of a joke, given that device does half as much as it could if given a free marketplace.

In many ways, this approach is the anti-thesis of Open Source: valuing spit and polish over flexibility and the freedom to tinker. Now I value polish, I just don't think it should mean as much as it does to Macheads.

Re:FUD much? (4, Insightful)

Lane.exe (672783) | more than 7 years ago | (#17605376)

Even the iPod marketplace is a bit of a joke, given that device does half as much as it could if given a free marketplace.

But that's just the point -- if the iPod is successful as it is now (and it is), what's the point of having it do half again as much as it already does? Don't get me wrong, I'm the kind of guy that would like a device that can play music, show video, take pictures, make julienne fries, and call my mom on her birthday, but I'm a geek.

Most consumers want something simple and easy to use -- IE, the iPod. It's not the "ideal" product, and there are some flaws with it, but it is good enough to entice LOTS of people to buy it, and lots of people to use it. I wouldn't mind having an easily-replaceable battery in my iPods, for instance, but by the time I'm to the point with my iPods that I find the battery life unacceptable, there's a newer one out with a higher capacity, more features that I want, etc. and I just upgrade. These are consumer electronics -- they're meant to be used until they've reached the end of their normal, useful life, and then disposed of. Lament this sort of consumer culture all you wish, but them's the breaks.

Sure, the iPhone doesn't look like it's shaping up to be a little mini-computer, that plays games, browses the web, does x, does y, etc. and so on. But that's OK. It's really just a video iPod that also browses the web and makes phone calls. Think of it as a beefed up Sidekick, rather than a tiny MacBook.

Re:FUD much? (4, Insightful)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 7 years ago | (#17604616)

I thought it was a perfectly valid point. If you want to make a desktop app for Linux, right out of the gate you have to deal with competing desktop environments, competing APIs, and competing package managers. There's no standard, seamless experience across the board.

Re:FUD much? (0, Troll)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#17604744)

Yeah, and dealing with competition is just so hard. I don't want a market economy. Someone please look after me.

Re:FUD much? (1)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 7 years ago | (#17604902)

Talk about a non sequitur. This has nothing to do with a free market and everything to do with contradictory APIs making it difficult to establish a standard desktop development process. Contrary to what you imply, free market does not mean lack of standards.

Re:FUD much? (4, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#17604976)

I laugh at people who think you can create a standard before any experimentation has occurred.. as if a committee can create anything remotely good. Competing APIs are competing for a reason.. people have different ideas about what is the best way of doing something. Only after a clear winner has been decided for a particular subset of the API can you standardize that subset. The alternative is the "standard" of monopoly.. you get what you are given and to hell with what is better. This is why the win32 api is so horrid.

Besides which, you're the one that changed this from being a discussion about open platforms like Linux, to being a discussion about APIs. The whole discussion is about having an open market for services. This is confusing to IT consumers because they've never had it before, so they moan about not knowing where to go to get support or who to find responsible if something is broken - the kind of things you don't need to think about when you're used to dealing with monopoly providers. To these people I say: get used to it.. because the advantages of having an open market over a monopoly is worth it.

Re:FUD much? (1)

Goaway (82658) | more than 7 years ago | (#17605234)

And I laugh at people who are so affected by tunnel-vision that they think the only alternative to competing, incompatible APIs is design-by-committee. You correctly claim the Win32 API is horrid, but completely ignore that there are any number of other APIs that are not horrible but were developed in exactly the same way. Nextstep which later turned into Apple's Cocoa is a very good example.

Re:FUD much? (2, Informative)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#17605342)

Uhuh. Nextstep isn't a standard.. OpenStep is the standard, which emerged from NextStep, FootStep and the other competing APIs of Objective-C based workstation GUIs.. not to mention that these APIs were also, and continue to, compete with non-Objective-C based APIs. The fact that we are where we are on the desktop is because of all this healthy competition, not in spite of it.

Re:FUD much? (1)

arifirefox (1031488) | more than 7 years ago | (#17605286)

what would happen if there were competing linux kernels? See, at least there is a standard linux kernel that everyone uses. Now, if Linus had a wider scope and linux wasn't just the kernel but everything else as well, we probably wouldn't see major differences. Sure you wou'd still see experimentation but they would be minor footnotes. You wouldn't have kde apps and gnome apps. you'd see "linux" apps and a few proof of concept "linux plus" apps.

Re:FUD much? (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#17605368)

There *are* competing linux kernels.

Re:FUD much? (4, Insightful)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 7 years ago | (#17605416)

I laugh at people who think you can create a standard before any experimentation has occurred.

We've had over ten years of Linux desktop "experimentation."

If you're wanting Linux to get popular on the desktop, you need a universal API with a universal installation/uninstallation system so that developers can contribute to a seamless experience. Right now, poor users still have to install two entire desktop environments just to run apps from both. On your average desktop Linux system, you have:

  • OpenOffice
  • Firefox
  • KDE
  • Gnome

That right there is four different widget APIs, four different ways of handling a string, etc. It's bloat and redundancy of the worst kind, and it's stubborn people like you who don't want the problem fixed, possibly because you fear change or you have some strange commitment to the idea of keeping redundant APIs in memory. It's no wonder people have written off Linux on the desktop as a punchline.

Besides which, you're the one that changed this from being a discussion about open platforms like Linux, to being a discussion about APIs.

No, someone else responded to the article's comment on desktop Linux becoming an anarchy of contradictory APIs, and I agreed. It sounds like you're one of these guys who just likes to argue.

Re:FUD much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17605228)

Contrary to what you imply, free market does not mean lack of standards.

Of course the free market implies multiple, contradictory API standards! Unless the iPhone runs all PalmOS apps.

Re:FUD much? (1)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | more than 7 years ago | (#17604780)

My complaint is about TFA's general misunderstanding of the purpose of having source code. e.g. another graf:

"Few aspire to being their own full time, unpaid systems integrator, or are at all interested in managing their own mobile lifeline as an experimental technology project. In fact, the majority of people who plunk down $500 for a pocket computer, mobile phone, and media player from Apple will expect it to just work."

This is a standard line against open source software. So one more time: it's not that the Average Joe is suddenly going to decide to become a programmer in order to run his phone. It's not.

It's that the Average Joe can choose from among millions of sources for any programming he needs. Only one of these sources is Joe himself.

Re:FUD much? (1)

bitspotter (455598) | more than 7 years ago | (#17605074)

I tend to think of it more as competing //boxes//, out of each of which the experience //is// consistent. Think of each distro as a separate OS, and you get the right idea.

Ubuntu users don't actually have to deal with KDE at all. Kubuntu users don't have to deal with Gnome, etc.

Freedom doesn't limit consistency by forcing choices on people. It just means the choices created by variety and the consistency of reducing confusion can be contributed by different parties, instead of a monolithic proprietary vendor.

Re:FUD much? (1)

PygmySurfer (442860) | more than 7 years ago | (#17605196)

Ubuntu users don't actually have to deal with KDE at all. Kubuntu users don't have to deal with Gnome, etc.

Sure they do. If a Gnome user wants to install something from KDE, say AmaroK, they end up having to install a bunch of libraries from KDE. If they're lucky, there's a theme to make it look the same as the rest of his Gnome apps, otherwise, they may even look different. Even if they do look similar, it's likely they use different menu structures and keyboard shortcuts, so its all very confusing.

amaroK and GNOME (1)

Old Man Kensey (5209) | more than 7 years ago | (#17605242)

If a Gnome user wants to install something from KDE, say AmaroK, they end up having to install a bunch of libraries from KDE.

I'm betting you didn't pick amaroK by accident -- it's the sole reason any KDE libraries exist on my otherwise stock Ubuntu system, and I know several other Ubuntu users in the same situation. If a GNOME-ified version of amaroK existed, I'd install it in a heartbeat and kiss KDE goodbye.

Re:amaroK and GNOME (2, Informative)

zecg (521666) | more than 7 years ago | (#17605328)

USE="-kde" emerge amarok saves you from having to have kdebase. If you have Gentoo, of course.

Re:FUD much? (0, Troll)

BigBuckHunter (722855) | more than 7 years ago | (#17604782)

Who supports what? click Help/About, alternatively, man executable
What version is the standard? 2.0
Where is the commercial incentive to develop for it? for devs, http://monster.com./ [monster.com.] For companies, tucows
Who makes it all work together in a nicely integrated package http://distrowatch.com
and once that happens, it is still open? Yes

BHH

Re:FUD much? (2, Insightful)

scooviduvoctagon (801935) | more than 7 years ago | (#17604794)

The reason Linux has made so little impact in the desktop market is largely because a fully open system tends to devolve into anarchy.

From the words of Proudhon [1809-1865], original self-described anarchist:

Liberty: Not the Daughter but the Mother of Order.

The word anarchy is too often misused in place of the word anomie, or chaos.

Re:FUD much? (0, Troll)

jrockway (229604) | more than 7 years ago | (#17604800)

> The reason Linux has made so little impact in the desktop market is largely because a fully open system tends to devolve into anarchy.

Doubtful. Windows devolves into anarchy, with spware installing itself into core OS DLLs, messing up the registry, etc. This hasn't slowed the adoption of Windows.

The reason Windows is successful is vendor lockin. Everybody runs Windows, so producing more software that requries it seems like a good idea -- perpetuating the cycle. The reason OS X is successful is because Apple spends billions of dollars marketing it. When all you see are ads that tell you buying a MacBook will make you cool, of course that's what you're going to buy.

Anyway, although Linux has "failed" to become the one-and-only-OS-in-existence it's still pretty useful. Most people I know don't use anything else, which is hardly something I can consider as a failure. (Also, Linux is a process, not a product. That makes it hard to compare to the two products above.)

Re:FUD much? (1)

shmlco (594907) | more than 7 years ago | (#17604890)

"The reason Linux has made so little impact in the desktop market is largely because a fully open system tends to devolve into anarchy."

You're disputing this? There is no "Linux" in the marketplace. There's Red Hat and Debian, and Ubuntu and SUSE and Gentoo and hundreds of others. All with their own different distros and installers and package managers and so on. Heck, you can't even write something other than the simplest of applicatons to one single common GUI.

Re:FUD much? (1)

arifirefox (1031488) | more than 7 years ago | (#17605216)

Linux isn't doing well in the desktop market because it wasn't designed to be for desktops. It was designed to be a great server, the big linux players Redhat and Novell are focusing it to be a great server and linux has dominated in the server market.

Okay, I was tempted with the last iPhone story... (5, Insightful)

aussersterne (212916) | more than 7 years ago | (#17604372)

...but now I have to say it: how many iPhone stories a day are we gonna get on the Slashdot front page, and for how long? This is a hell of a lot of coverage for a mere _phone_ that a) offers no new features not already available on other smartphones, b) is priced mostly out of the market, c) isn't on the market yet, and d) is tied to one carrier.

Re:Okay, I was tempted with the last iPhone story. (4, Funny)

imroy (755) | more than 7 years ago | (#17604502)

Oh but this isn't an iPhone article... in any meaningful sense.

Re:Okay, I was tempted with the last iPhone story. (2, Funny)

Damek (515688) | more than 7 years ago | (#17605444)

Further meaningless iPhone articles do not belong on Slashdot, and neither does Al Gore.

Re:Okay, I was tempted with the last iPhone story. (5, Interesting)

MrWGW (964175) | more than 7 years ago | (#17604562)

I'm of the opinion that Slashdot's extensive coverage of the iPhone is warranted by virtue of the enormous public interest in the iPhone as a product. While there is really nothing new in the iPhone (although it is a clever combination of existing technologies), the public interest in it is intense, and if it does indeed live up to its promise and deliver a dramatically improved user interface experience for smartphones and handheld devices, it could become an extremely signficant product. What is terrifying about this prospect, is of course, the fact that the iPhone represents a blatant rejection of everything the FOSS community has been advocating: open platforms, open standards, open source, and user choice. If the iPhone promotes the idea that closed source, closed platform monopolies are cool, then that obviously does not bode well for us. Consequently, there is an obvious need for Slashdot to cover the iPhone as extensively as possible, so that we as a community can (a) better understand the threat that it poses, and (b) get a sense of how best to respond.

Re:Okay, I was tempted with the last iPhone story. (2, Interesting)

aussersterne (212916) | more than 7 years ago | (#17604648)

You make an interesting point (re: openness). Are there any companies out there making reference hardware platforms for GSM phones with PDA-like form factors? Perhaps it's time for an "OpenPhone Project" that implements wacky OSS coolness and innovation on top of a reference smartphone design and that can ultimately make its way into the hands of interested manufacturers? I'd be interested in reading about that on the front page of Slashdot...

Open cell phone platform (4, Informative)

MCRocker (461060) | more than 7 years ago | (#17604758)

Perhaps it's time for an "OpenPhone Project" that implements wacky OSS coolness and innovation on top of a reference smartphone design and that can ultimately make its way into the hands of interested manufacturers? I'd be interested in reading about that on the front page of Slashdot...
Well, there's the Qtopia Greenphone [trolltech.com] . From what I've read so far, it doesn't sound like it's quite ready for prime time, but sounds like it's on the right path.

Re:Okay, I was tempted with the last iPhone story. (2, Insightful)

shmlco (594907) | more than 7 years ago | (#17604826)

"... better understand the threat that it poses..."

What threat? Is open source so fragile that the mere possibility that someone will do a closed application or platform that much of a "threat"?

It's odd to me that the FOSS community gives so much lip service to concepts like freedom and choice... as long as that choice is the one THEY wanted. From my perspective, Apple is in a position to judge what they think is best for their products and their customers. If they're wrong, the market will tell them so, and they'll adjust, or not. If they're right, well, then that success simply shows that more than one model can be successful in the marketplace.

Or to put it another way, is my being a success preventing you from also being a success? Does a closed-source phone stop Linux from being successful elsewhere?

Re:Okay, I was tempted with the last iPhone story. (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17604680)

I am already sick of this cell phone / mp3 player and it isn't even out for 5 more months......

(and don't even get me started on that Cingular mandatory $80+ monthly charge for iPhone service)

Re:Okay, I was tempted with the last iPhone story. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17604746)

how many iPhone stories a day are we gonna get on the Slashdot front page, and for how long?

You posted to this latest Apple iPhone story on the discussion website Slashdot and are complaining why?

It's in the Apple category (2, Interesting)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#17604802)

That's what Apple is doing right now. If you don't want to read about Apple, turn off that category.

Re:It's in the Apple category (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17605176)

Is there still someone interested in Apple _Computers_?

Re:Okay, I was tempted with the last iPhone story. (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 7 years ago | (#17604804)

You are wrong, it offers one important feature that other phones don't: integration.

Don't underestimate its importance.

Re:Okay, I was tempted with the last iPhone story. (1)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 7 years ago | (#17605182)

Please explain. How is the iPhone any more "integrated" than other devices in its price range?

Re:Okay, I was tempted with the last iPhone story. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17605194)

Integration with what? The phone is running OS X and doesn't even come with an ssh client, or VNC for the GUI folks. Any $100 phone can have an ssh client today, and they aren't running anything as exclusive as OS X.

Back to the drawing board Apple.

flashy tat with 'great DRM features!' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17605236)

Don't underestimate the lifestyle statement that a phone can make, if you're sad enough to express yourself with a consumer purchase that is.

Steve Jobs certainly won't, and he'll be laughing all the way to the bank as the more gullible amongst us grab yet another overpriced and thoroughly useless toy.

Re:Okay, I was tempted with the last iPhone story. (1, Insightful)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 7 years ago | (#17604872)

It shows just how much an impact the announcement of this device has made, and how it will probably revolutionize the market the way the iPod revolutionized its market. Guess what, when there's an iPhone story, you don't have to click "Read More," read the story, click "Reply," and type a post. Yep, you can actually skip all that and just scroll to the next story on the front page. It's amazing; try it.

Not a smartphone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17605264)

A phone that you cannot put your own software onto is not a smartphone. This is just an excessively fancy cell phone. Sorry to burst your bubble.

          Someone will reply that it's got all this software already on it, or that it runs OSX. So? It simply doesn't meet the requirements of a smartphone.. plenty of non-smartphones have come with prepackaged software on them.

I agree, but... (1)

fireslack (1039158) | more than 7 years ago | (#17605382)

A) I have a Cingular 8125 which is absolutely worthless with my iMac. Why can't Mac users have a smartphone, that works with Windows no less? B) It is steep, but people have paid more for less. There are enough Mac users, IMHO, who need/want a smartphone. Not to mention the fanbois. C) Exactly! D) Many phones are tied to a single carrier because different carriers use different technologies (Cingular uses GSM and SIM cards, for example) and it is easier to develop for one carrier, at least initially. That is what happened with the RAZR.

Enough (4, Insightful)

Carrot007 (37198) | more than 7 years ago | (#17604390)

This is just more speculation against other speculation.

Can we stop posting these untill we have some real information please.

Re:Enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17604604)

It's roughlydrafted.com. Ranting and speculation is what they do.

Interesting stuff is out if apps have to be signed (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17604398)

For Symbian, many of the most interesting apps are unsigned. These are where all the 'innovation' or maybe better put "new ideas" come from. Often in an open source environment. Demanding any signature at all tends to put all development out of reach of these people who are mostly doing it for a hobby and not some limited corporate agenda.

The iPhone may or may not be a flop, but it will definitely be boring. It won't even be a good phone; for example my symbian phone uses a 3rd party app to do automatic VOIP bypass when it notices a cheaper route around. I don't even have to think about it; it just detects the cheaper route; do you think Cingular would allow that?

Re:Interesting stuff is GONNA HAPPEN (1)

BoRegardless (721219) | more than 7 years ago | (#17604508)

This "iPhone" will be changed in software by the time the first model ships in June 07, and that is just the first generation.

By the time we get to Gen3, I'll bet everyone saying "Ho Hum, another iPod" and "But it is not 3G", and "No iChat?" are going to have selective memory of what they said a year or two back.

THIS IS JUST THE BEGINNING of a new modern, physically simple hardware device to use for computing-communication and Apple is just the one on the leading edge at the moment.

Bring it on!

Re:Interesting stuff is GONNA HAPPEN (5, Insightful)

bheer (633842) | more than 7 years ago | (#17604754)

It may be leading edge to you, however as someone who's owned an XDA in Europe (and chatted on MSN Messenger when out in the countryside in 2002), it leaves me unimpressed. The Multi-touch screen is impressive, sure, but I didn't have too much trouble with the XDA's stylus and it allowed me to take handwritten notes with decent handwriting recognition.

Apple's stuff may be pretty, but you've got to remember that any cellphone sold in the US is behind the state-of-the-art by 18-24 months at least compared to markets like Europe and Asia [latimes.com] . So I'd be careful about bandying about terms like 'leading edge'.

Re:Interesting stuff is GONNA HAPPEN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17604962)

Am I the only one who thinks the iPhone is ugly? I think it's the bright colors on black that just doesn't work for me. I was really expecting something much cooler looking when I heard people were getting excited about this.

Re:Interesting stuff is GONNA HAPPEN (2, Interesting)

anagama (611277) | more than 7 years ago | (#17604988)

THIS IS JUST THE BEGINNING of a new modern, physically simple hardware device to use for computing-communication and Apple is just the one on the leading edge at the moment.


Well, the iphone could have been "a simple hardware device to use for computing-communication" and Apple could have been on the leading edge of that. Instead, they chose to make the device an eye-candy dripping but half-assed nonetheless gadget. Like those $19 "PDAs" in blister packs in Kmart. Sure, they have a calendar, a note pad, and phone directory, but what makes them so worthless is the fact that they can't be extended in a simple and natural manner through additional software installs.

The reason there is so much flame against the iphone right now is because lots people, myself included, saw the presentation and though "wow -- that's gonna be awesome -- finally a real computing device that fits in your pocket and has a great UI". Then we heard it was going to be nothing but pretty gadget and got royally ticked off.
 
And lest you think I have a knee jerk hatred of apple -- you're wrong. I'm typing this in ubuntu running in parallels on a macbook. Apple makes nice hardware, but they can't please everyone. The 3d party app market is there exactly to serve people who might have unique desires or requirements and Apple doesn't think of everything (e.g., why can't I use finder to ssh into another account like konqueror or nautilus will do? -- thank goodness there's a 3d party solution for this -- it makes the hardware all that much more valuable to me).

Re:Interesting stuff is GONNA HAPPEN (1)

shirizaki (994008) | more than 7 years ago | (#17605316)

It may be the start, but why can't it offer what you state...now?


If it's supposed to be "revolutionary", then why does everyone state "by gen 2"? Not everyone wants to wait for revolutionary, or else everyone just gets tired. So it comes out with 3G and iChat in gen 2 next year. Who's gonna buy it? Everyone that has the iPhone is already in a contract, and everyone else is going to be wary since Apple's motto is "hold features and sprinkle them year after year".

No one's going to buy it. If they're shooting for a more Asian and Euro market of swapping phones every few years, then they need to sell it out of contract (which won't happen since the deal with AT&T is exclusive and includes selling it with contract) or wait more than a year to redesign it with just a new feature or 2.

wtf (0, Troll)

EvilGoodGuy (811015) | more than 7 years ago | (#17604406)

Why is a mediocre phone getting 10 /.'s a day?

Eran (1)

Ramble (940291) | more than 7 years ago | (#17604414)

Daniel Eran is an awful writer. He often skirts around the topics to make it appear like he has a point when there is none. Also, he insults his userbase and his peers in a cheap attempt to gain respect. He will tell users about a subject he has no experience with as if he's done a doctorate on it. Steve Jobs must be getting awful tired with those thrice daily blowjobs from him.

Re:Eran (1)

RFaulder (1016762) | more than 7 years ago | (#17604624)

I find is articles a welcome reprieve from the rather internet-dominant anti-mac ramblings found elsewere. It's the same as having a subscription to right- and left-wing centric periodicals like my Western Standard (it's up in Canada) and the extremely leftist Adbusters.

Partyware? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17604452)

Toga! Toga! Toga!

Apple's ad budget would be an interesting read... (0, Troll)

Sunburnt (890890) | more than 7 years ago | (#17604464)

...I wonder how much they're paying for all this Slashvertising?

Enough, already. This thing comes out in JUNE, FFS.

iPhone will have secure boot (5, Interesting)

smably (992308) | more than 7 years ago | (#17604556)

As for artificial limitations on development: According to a developer I talked to who apparently worked on the iPhone, it will have secure boot; i.e., the bootloader checks to make sure it's booting Apple's OS, and the hardware won't run any bootloader other than Apple's. Obviously Apple is taking a different approach this time compared to, say, the iPod and their Intel Macs. So, I doubt we'll be seeing iPhone Linux or anything like that unless Apple has done something really stupid.

secure boot != 3rd party apps (2, Insightful)

kybred (795293) | more than 7 years ago | (#17605052)

As for artificial limitations on development: According to a developer I talked to who apparently worked on the iPhone, it will have secure boot; i.e., the bootloader checks to make sure it's booting Apple's OS, and the hardware won't run any bootloader other than Apple's.

This may be due to 3GPP requiring phone manufacturers to insure that the phone can't load non-approved firmware (FTA). They don't want someone to load firmware that causes problems on the wireless network.

Of course, this is entirely different from loading 3rd party applications on a phone.

Don't downplay 3G! (5, Informative)

fons (190526) | more than 7 years ago | (#17604568)

People who argue about numbers or bullet points are probably unaware of the bigger picture and what difference customers will actually see.

I can UNDERSTAND why Apple thinks HSDPA is not necessary for their iPhone. Most people will not use it. And the iPhone is not a notebook. But please state the real reason and don't start the "Apple Distortion Field" and try to tell us that EDGE is as fast as 3G. There is a difference and customers WILL actually see it.

In theory EDGE seems almost as fast, but I can assure you that in the real world, HSDPA/3G is the only game in town that FEELS like a normal broadband connection.

I work for mobile phone operator. We have tried to push people to use data services on their mobile devices for years now. Why? Because we charge enormous amounts of money for data and it makes us a lot of money.

In all our commercials we promised people broadband expierience. Up until we had HSDPA/3G, we KNEW that we were fooling everybody. We advertised EDGE-speeds that were only realistic if you live under a GSM-antenna. It's only with HSDPA/3G (and i've done a lot of testing) that we don't have to lie anymore. HSDPA is really fasters and customers notice it (certainly those customers that use their cellphone as a modem for their laptop.

Even HP starts selling notebooks with the HSDPA chip in it. Not EDGE. Why? Because only HSDPA is relly workable. But then again, the iPhone is no notebook, maybe apple prefers putting 3G in its notebooks?

Re:Don't downplay 3G! (2, Interesting)

weave (48069) | more than 7 years ago | (#17604772)

Unless this phone will allow tethering to another device, like a laptop, 3G probably doesn't matter. The internal processor will have a hard enough time drawing the pages at EDGE speeds as it is. Watch the keynote when Jobs is loading the New York Times website OVER WIFI and see how long it took to get it all rendered.

I have ev-do through Verizon now. I won't switch unless the phone does 3G and allows tethering, so looks like I'm not getting one. :(

Re:Don't downplay 3G! (1)

ToddML (590924) | more than 7 years ago | (#17604862)

Oh come on. My freaking Verizon RAZR V3c loads web pages considerably faster at EVDO speeds than 1x speeds. That seems like a really silly argument.

Re:Don't downplay 3G! (1)

weave (48069) | more than 7 years ago | (#17604994)

EDGE is a lot faster than 1X.

Re:Don't downplay 3G! (1)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 7 years ago | (#17605212)

IIRC, the theoretical max speed for EDGE is twice that of 1xRTT... but even the theoretical difference is only about 150 kbps, and in real life it's likely to be half that. 75 kbps isn't a lot of anything.

Re:Don't downplay 3G! (5, Insightful)

kanweg (771128) | more than 7 years ago | (#17605014)

"I work for mobile phone operator. We have tried to push people to use data services on their mobile devices for years now. Why? Because we charge enormous amounts of money for data and it makes us a lot of money."

And for exactly that reason I refuse to use it. Voice is data, like internet stuff. I don't see any reason to pay tens of times more for one byte than for the other. (and it seems to me that the transfer requirements for voice are higher than for internet data). If you're bosses really want me to use it, give me a $40 per month deal like I have for voice. You'll make up in volume (more users) than what you're earning now.

BFN

Bert

Re:Don't downplay 3G! (1)

gregeth (688579) | more than 7 years ago | (#17605136)

Okay, I don't know why no one is focusing on the fact that this has wifi. Up until the very most recent phones (release in the US) that actually have wifi cards builtin. Go to any (US) carriers and you'll see there are very few that have it. And this is 2007!

Most places I go actually have wifi already, so 3G is then irrelevant. Not to mention the carriers already charge a ridiculous amount for their data plans anyways. Perhaps many would say to then get an internet tablet or UMPC or something similar if wifi is always around, but those don't have phones as well. I had a data plan once for my Treo 650 and I didn't even get EDGE speeds. Trying to look up directions on a GPRS connection is absolutely horrible. If EDGE support isn't available everywhere yet, then I doubt many places will even get 3G speeds.

Re:Don't downplay 3G! (4, Insightful)

beeblebrox (16781) | more than 7 years ago | (#17605258)

I work for mobile phone operator. We have tried to push people to use data services on their mobile devices for years now. Why? Because we charge enormous amounts of money for data and it makes us a lot of money.

And that, right there, is why your data capacity is (collectively, as an industry) about 98% not utilized. That's the number I heard at the last Symbian Smartphone Show last October, coming from industry insiders. Things will probably not change much until your bosses bite the bullet and decide to sell their data capacity for prices that make sense.

I personally have given up on waiting for the legacy telcos to learn this lesson. I'd rather look for applications that are designed to work on cheap (WiFi) connectivity most of the time, with an auxiliary "Keep it short and absolutely necessary" mode when only racket connectivity is available. Therefore, 3G is of no value to me. Having said that, the iPhone is also a dead proposition as far as I'm concerned. I'm not paying serious money when all it gets me is a 100% Apple/Cingular-controlled applications sales delivery vehicle.

Just wow... (4, Insightful)

(H)elix1 (231155) | more than 7 years ago | (#17604632)

Took a quick look at the article. Many of these 'myths' are really serious issues for a touch screen smart phone getting pitched at this price point. I get to replace my smart phone on the company's nickel soon, and for what $600 gets me, I'll not buy one of these. Point 3, fsk them. An unlocked phone might have been worth that. A locked phone, no way. A smart phone without 3rd party applications? Nope. For anyone thinking of looking at the blog entry...

Myth One: the iPhone is missing EVDO (or some other high end feature) which will stifle adoption.
Myth Two: The iPhone is priced too high. It needs a 2 GB version for $299 lacking phone features.
Myth Three: The iPhone should be sold unlocked, not tied to Cingular service.
Myth Four: The iPhone software is a closed model, therefore the sky is falling.
Myth Five: The iPhone is just a phone with features lots of other phones already have.
Myth Six: Cisco owns the iPhone name, which presents an impossible conundrum of epic proportions.
Myth Seven: Apple will need to port iLife 07 to Windows in order to have a photo viewer for PC users.
Myth Eight: An integrated battery is a significant problem for users
Myth Nine: OMG Scratches
Myth Ten: Apple can't figure out how do do a phone.

Steve Jobs commands: (5, Funny)

subl33t (739983) | more than 7 years ago | (#17604670)

Stop complaining and drink the Kool-Aid, dammit.

Quick summary of the article (4, Insightful)

twfry (266215) | more than 7 years ago | (#17604698)

Whaaa.... I love the iPhone! How dare you people point out flaws in it. Whaaa!!! Well you are all wrong, see I've created a list of illogical arguements that proves the iPhone is superior in every single way to everything else in the world. Whaaa!!!!

My favorite statement from the article was that the iPhone is not priced too high because other phones that have not been released yet are going to be priced higher. Does this guy work for segway marketing?

Re:Quick summary of the article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17604850)

daniel eran is nothing but an apple fanboi. apple can do no wrong according to him and everything apple makes is 100% flawless and is 10000000x better than anything the competition makes. i've read enough of the mindless drivel he writes. it's not worth reading because it's a very biased opinion with very little factual basis.

Re:Quick summary of the article (1)

Afecks (899057) | more than 7 years ago | (#17605438)

That's what annoys me about Apple these days. They used to have a down-to-earth feel to their marketing. It was like "Hi. Welcome to Apple. We like to do things a little different than most people and we think that's ok." Now it's "We're Apple and our farts smell lovely. Won't you have a whiff?"

to all the complainers (1)

thelost (808451) | more than 7 years ago | (#17604706)

I know that every site has iphone news coming out of it's ears, but that's because it is a story worth reporting.

While roughly drafted may be publishing what amounts to just more speculation to fuel the fire, I've found the articles published there before insightful and refreshing.

Re:to all the complainers (1)

EvilGoodGuy (811015) | more than 7 years ago | (#17605030)

Why is a phone worth more attension than all of the cool things say nasa is doing?

Re:to all the complainers (1)

thelost (808451) | more than 7 years ago | (#17605108)

I'm not sure at any point I compared the relative merits of Nasa and the iPhone! However on the whole I would imagine a great many people would be more interested in a new product from Apple than Nasa's latest ventures.

Personally I'm more interested in an apple story than a nasa one, as while I hold a passing interest in cosmology, day to day I read great deal more about tech and computing.

Not this FUDmeister again (3, Interesting)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 7 years ago | (#17604752)

That same article explained why: Apple wants the iPhone to work reliably, not to be known as a toy that can load various shareware apps, but which freezes erratically and is plagued with spyware and security hazards.

The Orwellian double-speak is mind-boggling. This is the world according to an Apple fanboy:

A device that can be adapted to do anything within the limits of technology and security: a toy.
A device that does only what Apple product managers and Cingular marketers think you should be allowed to do with it: apparantly, not a toy.

Here's a little trivia: the Apple store uses either Symbol [symbol.com] or Intermec [intermec.com] -based handheld devices to scan products. These devices run either Palm OS or Windows CE. Apple uses toys to manage its invetory.

Re:Not this FUDmeister again (5, Informative)

MojoStan (776183) | more than 7 years ago | (#17605186)

Subject: Not this FUDmeister again

That same article explained why: Apple wants the iPhone to work reliably, not to be known as a toy that can load various shareware apps, but which freezes erratically and is plagued with spyware and security hazards.
The Orwellian double-speak is mind-boggling. This is the world according to an Apple fanboy...
Also note that this story's submitter, DECS [slashdot.org] , is the same Apple fanboy who writes these articles on roughlydrafted, Daniel Eran. As Slashdot user DECS, he refers to himself, Daniel Eran, in the 3rd person. In addition to submitting his own articles, he also pimps his own articles [slashdot.org] in his Slashdot comments, in the 3rd person of course.

Re:Not this FUDmeister again (1)

arifirefox (1031488) | more than 7 years ago | (#17605422)

it's interesting how even an old palm V on a dragonball cpu can do more real work than an iphone with all its power and "OSX". It's all about the openness.

No 3rd party apps (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 7 years ago | (#17604764)

would be easier to swallow if the phone supported flash(and to a lesser extent java applets). While certainly a ton of dynamic web content can be created without these technologies, a flash player would be able to handle some of the functions that 3rd party apps would have. As it stands, its looking less and less apealling. Maybe they should have stuck with a 12" macbook pro to cater to the portable data heads

Re:No 3rd party apps (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17605238)

Windows Mobile has had a flash player for ages.

I love my Cingular 8125, for so many reasons. The 8525 with HSDPA is sure to be even better. HTC Universal is a much sexier device by far than the iPhone if you look at specs. The iPhone might look a little sexier but as typical with all apple products, it is stuck being what steve says it should be. Come on, having no SD memory slot in the iPhone is just retarded. I guess it could be an attack vector for hackers to load 'unauthorized' software with, but this is 2007, every freakin thing has an SD slot on it now - for a reason, it works and it is very convenient for people to use. My canon digital camera has an SD card in it, my scanner/printer/fax machine has an SD socket on it, my GPS data logger has an SD card slot. There are many uses for them.

Out of the hundreds of things my Windows Mobile phone does, the most favorite of mine is the ability to write .NET 2.0 CF applications. Writing my own GPS applications with it has been so much easier than i ever imagined before i bought the phone. Yeah, sometimes i don't know what i'm doing and the thing crashes, I'm still learning, but it isn't such a traumatic event - and i usually expect it. Rebooting the phone is fast. It doesnt ever crash when i don't expect it to.. and I have it overclocked 100MHz faster than the specs. It does Skype. heh

Anyway.. Windows Mobile is already so far ahead of what Apple has yet to bring to market. I'm not impressed with the iPhone and I really hate the hype machine that Apple is. They have proved once again that they will say ANYTHING to sell you a product, and they will often lie to do it. This has been the Apple way since they started out in the '70s.

Fanboism at its finest (5, Insightful)

eraser.cpp (711313) | more than 7 years ago | (#17604818)

I don't see how some of this criticism isn't true.

Myth 1: the iPhone is missing EVDO (or some other high end feature) which will stifle adoption.

Decent 3G service is not for a niche market or only for the rich. People have shown that high-bandwidth services like streaming video can drive a broadband market. Could we honestly say that broadband Internet access on the desktop hasn't brought with it a range of practical and compelling uses for the general public? Now you'd have that kind of speed wherever you are and in your pocket! Stating outright that people won't need it for their handset is arrogant and short-sighted, the market will decide in the end. TFA also writes that decent 3G service is "overpriced, and not quite ready yet" but my PocketPC handset is over a year old, works great, and is cheaper than the announced price for the iPhone!

Myth Two: The iPhone is priced too high. It needs a 2 GB version for $299 lacking phone features.
How is the iPhone not expensive when compared to other phones? The $499 and $599 prices are with the two-year contract! That's significantly more expensive than every other PDA/Smartphone offered by Cingular, some of which are very comparable to the iPhone. "but it's also not expensive when compared to similar phones, which... aren't yet available" Need you be reminded that the iPhone itself is not coming out for almost 6 months? And how are the phones out today not similar? The Cingular 8525 looks comparable to me.

Myth Four: The iPhone software is a closed model, therefore the sky is falling.
How can you say that third-party software would make the handset insecure and unstable? Do you believe this about computers in general? Third party development can (and frequently does) turn the ideas of the general public into brilliant applications that would likely not have existed otherwise. They drive the entire computer industry, and how can you so quickly dismiss the handset market as being different where third-party development would only mean negative things?

I'm out of time but these "myths" just speak of desperate fanboism. Please realize that criticism is a healthy thing and that if this handset isn't perfect Apple has the time, money, and resources to make something that is better. After all, they're only just entering this market and will have lessons to learn just like everyone else.

Re:Fanboism at its finest (2, Interesting)

gravesb (967413) | more than 7 years ago | (#17604958)

Myth 1 response: The author supposes that Apple will include Cingular's 3G network, when it is available. He was saying that Apple can't include every feature people want, and made some decisions. EVDO specifically can't be offered for legal reasons, and the benefits the deal with Cingular outweigh, at least in Apple's mind, outweigh one particular brand on 3G. Hopefully, Apple will include some sort of 3G capability in the future, or the iPhone will have issues. Myth 2 response: I think the iPhone will segment later. Making supposions based on the Macworld announcement is shortsighted. Apple knows they need a low end model, I think they are just trying to squeeze the top end later. Myth 3: Both your response and the author's are correct. For an example, look at Firefox. It is wonderful software, I personally use it, and it has energized a dead segment of software. However, it does have memory leaks, especially when third party extensions are added. There are benefits and expenses to both methods, and Apple chose their poison. I don't think its a horrible idea, as the average user will blame all problems on Apple, regardless of what causes them, and in a phone, stability is much more important. However, they will have to deal with the expense, which you all lay out in your response. I don't know that all of the myths speak of fanboism. The iPhone certainly isn't a developers' paradise, and it does have its issues. No one can really predict how well it will do, as I am sure it will have revisions before it comes out. But it is unique, and Apple deserves some credit. Maybe it won't be a run away success, but hopefully it will at least prompt other companies to improve their offerings. I certainly won't be buying one initially, as I didn't buy the first iPods. But I think I will get one a few generations down the road, as it gradually approaches the feature set and price I want, just like the iPod.

Re:Fanboism at its finest (4, Informative)

Andy_R (114137) | more than 7 years ago | (#17605348)

"The author supposes that Apple will include Cingular's 3G network, when it is available."

Probably because Steve Jobs said that there would be a 3G iPhone, during the keynote.

Re:Fanboism at its finest (4, Insightful)

voidptr (609) | more than 7 years ago | (#17605190)


 
  Myth Two: The iPhone is priced too high. It needs a 2 GB version for $299 lacking phone features.
How is the iPhone not expensive when compared to other phones? The $499 and $599 prices are with the two-year contract! That's significantly more expensive than every other PDA/Smartphone offered by Cingular, some of which are very comparable to the iPhone.
$599 isn't significantly more expensive than any other high demand phone at launch day. Cingular sold the RAZR at $500 with a 2 year contract in 2004, and the only thing it had going for it was a well styled enclosure. Mine needs a reboot once a week due to bugs, it's GPRS data only (which makes EDGE scream by comparison) and the web browser is unuseable.

I've got problems with the iPhone seemingly being crippled in more than one area at Cingular's request, but the price isn't really out of line for any new phone launch.

give me some facts (1)

lazycam (1007621) | more than 7 years ago | (#17604874)

Sometimes I can't tell the difference between slashdot and fox news. I'm sure everyone is tired of this conversation. Until I see a formal tech sheet and notes, I'm finished with reading about the iphone. I'm interested in facts and genuine speculation, not sensationalism.

The most objectionable part of the iPhone (1, Offtopic)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 7 years ago | (#17604880)

is the press it is getting. At best, its just a new phone with a couple of nice features. On a more realistic note, its iJust a iFreaking iPhone that is shackled with Apples iDRM and the Cingular network.

This is ignorant to give a phone this much press/talk time.

Yeah, sure, mod me down for this, but its true.

Daniel Eran and article (myth) lacks GSM knowledge (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17604896)

Writing "An unlocked phone can make GSM calls and send basic SMS. No MMS, no Internet," shows disgusting lack of GSM knowledge that is really shocked. Mr Eran, probably never went out of US (or other country of crippled GSM services) - all above things are standarized and all phone are able to switch providers without any problems. definitely this is 3 myth is plain stupid (needs for an exclusive agreement), and the only reason for doing so, was this stupid visual voice mail (geee, who on earth uses voicemail today???). Not willing to read rest of article after such errors at start...

3rd party software means feature bloat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17604950)

If there is any chance that the iPhone will suffer from virus attacks like the common crap phone... ...3rd party software will be responsible for it.

I bookmarked every comment from Java developers who were negative about Jobs comment that 3rd party software isn't allowed.

As soon as my future iPhone stops being a phone I'll be back... I know who you suckers are!!!

It had to be said.

Completely and utterly incorrect on unlocked phone (4, Informative)

fdobbie (226067) | more than 7 years ago | (#17604972)

The claim that "An unlocked phone can make GSM calls and send basic SMS. No MMS, no Internet, no iTS." is just wrong. Woefully wrong. See, for exampke, the Nokia gateway for pushing these settings to a phone (for example one which is new and unlocked [wdsglobal.com] .

I'd like a refund from the macfanboys (-1, Flamebait)

bananaendian (928499) | more than 7 years ago | (#17604992)

Now that we have established that this whole iPhone thing is just vaporware hyped by macfanboys, can I have my karma back from my earlier post [slashdot.org] , please?

misinformed author? (2, Informative)

NimbleSquirrel (587564) | more than 7 years ago | (#17605004)

The author of Inside the "iPhone: EDGE, EVDO, HSUPA, 3G, and WiFi" seems to have confused himself with the acronyms associated with 3G, and then goes on to attempt to explain it to the rest of us.

He correctly stated that we won't be seeing EVDO because that is the realm of CDMA handsets, not GSM ones. But then he goes on to talk about HSUPA as being 3G.

In GSM phones, General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) is considered 2.5G

Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution (EDGE) is simply an expansion on GPRS and is sometimes referred to as 2.75G, but is really still 2.5G

Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) is referred to as 3G. It builds on W-CDMA (Wideband Code Division Multiple Access), so that is sometimes refferred to as 3G too (Not to be confused with regular CDMA network phones).

High Speed Download Packet Access (HSDPA) and High Speed Upload Packet Access (HSUPA) are reffered to as 3.5G, and most carriers that have gone with it have implemented HSDPA without implementing HSUPA. So the constant talk of HSUPA for the iPhone is misinformed nonsense.

This guy is really confused (1)

jonknee (522188) | more than 7 years ago | (#17605010)

The author of this article is really confused about mobile tech. He was probably a Mac guy who didn't know anything about mobile stuff until the iPhone announcement. 1) It's HSDPA. Not HSUPA. I repeat, it's HSDPA. That's the technology that Cingular and all other mobile carriers are using right now. HSUPA is a future technology that is currently in trials. No one ever expected the iPhone to have HSUPA. 2) "EDGE is also widely deployed in the US. Newer generation technologies, including HSUPA and EVDO, are not." HSDPA phones are also EDGE capable. So the whole argument about network size is null and void. Additionally, Sprint and Verizon Wireless both operate nationwide EV-DO networks. Just like with HSDPA, when you use a EV-DO phone in an area that there is no EV-DO coverage it automatically switches to 1xRTT (about the same speed as EDGE). 3) A CDMA iPhone with EV-DO is very likely. Motorola launched the RAZR in GSM first and then followed up in about a year with a CDMA version. To be truly successful in the US market you really need a CDMA play (over half of our market is CDMA). If Cingular really does have an exclusive for two years, look for a CDMA model to launch then. 4) The author seems confused by all the acronyms which is more evidence that he has little knowledge of mobile. He essentially claims that because there are so many competing 3G standards, Apple did the smart thing to just go with EDGE to make it easy for consumers.

iPhone needs AJAX support and 3rd party apps (0, Flamebait)

Deslock (86955) | more than 7 years ago | (#17605024)

The iPhone's interface is amazing and I would like nothing better than to ditch the embarrassment-of-an-OS that is Windows mobile (mediocre interface, intermittent syncing problems, crippled web browser, nightmarish memory management, unreliable alarms!, and all-around temperamental and sluggish behavior).

But the iPhone's amazing hardware and multitouch interface do me no good if it doesn't have a browser with proper AJAX support (Safari doesn't), spreadsheet, SSH, RDC/VNC clients, and a way to store encrypted passwords.

My Opinion (1, Informative)

Thumper_SVX (239525) | more than 7 years ago | (#17605122)

I must admit I liked the iPhone at first. I thought it had real potential, but here's why I for one won't be buying one;

1) 3G is a BIG DEAL. Anyone who's used it can tell you that. Especially for a device like this that's so data-centric I can't believe they are using EDGE. EDGE is a piss-poor replacement for 3G which only got implemented in this country because it was cheaper than a real rollout of 3G. Wake me when iPhone supports it... or when it actually manages to download an entire web page, whichever comes first.

2) Closed platform. Hello? What? Come on, even Microsoft's Windows Mobile is an open platform in the sense that third-party apps can be installed. Hell, my MPX-220 has about a dozen third-party apps installed, at least 4 or 5 of which I use *every single day*. My phone also contains a couple of hacked together apps of my own that use the (admittedly piss-poor) data connection to grab Internet data while I'm on the road that's useful to me. Hell, I even have an IM client that's open enough to have multiple providers. Also, I develop on mobile platforms for the disabled. Currently the darling of the disabled (especially deaf) is the Blackberry but they're all coming up for replacment soon because they're expensive to maintain the Exchange servers. They're looking for alternatives... without the ability to run third-party apps I'm afraid that the iPhone is a toy for the rich geek. I guess I'll be selling them on the OpenMoko.

3) Dumb Phone at a Smartphone Price. What does the iPhone do that my wife's Motorola SLVR doesn't? Do I hear crickets? OK, so it can store more than 100 iTunes songs. BFD. My wife doesn't NEED more than 100 songs... she hooks it up to charge it on the USB every night, what's stopping her switching out her active playlist dependent on her mood? She does that today... she doesn't need 500 songs on her phone... just enough to get through a day. Calendaring? Nope... SLVR does that. Photos? Oooh, try again. Contacts? Hell, all of the functionality I saw is available today in phones 1/6 of the price. OK... the Google Maps stuff is kinda cool, but if you have an open platform (like the OpenMoko.... look it up if you don't believe me) and the open API that Google Maps provides, how long until everyone else replicates the functionality?

The only thing the iPhone has going for it is eye candy... and that will get old really quick. Come on, hands up... how many people reading this comment who run Windows XP actually still have all the eye candy turned on? Same for Gnome... hell, same for OSX. Eye candy is cool for all of a day, then it starts to get wearing. The transitions get turned off and the eye candy goes away except for those people who just HAVE to show off their expensive device.

I've mentioned it twice; the OpenMoko platform is going to give this phone a run for its money. It's going to be available before the iPhone and will be an extensible and open platform. I for one will be buying one of the first-gen devices because I want to develop for it. It doesn't have the camera, or the tilt sensors... neither of which are things I need anyway. It'll be the first of many devices based on the platform... and since it's open anything I develop should work on the next gen devices... or at most require a recompile. Oh, and the screen resolution is higher.

I thought at first I'd buy an iPhone, but the more I've heard about the limitations of the device the sadder I've become. And as regards TFA; I read them. I usually like Daniel Ehran's rants, even if I don't agree with them... but his site is one I check out. But his defense of the iPhone is fanboyism at its worst. He thinks just because it comes from Apple it can do no wrong. Sorry, I am a Mac user and I like Apple, but even I admit they make mistakes. The iPhone isn't on my list of "has to have" geek toys, and won't be. I'll probably replace my phone with the first OpenMoko device out there, I'll develop my apps and I'll sell my customers on the benefits of an open, extensible, flexible platform based on open standards. Sure, some of the OM is closed as well (like the GPS libs), but much of that has more to do with FCC (and equivalent non-US agency) regs than it does the manufacturer.

Sorry Apple... this is one customer who's not caught in the RDF. And ironically, I was probably "most likely to buy the iPhone" given my history of supporting Apple platforms.

still speculation (1, Insightful)

underwhelm (53409) | more than 7 years ago | (#17605290)

Most of the criticisms of the iPhone sound petty and idiosyncratic to me. No user-replacable battery! I don't know the last time I removed the battery to my cellphone. Locked to Cingular! Well, I already use Cingular, so a 2-year contract is not an obstacle at all to me, and I realize that every cell phone company sucks in one way or another so it makes no difference to me to whom I send my check every month. These are all highly specific needs that only really matter to a few people that value a certain aspect of their phone that to other people is completely insignificant.

But the third-party development issue transcends the idiosyncratic. Development for the iPhone will create an ecosystem of possible uses and fill a variety of mobile phone needs. Apple can choose to have a robust ecosystem that provides the most diverse user experience possible, or an anemic ecosystem. Opening development, in the end, is the easiest way for Apple to allow the iPhone to meet the most needs for the most people. As a result... they would sell more phones. Without a permissive development ecosystem, the iPhone is not so much a smartphone as a cleverphone.

The article makes a mistake comparing open iPhone development to the chaos of Linux development. Linux development is chaotic because fundamental Linux structures and APIs themselves exist in an open development ecosystem. This would plainly not be the case for the iPhone, which has one maufacturer and one set of APIs. The author suggests the iPhone would suffer from unclear commercial incentives and support issues? It's just an inapt analogy, when the analogy to smartphone (Palm, Symbian) market is obviously better: developers make money and user support just isn't a big deal. This is not good argument against wide open development.

As others have pointed out, though, it remains to be seen what development ecosystem Apple will permit.

The more it costs to develop for the iPhone, the more expensive that $500/$600 price tag is going to become, at least for people replacing a smartphone.

Apples Mission Statement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17605390)

Here at Apple we are working hard at taking over the world by destroying your need for anything other than an Apple Product, and thanks too the RDF, invented and trademarked by Steve Jobs and injected daily by Mac Fanboys, we will rule the world in 6 short months. Now, bend over and drink the Kool Aid... rectally. Not because you have to but because Steve Jobs thinks it is funny.

macfanboys on the loose (1, Flamebait)

bananaendian (928499) | more than 7 years ago | (#17605410)

Is it me or are the macfanboys rampantly modding down perfectly valid [slashdot.org] and appropriate [slashdot.org] comments [slashdot.org] as 'Offtopic' or 'Troll' just because they don't fit the narrow minded fanaticism.

Well, you can mod me down, but you can NEVER TAKE MY FREEDOM!
(I'll just do some Karma Whoring tomorrow to make up for my sins [slashdot.org] )

Fanboy alert (3, Insightful)

DrBuzzo (913503) | more than 7 years ago | (#17605424)

This is obviously very pro-apple and leaves out a few things. Admittedly, I like the iPhone and it definately has some great features, but it is missing some things which are a dispointment:

1. NO 3G. No high speed. Verizon and Sprint use EVDO, and cingular uses HSDPA and UMTS. EVDO is more avaliable, while Cingular's high speed is limited to a few cities, but they are working on upgrading it and will likely have much more coverage in the next year or two.

The iPhone has neither. It supports EDGE, which is kinda-okay speedwise. My experience is it's about like a 56k modem and often a bit slower. If your phone is media-centric, then this is not going to cut it. And adding these capabilities will NOT raise the price. There are plenty of reasonably priced phones which do support high speed.

2. "No third party apps" - This is definately true now, but hopefully will change. However, it will be some time before it has the applications that Palm or WinMo or Symbian has.

3. "OMG Scratches" - Considering the screen is the whole phone and it's the only input method, a scratch-resistant coating just makes sense. It's more than worth the extra few bucks to now have to worry about handling the phone with kid gloves.

Again...I'm not putting down the iPhone. Given all it DOES have it's still pretty sweet, but the lack of high speed wireless is a BIG omission for a phone which is supposed to be for music and video as much as calling
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