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The Perfect Phone Storm?

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the perfect-is-in-the-eye-of-the-beholder dept.

567

peter deacon writes "Is the iPhone the next Segway, the next Zune, or the next iPod? The Perfect Storm offers some iPhone details that aren't secrets, but tend to be lost upon the analysts and journalists cranking out hit pieces on the iPhone. Why is everyone from Gartner to Gizmodo calling for a boycott of the iPhone? An interesting take on how Apple's new mobile phone will push to open up the web as a mobile platform for every mobile device on the market with a standards-based browser, and how Apple 'hacked the hackers' by releasing Safari for Windows in advance of its new phone."

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567 comments

slashdotted alrady? (1)

Elsapotk421 (1097205) | more than 6 years ago | (#19629175)

That sucks....seemed like it'd be an interesting article too.

Re:slashdotted alrady? (3, Insightful)

dr_strang (32799) | more than 6 years ago | (#19629187)

Worked for me...

Good article, shows up quite a bit of bias on the part of certain 'reviewers'... But if you actually believed they were impartial in the first place, I've got a great bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.

Re:slashdotted alrady? (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19629229)

Apple has dropped just enough information at just regular enough intervals to create a level of anticipation for the iPhone that can only be described as off the hook. Amid all the opinions--and the frantic warnings of doom from certain analyst groups--are a few details that have been largely overlooked.

Here's a deconstruction of a few myths that have failed to take these unhidden secrets into consideration, along with the final aspect of why Apple released Safari for Windows, as I promised to reveal in the last article. It has something to do with the iPhone, of course.

Segway Segue, or AirPort Runway?
The levels of both enthusiastic hype and detractors' hate over the iPhone appear to have handily eclipsed one of the last ultra-hyped new devices of the tech world: Dean Kamen's Segway personal transporter.

Back in 2001, the Segway was presented sight unseen as the mysterious, revolutionary invention Ginger. It was privately shown to a handful of luminaries--including Steve Jobs--who all seemed excited about its potential. When actually revealed to the public, it was met with a mix of interest and ridicule, in part due to its steep price tag. After all, if you can't afford it, it must be silly and impractical.

Kamen's claim that the Segway would change society and that cities would be reconfigured to account for a world mobilized by two wheeled robot transporters didn't work out as planned.

San Francisco--one of the few cities to have enough flush nerds to warrant opening up a Segway dealership--actually banned the device on its sidewalks in a frantic, spastic panic about public safety concerns.

On the other hand, there have also been runaway hits that initially received little hype, criticism, or attention. Apple's AirPort introduced a mainstream audience to WiFi wireless networking. Apple wasn't the first implementation on Earth, but it did offer a pioneering set of products that delivered ease of use on a level that is still unmatched.

The iPod was also greeted with passive yawns and dismissed as too simple, too expensive, and uninteresting by critics, only to build into a phenomenon that changed the music industry, made Apple's simple music players a household name, and established the company as a top consumer brand.

The Devil in the Details.
Unlike the Segway, the iPhone isn't a hyped tease. Apple introduced the device six months ago with a full demonstration of how it actually worked, assigned it a firm price tag, published its technical specifics down to the millimeter and gram, and provided a comprehensive look at its features and underlying technologies.

In comparison, Microsoft's Zune--which had been in the news just a few months earlier--was presented from the start as having an unclear feature set. Fans made broad assumptions about its capabilities, resulting in great disappointment. Analysts overreached to claim that Microsoft would eat up Apple's iPod market share by offering a highly subsidized unit, or even offer it for free with a subscription plan, neither of which actually happened.

As the "iPod Killer" got closer to release, its price was still a secret and its key features were revealed to be more limited that anyone imagined. Its highly touted WiFi became nothing more than a way to squirt advertisements to friends, exploiting "the Social" in an attempt to sell music in Microsoft's new PlaysForSure-incompatible version of its impossible to crack Janus DRM.

Only its violent failure could silence the giddy critics that gushed about its supposed game changing, iPod killing impact that never happened. The Zune made the Segway look like a runaway hit.

[10 Ways Microsoft Can Salvage their iPod Killer]
[Zune vs. iPhone: Five Phases of Media Coverage]
[The Two Faced Monster Inside Zune]
[The Microsoft iPod-Killer Myth]

The Desperate Panic of the Apple Haters.
It is therefore interesting to compare the news sources that gushed over the Zune--with little information from Microsoft--and encouraged their readers to blow $250 on one, because they are today providing a non-stop emergency warning siren that ignores everything we've been told by Apple about the iPhone to instead present a climate of panicked fear, uncertainty, and doubt.

Gizmodo published a bizarre story this week that linked together anything questionable that ever transpired under the AT&T name by any entity that ever used it, and then overreached to portray buying the iPhone as a moral quandary, because SBC and its Cingular Wireless subsidiary recently acquired the AT&T name.

The impassioned Adam Frucci wrote, "What's more important to you? Having the hottest device, or knowing that you are standing up to a company, that in my opinion, has no regard for the privacy and consumer choice of Americans? Is it up to us, the customers, to stand up to these practices, or should we just keep shopping and hope the regulators do their jobs?" Frucci only stopped short of asking Do you hate freedom?

Gizmodo called for an iPhone boycott "for the foreseeable future" as a righteous protest against AT&T, a brand it associates with "Microsoft-style anti-competitive maneuvers and anti-privacy efforts á la RIAA."

Interestingly, Gizmodo offered no opinions last fall about boycotting the Zune to protest genuine "Microsoft anti-competitive maneuvers," or the Zune's actual connection with the RIAA with its over the top DRM, self destructing media, and the Universal "music theft tax" Microsoft bundled into its price. Why not?

Engadget has been conservative in its coverage of the iPhone after it lost considerable credibility in May, when it published, and then recanted, a suspect email that purported to be an internal Apple bulletin claiming the iPhone would be delayed until October, and that Leopard would be delayed until next January.

Engadget is now on its best behavior, a 180 degree change from its earlier role in mounting the charge that Apple couldn't possibly use the iPhone name, that nobody really wants an iPhone anyway, and that it's probably best to get something else.

[Microsoft Surface: the Fine Clothes of a Naked Empire]
[Macworld: Ten Myths of the Apple iPhone]
[More Absurd iPhone Myths: iSuppli, Subsidies, and Pricing]
[More Absurd iPhone Myths: Third Party Software Panic]

The Real Player Haters.
These gadget sites appear to be in love with Apple when compared to the real haters: Microsoft aligned think tanks like Gartner and the acronymic MSM conglomerates IDG, CNET and its ZDnet subsidiary.

One blogger counted over fifty negative articles generated by eleven ZDnet bloggers within the last week or so. Add in parent company CNET, and the sheer volume of iPhone warnings all stemming from the same corporate outlet are mind boggling.

Does the world need more warnings about the world imperiling iPhone than about the gravity of America's suspension of Habeas Corpus? Or as the Two a Day blogger asked, "Would there be this much hate for a carbon-mercury spewing autobot baby seal killing machine?"

[ZDNet Really, Really, Really Hates Apple & the iPhone - TWO A DAY]

We Wrote a Whitepaper on Hating Apple. Would You Like to Buy It?
Gartner recently made headlines when analyst Ken Dulaney explained, "We're telling IT executives to not support [the iPhone] because Apple has no intentions of supporting [iPhone use in] the enterprise."

How exactly is Apple failing to support the iPhone for business users?

      1.
            Is Apple providing only a proprietary platform for custom development, locking companies to a single vendor?

      2.
            Is Apple only supporting its own proprietary email system, locking companies to a single email server option?

No, that would be Microsoft's Windows Mobile! But Gartner doesn't warn people not to buy Microsoft's products. That's outside of its core competency.

Gartner's problem with the iPhone is that it "only" supports industry standard IMAP and POP mail, including Push IMAP support offered by Yahoo. That means enterprise customers will be forced to use open standards, standards that are already supported by Lotus Notes and Microsoft Exchange Server. Oh no, a level playing field!

Will the iPhone Give IT Managers Headaches?
Gartner also worries that IT departments won't be able to support the iPhone because it is so difficult and Apple provides no special IT support tools for it. Compared to what?

      1.
            It's Palm OS devices that are difficult. Installing Palm OS software on Windows requires admin rights, forcing an administrator to install the software on every machine that syncs with a Palm.

      2.
            Windows Mobile similarly requires ActiveSync to be running, and is a huge headache to support when synching with Exchange. Windows Mobile phones fall out of sync with Exchange regularly, forcing a full deletion of the user's calendar and email and a resync.

      3.
            Blackberry devices require buying a companion server to manage them. This provides some nice revocation features (IT can kill your phone and destroy your email as soon as you are fired), but that would not be hard for Apple to provide later. Nobody offered warnings that the Treo or Motorola Q do not support this.

What does the iPhone require of IT? Installation of iTunes, which users can manage themselves. That's because Apple designed iTunes to be user manageable without an IT team. Of course, that doesn't preclude management options or policy set by IT.

Gartner frets that IT departments will be flummoxed by the needs of archiving and managing gigabytes of music and movies if iTunes were involved. Have they forgotten that any competent IT department already has a policy for managing user data?

Ever heard of a quota, Gartner? You are in the IT business, right? And outside of iTunes, there are still MP3s, so this isn't some high-fear slippery slope problem that only applies to iTunes, nor is it a difficult issue for any competent IT group.

[Device Problems In Search of a Solution]
[Inside the iPhone: Wireless and Sync vs. Palm, WinCE]

Why Gartner is Really Worried.
Perhaps Gartner is most afraid of the fact that Apple's iTunes sync is so simple, and that the iPhone's support for open standards in its music, email, calendaring, and custom software development is so obvious, that the only thing left to worry about is Gartner's own relevance in a world that no longer needs a fear-based think tank to prop up the stagnating business plans of clients like Microsoft and its proprietary interests.

That fear sent Dulaney into a fit of straw-grasping, resulting in the inane claim that the iPhone lacks a firewall. Dulaney doesn't know if the iPhone has a firewall, has no reason to suggest that its installation of OS X wouldn't offer a firewall, and offers no reasons why a mobile device would need a firewall anyway.

Does Windows Mobile provide a firewall? Does it do anything? Has it prevented Windows Mobile phones from crashing? Is it the reason Windows Mobile takes so long to boot? Isn't Gartner supposed to provide information, not outright lies designed to mislead its own clients?

Dulaney is starting to sound a lot like Rob Enderle, who called the iPhone "damned" and describes it as a grave threat to IT departments everywhere, while also dismissing it as "really not being very good" whenever a lazy journalist decides to take his call and allow him to repeat his talking points on why anything from Apple or open source is bad.

So which is it? Is the world in danger of being overtaken by storm from a product that doesn't do anything remarkable at all? That sounds a lot like the Paul Thurrott take on iTunes. Do you guys share a podcast or something? Are you secretly the same person?

[Mac OS X vs Linux: Third Party Software and Security]

Gartner vs the Real Security Experts.
Is Gartner just full of hot air? Let's ask the people who get paid to deliver real solutions rather than whitepapers.

Neel Mehta, the team lead of IBM's Internet Security Systems experts group recently stated, "We've been following [the iPhone] since it was announced.

"It's going to be challenging for the bad guys to exploit them like they do other [smartphones] but there will be a lot of individuals willing to try because of the amount of buzz around it. We've seen some very determined attacks on other mobile phone platforms, like the Symbian platform. A lot of these attacks are going to be very hard to launch against the iPhone. [...] It's going to be much harder to write worms or viruses for that platform."

Gartner and other iPhone detractors have long been warning that the iPhone's lack of native development tools would present a show stopper problem for IT groups. According to real security experts however, Apple's strategy for offering tightly secured internal software signed by Apple and third party custom apps via a standards-based web browser turns that prognostication upside down. Hoist with their own petard!

The iPhone will not only offer better security, but Apple will also be able to contain any vulnerabilities that do erupt. Mehta continued, "We suspect the ability to update the phone will be relatively painless and robust. That's been a major problem with other smart phones.

"Many people will buy a smart phone and never update the firmware on it. Computers that run OS X have automated update mechanisms and look at how easy it is to update firmware on iPods. It's very painless. It's just one click within the iTunes software."

[Origins: Why the iPhone is ARM, and isn't Symbian]
[An iPhone SDK? Predictions for WWDC 2007!]

The Web as a Platform: Peril or Paradise?
The iPhone offers the Safari web browser as a third party development platform. That means IT groups won't have to write iPhone specific ports of their custom apps.

It also means that any development invested in building custom applications targeted for the iPhone will automatically be cross-platform, and work on any other mobile devices that support a standards-based web browser. Oh the humanity!

Is Gartner still recommending that IT groups contain all their development efforts to Windows Mobile pocket apps? Why? That would be foolish, considering that Microsoft has terminated support of large swaths of Windows Mobile and WinCE based devices in the past as its development strategy has changed on a whim.

Windows Mobile devices also make up a tiny shred of the smartphone market, growing only at the expense of Palm OS after Palm released a Windows Mobile based Treo. Over the last decade, Microsoft has proven quite conclusively that it cannot run a successful mobile platform.

[iPhone Gremlins: Crashing, Security, and Network Collapse!]
[Mobile Disruption: Apple's iPhone and Third Party Software]
[The Spectacular Failure of WinCE and Windows Mobile]

Apple Hacks the Hackers.
Mehta also noted, "There's bugs in Safari for Windows. There's speculation that these vulnerabilities will also affect the iPhone. And there's a good chance that we'll see vulnerabilities that affect the mainstream version of OS X affect the iPhone. That, to some degree, offsets the fact that it's a closed development platform. It gives people with malicious intent something to look at and work off of."

Of course, the bugs reported in Safari for Windows are primarily connected to the beta support libraries Apple ported from Mac OS X, not Safari itself, and so are not really related to Safari on the Mac, or Safari on the iPhone.

Still, if there were problems in Safari, it would be a good idea for Apple to throw it out there and have black hat hackers try their best on it before actually shipping the iPhone.

Surprise! You've been hacked, hackers! By trying to beat up Safari on Windows, you've helped Apple harden Safari in general, which is good for the Mac, but also good for the iPhone. Apple wouldn't want your attacks on Safari to be linked to the iPhone in its first days of ultra hyped media coverage, so thanks for jumping the gun!

As reader Scott Thompson wrote, "By pointing out bugs in Safari, these people felt good because they got to wag their fingers, but I imagine Apple was laughing the entire time as they got 'free' QA out of the deal."

[Cuckoo for Cocoa: Is Safari on Windows the next iTunes?]

The Power of Open.
With even moderate success for the iPhone, Apple will rapidly end up leading mobile development and mobile browser market share, both powered by open standards and an open source browser engine.

Apple will also maintain wide cross-platform reach of its Safari browser, making it easy for mobile developers on any platform to build applications that can be tested to work against a standards compliant browser like the iPhone's Safari.

But what about "real" iPhone apps, the kind that use the full power of the Cocoa frameworks and run on the bare metal of the iPhone itself, and not in a secured sandbox environment of the standard web?

I have notes to share on that as well: Apple's Secret iPhone Application Business Model.

[The Future of the Web: Safari, Firefox and Internet Explorer]

You can register your own ideas in the RoughlyDrafted Forum.

Like reading RoughlyDrafted? Share articles with your friends, link from your blog, and subscribe to my podcast!

Did I miss any details?

Re:slashdotted alrady? (4, Insightful)

Divebus (860563) | more than 6 years ago | (#19629337)

That was quick.

There are a lot of Apple haters, mostly with their fortunes tied to its failure. That's not going so well. TFA is just a response to the avalanche of bought-and-paid Microsoft FUD reporters who can't seem to get the term "unbiased" right. Call for an iPhone boycott? You can always hope - suckers. This article is biased toward outing those buffoons with nothing else to do except panic. I cringe at some the venom this guy has published, but as uppity and fanboyish as Dan is, he's mostly right.

Re:slashdotted alrady? (0, Redundant)

Divebus (860563) | more than 6 years ago | (#19629371)

Service Temporarily Unavailable

The server is temporarily unable to service your request due to maintenance downtime or capacity problems. Please try again later.
Apache/1.3.33 Server at www.roughlydrafted.com Port 80

Hacking hackers is a bad move (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19629177)

It leads to a stack overflow that will just end up running their code.

Is this a joke? (1, Insightful)

JamesRose (1062530) | more than 6 years ago | (#19629193)

Slashdot has just posted yet another clearly biased article about how great the ipod is going to be, personally I think there should be an investigation into either bribery or conflict of interests of the runners of this site. Okay, I'm being a bit melodramatic, but this article doesn't add anything plus it implies some real crap, for example when it implies an article by gizmodo about the shady past of AT&T is nothing but a weak smear campaign dragging up every tiny thing from the past, it's a well known fact that AT&T is not one of the best providers, and does have a bad record. I'd like to registeer my complaint about this, another iphone hype articcle, being here, right now.

Re:Is this a joke? (0, Flamebait)

nanowired (881497) | more than 6 years ago | (#19629221)

Personally if I had mod points I'd mod the article as "Flame bait"

Re:Is this a joke? (0, Flamebait)

wanderingknight (1103573) | more than 6 years ago | (#19629261)

You must be kidding, right? This is one of the most biased articles I've seen in my entire life.

Criticizing Apple doesn't make you a Microsoft dog.

Re:Is this a joke? (0, Flamebait)

nanowired (881497) | more than 6 years ago | (#19629643)

This post would be relevent if you were disagreeing with what I said. Confusion as to why you posted "you must be kidding" , since you basicly share my view.

Re:Is this a joke? (5, Funny)

Spazntwich (208070) | more than 6 years ago | (#19629241)

Your complaint has been registered and is currently scheduled for several "overrated" downmods from our crack team of Applephile moderators.

Please stand by.

Re:Is this a joke? iPod? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19629299)

>"Slashdot has just posted yet another clearly biased article about how great the ipod is going to be"

We all know how great the iPod is. This is about the iPhone. You may want to re-read the article. ;-)

Re:Is this a joke? (0, Flamebait)

Threni (635302) | more than 6 years ago | (#19629313)

I don't get it either. There are loads of good phones on the market. The iPhone is nothing special. Frankly, being associated with Apple gets a negative mark in my book. Check out the Nokia N95 for a decent phone. Main downpoint of that is the battery life, but it's got a rechargable battery and the charger is small so so what?

Re:Is this a joke? (5, Insightful)

mabhatter654 (561290) | more than 6 years ago | (#19629471)

The iPhone is not for business... It's not a business phone, it's a PERSONAL phone. Apple makes PERSONAL computers. Sure, they are used in serious work, but again most of the work people use Apple Computers for is artistic, personalized work in small settings. Apple's target isn't the enterprise (yet?) it is the small business of 1 to 20 people.

iPhone is an extension of the iPod and media business, not the computer business. It's driving feature is that it's an iPod... most business won't sign up for that, Period. Apple is trying to get the Web, music and video features to the PEOPLE, not companies (because they won't use it anyway) The goal of 90% of cell phone at this point is to get companies to buy dozens and lock them their networks. IF you don't have a business network for your smart phone, adding applications, or connecting to email is just a pretty feature, because unless you work for a company that pays, you don't ever get half the features that makes the phones so great.

Apple wants People to have phones.. it's a market 10x bigger than what Windows mobile or Palm have made for themselves with a 5 year head start. Ask yourself, with a 5 year head start, why are "smartphones" still only "Geek" toys? Why aren't they good enough for everybody? Apple is trying to get it's 10% of the market by bringing NEW users into smartphones!! not simply making a phone for the droves of industry pundits and IT managers looking for a new toy. I think a lot of the bad reviews are because Apple is not catering to what the pundits say they should be doing, not passing out previews like candy, not caving to pressure to add every special interest feature under the sun and being ignored makes the big players really upset because their whole business is being "in the loop" and Apple is cutting them out with a vengeance.

Re:Is this a joke? (5, Interesting)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 6 years ago | (#19629563)

Ask yourself, with a 5 year head start, why are "smartphones" still only "Geek" toys? Why aren't they good enough for everybody? Apple is trying to get it's 10% of the market by bringing NEW users into smartphones!!

The biggest problem with smartphones and the iPhone is size. If you aren't carrying a bag or wearing cargo pants, they just don't fit. Going out dancing or bar hopping with a Treo clipped to your hip just looks stupid. If they really want to revolutionize phones, every iPhone needs to come with an iPhone-nano that rings at the same phone number.

Re:Is this a joke? (1)

hattig (47930) | more than 6 years ago | (#19629663)

I agree. It's why the concept behind a device like the Foléo is good, even if the device itself and the price point aren't. On the other hand, people don't want to carry two devices around, even if there is an option for phone-only when you're in a bar or pub, you might as well use that notebook you carry most places innit!

The iPhone quite possibly will be slim enough to stick into smaller pockets than a Treo, but we will see. Remember that it offers the possibility of removing the iPod from the pocket, although I don't know many people who would want to drop down from their 30GB/80GB iPod to an 8GB iPhone, so they'll still be carrying both anyway - but only one set of headphones if they're sensible.

Maybe the iPhone will be a hit with women - it's a good size for handbags, and no where near as geeky as a Treo.

Re:Is this a joke? (0, Troll)

Threni (635302) | more than 6 years ago | (#19629593)

You must be from the US or somewhere else where mobile phones have yet to take off properly. In the UK *everyone* has a mobile phone. There are more mobile phones than people. And people aren't locked into any network for longer than the contract term, which is typically 12-18 months. After that it's your phone and if you want to unlock it and take it to another network you can. Typically, though, at the end of your contract you'll be offered a free phone and perhaps a discount on a tariff to keep you in for another 12-18 months. So yeah, perhaps someone will take an iPhone if it's free, and competitive with other phones in the same price range, and if it's fashionable (for people who are interested in that sort of thing, and let's face it, that's where the iPod made so much money for Apple, given that it's technically inferior to products from rivals), for 12-18 months.

Re:Is this a joke? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19629673)

Apple's target isn't the enterprise (yet?) it is the small business of 1 to 20 people.
These [apple.com] are aimed at artistic personalized work in small businesses? Give me a break.

I'm fed up with Apple fanboys who respond to every failure or setback Apple experiences by denying that Apple ever wanted that market in the first place. There's been an awful lot of it lately with the lead-balloon performance of Safari for Windows ("when Steve Jobs said it was designed to win massive market share from Firefox and Internet Explorer, what he meant was that it wasn't about market share and it's only aimed at iPhone developers..."), and it's getting pretty tedious.

Apple went straight for the enterprise with OS X servers. Remember all that triumphalism a few years back about a new supercomputer being built from Xserves? How OS X was going to be the new standard for supercomputing, how all the enterprises were going to switch switch switch? Yeah, nothing came of it, so of course the fanboys rewrite history so Apple only ever aimed for the home market.

You didn't read. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19629367)

You are being melodramatic. And you clearly didn't take the time to read the piece. I did.

There are moments in the article where he intelligently breaks down aspects of the hatred being tossed around, possibly in conflict of interest scenarios. It seems much of the article points out that the iPhone gravitates heavily toward open standards, which I find to be a very good thing.

By the way, the article is not about AT&T. It's about the Apple iPhone. Thanks for registering your complaint, but please troll elsewhere.

Re:You didn't read. (1)

putch (469506) | more than 6 years ago | (#19629553)

There are moments in the article where he intelligently breaks down aspects of the hatred being tossed around, possibly in conflict of interest scenarios.

it's not that intelligent. and while it certainly criticizes the "haters" it never acknowledges that there may be legitimate reasons to not get swept up in the iPhone hype (people are sleeping on streets for them, come on).

It seems much of the article points out that the iPhone gravitates heavily toward open standards, which I find to be a very good thing.

yes. no one will deny that open standards are bad. but it's "push" email isn't really open if it's yahoo only. most enterprise customers, for various legal and technical reasons, can't funnel their employees' mail through yahoo servers.

the iPhone certainly has some very unique features (the way it handles voicemail really excites me) and it's innovations will undoubtedly change the mobile phone lanscape.

but, the iPhone is not a panacea. it won't be perfect (edge? come on). there's a giant flame war happening across the world between iPhone haters and fanboys and this article is CLEARLY in the fanboy camp.

Re:You didn't read. (1)

RatPh!nk (216977) | more than 6 years ago | (#19629633)

that there may be legitimate reasons to not get swept up in the iPhone hype (people are sleeping on streets for them, come on).
I think this is more of an indictment our the current US excessive/beyond means consumerism. It extends beyond Apple, but as you rightly point out, sleeping out on the streets for anything, except maybe food if you are hungry, is pretty difficult to understand. It is unhealthy, and unsustainable, as evidenced by American's massive [sfgate.com] debt [federalreserve.gov] .

According to the Fed, total consumer credit debt, excluding mortgages, hit a record $2.4 trillion in September. Factoring in mortgages, outstanding household debt soars to about $12.3 trillion.
But I digress, Roughly Drafted is a good site, but that are also a pro-Apple site. They just provide a little more substance than blantant/obvious sites. Cheers!

Re:You didn't read. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19629709)

the iPhone gravitates heavily toward open standards, which I find to be a very good thing.
Indeed, open standards are great. So why doesn't the iPhone support J2ME, which is the existing open standard for mobile applications, instead of trying to create a whole new "standard" based around Safari?

When did this become AppleDot? (-1, Flamebait)

DragonHawk (21256) | more than 6 years ago | (#19629385)

Slashdot used to be "News for Linux nerds. Nothing else matters." Lately, it seems it's switched to being AppleDot.

Re:Is this a joke? (1)

Hawthorne01 (575586) | more than 6 years ago | (#19629397)

I gotta agree with you. I'm as big of an Apple fanboy as you'll find (check my posting history if you doubt that), but what will advance the cause ("Glory and power to our Fearless Leader Jobs! Death to the Trotskyite Gassee followers!") is clear, unbiased writing about the iPhone and other Apple products. Roughly Drafted's feed is on my Netvibes page, but I read his articles with the same shaker of salt that I use for, say, a Paul Thurott column. You know there will be an inherent bias for one OS over another, and you set your BS filters appropriately.

Do you hear anybody laughing? (1)

Zhe Mappel (607548) | more than 6 years ago | (#19629405)

It's pretty clear you think Slashdot is a news site. In basic sense that's true, but the definition of "news" you're operating with is a romantic 20th century one: some kind of more-or-less objective utterance benignly prepared for you by noble, disinterested parties.



Not only did such purity in news reporting scarcely ever exist, as you might discover by reading Manufacturing Consent, but whatever elements of it did exist have largely been abandoned by corporations and are also little in evidence online in 21st century news and blogging.



Slashdot's advocacy journalism. It's about promoting what its editors like and dissing what they don't. (It's in the comments that the correctives and tonics are found.) The sooner you accept that this is a lobbying site with its own fairly transparent agendas, the happier you'll be here.

I thought it was useful (2, Insightful)

JimBobJoe (2758) | more than 6 years ago | (#19629449)

but this article doesn't add anything

I found it useful in several places. Recently my father forwarded me an email from his boss (IT email/blackberry support) saying they were taking a wait-and-see approach on the iPhone, and refusing support for the moment. The reasons for doing so were basically a copy and paste of Gartner's assessment--including the fact that there was no Notes/Exchange support.

I'm not in IT (anymore) so I didn't know that Notes/Exchange support IMAP and POP, so the claim of no Notes/Exchange support is a bit of a red herring. At the very least, Gartner should be embarrassed for being professionals in the field and forgetting about that.

the shady past of AT&T is nothing but a weak smear campaign dragging up every tiny thing from the past

See, I didn't get that. I don't feel the article said it was a weak smear campaign--I felt the article gave the shady past of AT&T its due. For me, the most salient point was the fact that Gizmodo didn't hold other companies to the fire like they have AT&T. If that's true, I think they have a point to a point--AT&T's dealings are so much more shadier than other companies.

Re:I thought it was useful (2, Informative)

secolactico (519805) | more than 6 years ago | (#19629539)

I'm not in IT (anymore) so I didn't know that Notes/Exchange support IMAP and POP, so the claim of no Notes/Exchange support is a bit of a red herring.

Actually, more than IMAP and POP they are probably concerned with the groupware (calendaring and the like) features of Exchange and Notes. Blackberry does IMAP and POP fine with any server, but for anything beyond that you need a dedicated server that only interfaces with Exchange, Notes and Groupwise (I think). How will iPhone deal with this has not been said.

It might ignore this issue entirely and let someone else develop the software with a web interface for the iphone to access, maybe.

Re:I thought it was useful (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 6 years ago | (#19629719)

How will iPhone deal with this has not been said.

It's hard to say exactly what this will all be about right now, but features of OS X 10.5 server [apple.com] will include:

  • A calendaring server built on a standards-compliant implementation of CalDAV, Including automated conflict resolution.
  • A directory server built on a standards-compliant implementation of LDAP, including calendar integration for scheduling conference rooms, locations, and resources.

Exchange does a bunch of other things, but these are the core things, and the OS X server implementation promises to be more standards-compliant. The big question is wether or not the iphone would be able to bind to an LDAP server for contacts (and if you'd want it to, given the available AT&T data plans), and if it would be able to synchronize its calendars from the phone, as opposed to just thru isync, allowing you to schedule resources and people through the phone.

Re:I thought it was useful (1)

YU Nicks NE Way (129084) | more than 6 years ago | (#19629731)

I'm not in IT (anymore) so I didn't know that Notes/Exchange support IMAP and POP, so the claim of no Notes/Exchange support is a bit of a red herring. At the very least, Gartner should be embarrassed for being professionals in the field and forgetting about that.
No -- Gartner nailed it. iPhone supports POP and IMAP, which are adequate for simple email, but totally inadequate for calendaring. (And don't blather to me about ical -- when ical can handle recurring appointments in Japan, with multiple different calendars, it'll have stopped being a joke for personal calendaring, to say nothing of enterprise calendaring and/or groupware.)

AT&T (5, Insightful)

The_Morgan (89220) | more than 6 years ago | (#19629203)

AT&T really has the power to make or break the iPhone. If the network doesn't support fast enough connections to enable fast safari apps the device is sunk. But I like the articles brief coverage of the other non-issues that the iPhone haters are using.

Re:AT&T (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 6 years ago | (#19629497)

FTFA:
"Gizmodo called for an iPhone boycott "for the foreseeable future" as a righteous protest against AT&T, a brand it associates with "Microsoft-style anti-competitive maneuvers and anti-privacy efforts á la RIAA." "

But I like the articles brief coverage of the other non-issues that the iPhone haters are using.

I agree, AT&T giving your internet traffic to the NSA is a non-issue.
Consumers, please continue consuming.

Re:AT&T (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19629639)

Also FTFA:
"Interestingly, Gizmodo offered no opinions last fall about boycotting the Zune to protest genuine "Microsoft anti-competitive maneuvers," or the Zune's actual connection with the RIAA with its over the top DRM, self destructing media, and the Universal "music theft tax" Microsoft bundled into its price. Why not?"

Re:AT&T (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19629501)

"AT&T really has the power to make or break the iPhone"
No, not really. This is about maximizing profits. If Apple offered the iPhone sim-lock free, it would still be a success as a product and sell millions. Corporate greed dictates that Apple and AT&T get together to maximize profits for both companies. What customers or Apple fans think is entirely irrelevant in this case. Fact remains that the iPhone is a revoltionary product product and will drag the rest of the phone market into the 21st century.

Re:AT&T (3, Insightful)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 6 years ago | (#19629701)

I disagree. The iPhone supports EDGE and Wi-Fi. In virtually all cases Wi-Fi will be faster. (And, therefore, preferred by the user.)

I'm going to get an iPhone unless the service is too expensive. I have Wi-Fi at home and at work. I don't anticipate using EDGE unless I'm pulled over to the side of the road loading a map. In which case I'll be so happy to have it that I won't really give a shit if it is slow.

As a side-effect, the typical iPhone could end up putting substantially less strain on the EDGE network than the typical non-iPhone EDGE device, since, for example, most email syncs will happen over Wi-Fi. (Consider that my phone spends at least two-thirds of every week day either at home or the office. That's half the hours of the week, assuming I never go home on the weekends!)

It think that this is a master stroke on AT&T's part. They're going to ding every iPhone buyer for data every month, and nobody is going to use it!

-Peter

wow... (1, Insightful)

garbletext (669861) | more than 6 years ago | (#19629205)

This would definitely not pass wikipedia's NPOV test. The whole article amounts to a shrill rant accusing anyone who says anything negative about the iPhone of being a Microsoft shill. roughly drafted indeed.

One Word: Zonk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19629271)

That's all anyone needs to see in the story summary to know it is another paid for product advertisement.

Re:wow... (1, Interesting)

Tickletaint (1088359) | more than 6 years ago | (#19629275)

I'd rather read an article by someone who makes his perspective obvious, than an article by a horde of anonymous authors who hide behind the myth of "NPOV."

Re:wow... (1)

garbletext (669861) | more than 6 years ago | (#19629543)

What's the point of reading something where every fact is spun to reflect its author's biases? I admit there's a significant demographic which likes being fed "news" this way, hence the success of talk radio and fox news.

Re:wow... (1)

Tickletaint (1088359) | more than 6 years ago | (#19629607)

That describes "NPOV" articles too. You just don't notice it because you happen to agree with this "NPOV."

Instead of pursuing balanced reporting at the expense of perspective and subjective truth, since you bring it up, I think we'd be better served by old-fashioned advocacy journalism. Unfortunately, balance and evenhandedness tends to be a liberal goal, and so the media on whom we rely to deliver us the facts either slants entirely one way (Murdoch's little group) or makes a best effort to slant in both directions (always only two!), which no matter whose perspective you share will still be half lies. And Wikipedia's slavish celebration of "NPOV" is the most noxious outgrowth of this late 20th-c. media climate.

Re:wow... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19629597)

Yeah, that was a pretty appalling attempt at Apple fanboyism.

Keep trying, and I'm sure that invitation from Steve Jobs to spoon with you will be in the mail.

Re:wow... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19629657)

there is nothing NPOV about the results when anonymous edits. though the wikipedia editors usually revert all the good stuff quickly

Re:wow... (2, Insightful)

zyzko (6739) | more than 6 years ago | (#19629289)

Nothing new. As I've said before - if Slashdot absolutely must link to roughly drafted rants which always use the same tactics to twist the reality into something else than it is - can we pretty please with sugar on top have an own category for them? I'm interested in iPhone and Apple products in general but this stuff...yuck.

oops, I read another roughlydrafted article (1)

johnny cashed (590023) | more than 6 years ago | (#19629345)

Is there a plug-in for firefox that allows me to blacklist certain domains? I feel dirty now for wasting my time on yet another roughlydrafted BS "article".

Re:oops, I read another roughlydrafted article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19629515)

You can always edit your HOSTS file to redirect domains to localhost

Hype hype, buzz buzz (2, Insightful)

nikanj (799034) | more than 6 years ago | (#19629207)

I think we should have a cap for shameless slashverts per week per product..

Article text (5, Informative)

Hungus (585181) | more than 6 years ago | (#19629215)

Apple has dropped just enough information at just regular enough intervals to create a level of anticipation for the iPhone that can only be described as off the hook. Amid all the opinions--and the frantic warnings of doom from certain analyst groups--are a few details that have been largely overlooked.

Here's a deconstruction of a few myths that have failed to take these unhidden secrets into consideration, along with the final aspect of why Apple released Safari for Windows, as I promised to reveal in the last article. It has something to do with the iPhone, of course.

Segway Segue, or AirPort Runway?
The levels of both enthusiastic hype and detractors' hate over the iPhone appear to have handily eclipsed one of the last ultra-hyped new devices of the tech world: Dean Kamen's Segway personal transporter.

Back in 2001, the Segway was presented sight unseen as the mysterious, revolutionary invention Ginger. It was privately shown to a handful of luminaries--including Steve Jobs--who all seemed excited about its potential. When actually revealed to the public, it was met with a mix of interest and ridicule, in part due to its steep price tag. After all, if you can't afford it, it must be silly and impractical.

Kamen's claim that the Segway would change society and that cities would be reconfigured to account for a world mobilized by two wheeled robot transporters didn't work out as planned.

San Francisco--one of the few cities to have enough flush nerds to warrant opening up a Segway dealership--actually banned the device on its sidewalks in a frantic, spastic panic about public safety concerns.

On the other hand, there have also been runaway hits that initially received little hype, criticism, or attention. Apple's AirPort introduced a mainstream audience to WiFi wireless networking. Apple wasn't the first implementation on Earth, but it did offer a pioneering set of products that delivered ease of use on a level that is still unmatched.

The iPod was also greeted with passive yawns and dismissed as too simple, too expensive, and uninteresting by critics, only to build into a phenomenon that changed the music industry, made Apple's simple music players a household name, and established the company as a top consumer brand.

The Devil in the Details.
Unlike the Segway, the iPhone isn't a hyped tease. Apple introduced the device six months ago with a full demonstration of how it actually worked, assigned it a firm price tag, published its technical specifics down to the millimeter and gram, and provided a comprehensive look at its features and underlying technologies.

In comparison, Microsoft's Zune--which had been in the news just a few months earlier--was presented from the start as having an unclear feature set. Fans made broad assumptions about its capabilities, resulting in great disappointment. Analysts overreached to claim that Microsoft would eat up Apple's iPod market share by offering a highly subsidized unit, or even offer it for free with a subscription plan, neither of which actually happened.

As the "iPod Killer" got closer to release, its price was still a secret and its key features were revealed to be more limited that anyone imagined. Its highly touted WiFi became nothing more than a way to squirt advertisements to friends, exploiting "the Social" in an attempt to sell music in Microsoft's new PlaysForSure-incompatible version of its impossible to crack Janus DRM.

Only its violent failure could silence the giddy critics that gushed about its supposed game changing, iPod killing impact that never happened. The Zune made the Segway look like a runaway hit.

The Desperate Panic of the Apple Haters.
It is therefore interesting to compare the news sources that gushed over the Zune--with little information from Microsoft--and encouraged their readers to blow $250 on one, because they are today providing a non-stop emergency warning siren that ignores everything we've been told by Apple about the iPhone to instead present a climate of panicked fear, uncertainty, and doubt.

Gizmodo published a bizarre story this week that linked together anything questionable that ever transpired under the AT&T name by any entity that ever used it, and then overreached to portray buying the iPhone as a moral quandary, because SBC and its Cingular Wireless subsidiary recently acquired the AT&T name.

The impassioned Adam Frucci wrote, "What's more important to you? Having the hottest device, or knowing that you are standing up to a company, that in my opinion, has no regard for the privacy and consumer choice of Americans? Is it up to us, the customers, to stand up to these practices, or should we just keep shopping and hope the regulators do their jobs?" Frucci only stopped short of asking Do you hate freedom?

Gizmodo called for an iPhone boycott "for the foreseeable future" as a righteous protest against AT&T, a brand it associates with "Microsoft-style anti-competitive maneuvers and anti-privacy efforts á la RIAA."

Interestingly, Gizmodo offered no opinions last fall about boycotting the Zune to protest genuine "Microsoft anti-competitive maneuvers," or the Zune's actual connection with the RIAA with its over the top DRM, self destructing media, and the Universal "music theft tax" Microsoft bundled into its price. Why not?

Engadget has been conservative in its coverage of the iPhone after it lost considerable credibility in May, when it published, and then recanted, a suspect email that purported to be an internal Apple bulletin claiming the iPhone would be delayed until October, and that Leopard would be delayed until next January.

Engadget is now on its best behavior, a 180 degree change from its earlier role in mounting the charge that Apple couldn't possibly use the iPhone name, that nobody really wants an iPhone anyway, and that it's probably best to get something else.

The Real Player Haters.
These gadget sites appear to be in love with Apple when compared to the real haters: Microsoft aligned think tanks like Gartner and the acronymic MSM conglomerates IDG, CNET and its ZDnet subsidiary.

One blogger counted over fifty negative articles generated by eleven ZDnet bloggers within the last week or so. Add in parent company CNET, and the sheer volume of iPhone warnings all stemming from the same corporate outlet are mind boggling.

Does the world need more warnings about the world imperiling iPhone than about the gravity of America's suspension of Habeas Corpus? Or as the Two a Day blogger asked, "Would there be this much hate for a carbon-mercury spewing autobot baby seal killing machine?"

We Wrote a Whitepaper on Hating Apple. Would You Like to Buy It?
Gartner recently made headlines when analyst Ken Dulaney explained, "We're telling IT executives to not support [the iPhone] because Apple has no intentions of supporting [iPhone use in] the enterprise."

How exactly is Apple failing to support the iPhone for business users?

Is Apple providing only a proprietary platform for custom development, locking companies to a single vendor?

Is Apple only supporting its own proprietary email system, locking companies to a single email server option?

No, that would be Microsoft's Windows Mobile! But Gartner doesn't warn people not to buy Microsoft's products. That's outside of its core competency.

Gartner's problem with the iPhone is that it "only" supports industry standard IMAP and POP mail, including Push IMAP support offered by Yahoo. That means enterprise customers will be forced to use open standards, standards that are already supported by Lotus Notes and Microsoft Exchange Server. Oh no, a level playing field!

Will the iPhone Give IT Managers Headaches?
Gartner also worries that IT departments won't be able to support the iPhone because it is so difficult and Apple provides no special IT support tools for it. Compared to what?

It's Palm OS devices that are difficult. Installing Palm OS software on Windows requires admin rights, forcing an administrator to install the software on every machine that syncs with a Palm.

Windows Mobile similarly requires ActiveSync to be running, and is a huge headache to support when synching with Exchange. Windows Mobile phones fall out of sync with Exchange regularly, forcing a full deletion of the user's calendar and email and a resync.

Blackberry devices require buying a companion server to manage them. This provides some nice revocation features (IT can kill your phone and destroy your email as soon as you are fired), but that would not be hard for Apple to provide later. Nobody offered warnings that the Treo or Motorola Q do not support this.

What does the iPhone require of IT? Installation of iTunes, which users can manage themselves. That's because Apple designed iTunes to be user manageable without an IT team. Of course, that doesn't preclude management options or policy set by IT.

Gartner frets that IT departments will be flummoxed by the needs of archiving and managing gigabytes of music and movies if iTunes were involved. Have they forgotten that any competent IT department already has a policy for managing user data?

Ever heard of a quota, Gartner? You are in the IT business, right? And outside of iTunes, there are still MP3s, so this isn't some high-fear slippery slope problem that only applies to iTunes, nor is it a difficult issue for any competent IT group.

Why Gartner is Really Worried.
Perhaps Gartner is most afraid of the fact that Apple's iTunes sync is so simple, and that the iPhone's support for open standards in its music, email, calendaring, and custom software development is so obvious, that the only thing left to worry about is Gartner's own relevance in a world that no longer needs a fear-based think tank to prop up the stagnating business plans of clients like Microsoft and its proprietary interests.

That fear sent Dulaney into a fit of straw-grasping, resulting in the inane claim that the iPhone lacks a firewall. Dulaney doesn't know if the iPhone has a firewall, has no reason to suggest that its installation of OS X wouldn't offer a firewall, and offers no reasons why a mobile device would need a firewall anyway.

Does Windows Mobile provide a firewall? Does it do anything? Has it prevented Windows Mobile phones from crashing? Is it the reason Windows Mobile takes so long to boot? Isn't Gartner supposed to provide information, not outright lies designed to mislead its own clients?

Dulaney is starting to sound a lot like Rob Enderle, who called the iPhone "damned" and describes it as a grave threat to IT departments everywhere, while also dismissing it as "really not being very good" whenever a lazy journalist decides to take his call and allow him to repeat his talking points on why anything from Apple or open source is bad.

So which is it? Is the world in danger of being overtaken by storm from a product that doesn't do anything remarkable at all? That sounds a lot like the Paul Thurrott take on iTunes. Do you guys share a podcast or something? Are you secretly the same person?

Gartner vs the Real Security Experts.
Is Gartner just full of hot air? Let's ask the people who get paid to deliver real solutions rather than whitepapers.

Neel Mehta, the team lead of IBM's Internet Security Systems experts group recently stated, "We've been following [the iPhone] since it was announced.

"It's going to be challenging for the bad guys to exploit them like they do other [smartphones] but there will be a lot of individuals willing to try because of the amount of buzz around it. We've seen some very determined attacks on other mobile phone platforms, like the Symbian platform. A lot of these attacks are going to be very hard to launch against the iPhone. [...] It's going to be much harder to write worms or viruses for that platform."

Gartner and other iPhone detractors have long been warning that the iPhone's lack of native development tools would present a show stopper problem for IT groups. According to real security experts however, Apple's strategy for offering tightly secured internal software signed by Apple and third party custom apps via a standards-based web browser turns that prognostication upside down. Hoist with their own petard!

The iPhone will not only offer better security, but Apple will also be able to contain any vulnerabilities that do erupt. Mehta continued, "We suspect the ability to update the phone will be relatively painless and robust. That's been a major problem with other smart phones.

"Many people will buy a smart phone and never update the firmware on it. Computers that run OS X have automated update mechanisms and look at how easy it is to update firmware on iPods. It's very painless. It's just one click within the iTunes software."

The Web as a Platform: Peril or Paradise?
The iPhone offers the Safari web browser as a third party development platform. That means IT groups won't have to write iPhone specific ports of their custom apps.

It also means that any development invested in building custom applications targeted for the iPhone will automatically be cross-platform, and work on any other mobile devices that support a standards-based web browser. Oh the humanity!

Is Gartner still recommending that IT groups contain all their development efforts to Windows Mobile pocket apps? Why? That would be foolish, considering that Microsoft has terminated support of large swaths of Windows Mobile and WinCE based devices in the past as its development strategy has changed on a whim.

Windows Mobile devices also make up a tiny shred of the smartphone market, growing only at the expense of Palm OS after Palm released a Windows Mobile based Treo. Over the last decade, Microsoft has proven quite conclusively that it cannot run a successful mobile platform.

Apple Hacks the Hackers.
Mehta also noted, "There's bugs in Safari for Windows. There's speculation that these vulnerabilities will also affect the iPhone. And there's a good chance that we'll see vulnerabilities that affect the mainstream version of OS X affect the iPhone. That, to some degree, offsets the fact that it's a closed development platform. It gives people with malicious intent something to look at and work off of."

Of course, the bugs reported in Safari for Windows are primarily connected to the beta support libraries Apple ported from Mac OS X, not Safari itself, and so are not really related to Safari on the Mac, or Safari on the iPhone.

Still, if there were problems in Safari, it would be a good idea for Apple to throw it out there and have black hat hackers try their best on it before actually shipping the iPhone.

Surprise! You've been hacked, hackers! By trying to beat up Safari on Windows, you've helped Apple harden Safari in general, which is good for the Mac, but also good for the iPhone. Apple wouldn't want your attacks on Safari to be linked to the iPhone in its first days of ultra hyped media coverage, so thanks for jumping the gun!

As reader Scott Thompson wrote, "By pointing out bugs in Safari, these people felt good because they got to wag their fingers, but I imagine Apple was laughing the entire time as they got 'free' QA out of the deal."

The Power of Open.
With even moderate success for the iPhone, Apple will rapidly end up leading mobile development and mobile browser market share, both powered by open standards and an open source browser engine.

Apple will also maintain wide cross-platform reach of its Safari browser, making it easy for mobile developers on any platform to build applications that can be tested to work against a standards compliant browser like the iPhone's Safari.

But what about "real" iPhone apps, the kind that use the full power of the Cocoa frameworks and run on the bare metal of the iPhone itself, and not in a secured sandbox environment of the standard web?

I have notes to share on that as well: Apple's Secret iPhone Application Business Model.

MOD PARENT DOWN -- MOVIE SPOILER TROLL (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19629541)

I was about to see that tonight. You asshole.

Re:Article text (5, Funny)

Wellington Grey (942717) | more than 6 years ago | (#19629603)

Apple has dropped just enough information at just regular enough intervals to create a level of anticipation for the iPhone that can only be described as off the hook.


No kidding. At this point I wouldn't be surprised if Jobs announced that the iPhone would be the harbinger of the technological singularity.

-Grey [wellingtongrey.net]

I have it / I have it / I have it (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19629217)



I have it / I have it / I have it

I am better than youuuu / I am better than youuuu / I am better than youuuuu

You are losers / you are losers / you are losers

It's from Roughlydrafted? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19629225)

Site seems down, but if it's from Roughlydrafted, I don't even need to read it. I'm guessing it's about how misreported/misunderstood/misrepresented Apple is by this and that media outlet and how some Microsoft conspiracy or Apple detractors were trying to put them down, but Apple's brilliant strategy will allow them to prevail nonetheless. Probably intermixed with lots of photoshopped illustrations and "witty" sub-headlines.

Yeah, I know, ad hominems are bad, but every Roughlydrafted article is like that. That guy is probably minting AdSense-gold from people who get too worked up about Apple (both pro and contra).

Re:It's from Roughlydrafted? (1)

JamesRose (1062530) | more than 6 years ago | (#19629237)

That's exactly, down to a T what it said, I mean really, exactly what the artcile said

Just. Fucking. STOP. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19629249)

Apple is spending all this money paying for the constant hype stories and is turning the iPhone into the most hated product ever before it is even released.

Watch the latest video (4, Insightful)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 6 years ago | (#19629293)

I wasn't convinced about the iPhone until I watched it. While the data rate will be slow, the whole operation of the phone is very simple and highly usable.

While the product may or may not succeed, you will see much of it's functionality stolen by Microsoft and the Symbian crew.

The iPhone interface makes UIQ, S60 and Windows mobile seem like dumbphones.

It's not just about the interface (5, Insightful)

blowdart (31458) | more than 6 years ago | (#19629341)

As much as Apple would like to believe the interface can swing it, it appears the only way to code for it right now is to write browser apps (please someone tell me I'm wrong here, I'd love to be). So your apps need to be connected. And costing you money. And limited by the need to be in the browser, so no local caching of information like google maps or live maps for mobile does. No manipulation of files store on the phone. No games outside the browser.

Nokia has the symbian sdks and java, microsoft has the .net compact framework (and in the HTC phones java as well). Apple are restricting everything to the browser (and if we're lucky, they may support flash in the browser).

So why would Symbian or Microsoft steal a restrictive programming framework? The interface may be nice, and it will sell it to end users, but it's not a phone for developers or even corporate users.

Re:It's not just about the interface (4, Informative)

Tickletaint (1088359) | more than 6 years ago | (#19629353)

"Browser apps" don't need to be connected. Think of Dashboard widgets, for example.

Re:It's not just about the interface (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19629477)

Apps connecting to the Internet won't cost you (extra) money, because AT&T is making every iPhone user purchase an unlimited data plan.

It's true there's no official way to write apps for the iPhone. But if you think the iPhone won't be hacked to hell and back in its first week of release, well, I think you haven't learned from experience. There *will* be real apps for the iPhone; Apple and AT&T are powerless to prevent it.

Re:Watch the latest video (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19629369)

Everyone seems think of the iPhone as a smart phone, but, really, it is more of a high-end iPod
with phone and wifi capabilities. If you own an iPod and use a cell phone, then the iPhone is a no-brainer,
especially if you already use AT&T/Cingular, and maybe even if you don't. For everyone else, there are
clear trade-offs. Maybe some of them will disappear in later models of the iPhone, and maybe they
won't. It remains to be seen.

Re:Just. Fucking. STOP. (2, Insightful)

nahdude812 (88157) | more than 6 years ago | (#19629425)

Apple is spending all this money paying for the constant hype stories and is turning the iPhone into the most hated product ever before it is even released.
Aah, if only I still had those mod points I just used up this morning. I thought it looked like an interesting device. Nothing ground breaking, but perhaps some cool innovations (which will probably be locked away from the rest of the world with patents). But now I am just sick of hearing about it. Every tech news site is just buzzing about it like crazy. It merited the attention it was getting a month ago. In a few days when it is actually out it may merit some more attention. But until it's out and in people's hands, it merits everyone just being quiet and waiting till it arrives.

The bad news for Apple is that I sincerely doubt it'll be able to live up to the hype. Even if it's a decent device; even if it's best of its class, it can't live up to the absurd hype, and no matter how good it actually is, it'll be a disappointment.

If it does by some miracle live up to the hype, that hype would be all the more potent if it came after the device came out and people just couldn't stop talking about them at that time. As it is, there won't be that much new about it to talk about, and it'll lose some of its buzzworthiness to people already being sick of hearing about it.

Does someone remember? (0, Troll)

aiaiaiaiaiaiaiaiaiai (1076309) | more than 6 years ago | (#19629257)


When Steve Jobs said that the iPhone would come with Safari, the best browser in the planet, and someone in crowd laughed to the point Steve Jobs had to give him a furious stare?

Apple zealots (5, Insightful)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 6 years ago | (#19629267)

Jesus Christ, why are you still giving this shill a platform? I mean, I know flamewars create ad impressions, but come on. This isn't global warming or terrorism. This is people treating a corporation like a religion! You're better than this, slashdot!

He was caught gaming Digg, you know. [googlepages.com]

Re:Apple zealots (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19629301)

"Jesus Christ, why are you still giving this shill a platform? "

Zonk is an editor on Slashdot.

Re:Apple zealots (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19629411)

Who cares?

Digg is fucking stupid anyway.

Re:Apple zealots (1)

tsa (15680) | more than 6 years ago | (#19629569)

I always wonder if there are people who see Bill Gates as their God like many Apple fanboys do with Steve Jobs, but I never dare look for them.

As a mac user who doesn't want the damn thing (4, Insightful)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 6 years ago | (#19629303)

can it just come out already?! Apple has all but abandoned it's desktops(there hasn't been a significant refresh in over 9 months of any of the desktop lines) but pimps this stupid $500/600 phone like there is no tomorrow. I'm just hoping that once this damn thing is released Apple will remember that it makes computers too.

The article (0)

nanowired (881497) | more than 6 years ago | (#19629307)

Is utter crap and flame bait. I could not roll my eyes any harder at the fanboi factor. My favorite part was when it defended Apples' affiliation with at&t which was accused of "Microsoft-style anti-competitive maneuvers and anti-privacy efforts á la RIAA." , they could only go "But..but...Microsoft! over there! sic the zune!". They could of... I dunno, showed the merits of using AT&T? Instead of just bashing? Seriously, in the end of things, Fanbois on both sides of the PC/MAC debate are bad. At least the PC side has no illusions about their Cybertronic Overlords.

If that man had a gun... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19629317)

... he'd probably kill everyone who doesn't have a picture of Steve Jobs on a wall at home.

The author creeps me out. He's beyond being a fanboi, to the point where someone could once make a movie about him, and it wouldn't be the usual comedy.

Re:If that man had a gun... (1)

tgatliff (311583) | more than 6 years ago | (#19629585)

The potential of a distruption of an existing marketplace has that effect on people... For me, the real story is not the phone, but the fact that there are allot of scared people out there with what might just happen. Just looking at the success of the iPod, these companies know very well what Jobs & Company are capable of. Meaning, Apple just might redefine the requirements of what people expect a "smart" phone to be, and there is little doubt that the existing players are terrified at what this might mean to their existing product lines. Personally I have no opinion on it, and the iPhone probably is overhyped, but to M$, Palm, etc... I am pretty sure they dont internally feel this way. They are scared that they will have to slug it out in the marketplace with a company that has caught its stride, and history tells them that is not a trivial thing to do...

Well... (2, Informative)

Realistic_Dragon (655151) | more than 6 years ago | (#19629323)

I thought getting an iPhone might be interesting, but to be honest the barrage of media coverage has been *so* excessive I'm already sick of the damn thing and it hasn't even been released!

So, the answer would be no. Besides it's only pretend geek phone - a real geek phone would fit in a CF socket so you could drop it into any device you like, and come with an unlimited high speed data plan as standard.

Here be drama queens (4, Insightful)

Aminion (896851) | more than 6 years ago | (#19629357)

Blogs "articles" such as this one make me cringe. Talk about fanboys taking their obsession far to serious. I mean, a Gartner report is the last thing that's going to stop the iPhone from being a massive success. Furthermore, so what if Engadget and Gizmondo have slightly negative writing on the iPhone, that's just 2 out of 3.1415 googol blogs and sites which are giving the phone great marketing for free.

Re:Here be drama queens (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19629687)

To be fair... from the article...
"These gadget sites appear to be in love with Apple when compared to the real haters: Microsoft aligned think tanks like Gartner and the acronymic MSM conglomerates IDG, CNET and its ZDnet subsidiary."

If someone like Gartner can get IT to spout off a pre-recorded mantra, they can indeed raise serious obstacles.

Wow. (5, Informative)

Zebra_X (13249) | more than 6 years ago | (#19629359)

Some have already said this - but the bias level of this article is higher than an out of whack PID controller.

Re:Wow. (4, Funny)

locokamil (850008) | more than 6 years ago | (#19629491)

Sir, that is without a doubt the best/geekiest characterization of the article I have come across so far. If you have a newsletter, I would like to subscribe to it.

internet on a cell phone? (1)

drfrog (145882) | more than 6 years ago | (#19629409)

how interesting

wow im so excited, its like im living in the future or something :|

how is this a big selling point?
ive been doing this since the the turn of the century

No Keyboard = No tactile feedback (1)

popo (107611) | more than 6 years ago | (#19629423)

Let's count the previews that mention this massive issue for serious users of email.

I can't find ONE.

Re:No Keyboard = No tactile feedback (1)

BKX (5066) | more than 6 years ago | (#19629537)

Probably because the iPhone DOES have tactile feedback. Using some tricks with the vibrator that took something like ten years to develop, the iPhone can trick you into thinking that are real buttons on the screen. It's probably the most innovative thing Apple has ever done, actually.

Re:No Keyboard = No tactile feedback (1)

Tickletaint (1088359) | more than 6 years ago | (#19629577)

Well, let's be fair—like all innovations in the history of innovation, ever, anywhere, the genesis of the idea doesn't come from any one person or company. Haptics [economist.com] has been the Next Big Thing for a while. That said, I'm glad someone's finally done something with it, if what you say is true.

Instruction guide for /. noobs (0, Flamebait)

fishthegeek (943099) | more than 6 years ago | (#19629433)

1. Get Apple or i something in your user name.
2. Find fifteen to twenty Apple advertorials and submit them as stories.
3. Don't dis Linux while maintaining an air of superiority as an Apple user.
4. Always take the Cowboy Neal option in polls.
5. Exception to number 4 is only those instances where you can reasonably select "Breast" as your poll answer.
6. You must criticize every conceivable feature or bug in Vista while not admitting that you are an Apple fanboy. Others will do that for you.
7. You must by a mac / ipod /appletv and a black mock turtle neck within 72 hours of registering on /.

Any questions? Email stevejobsismygod@slashdot.mac

Re:Instruction guide for /. noobs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19629519)

OS X is what Linux wants to be. Some Linux people get that and the rest turn into crybabies. Good advice on a Linux board, though.

biased (4, Interesting)

fermion (181285) | more than 6 years ago | (#19629483)

While the article is certainly biased, it pose a reasonable question. Why are highly paid professionals begging people not buy iPhones? What is the huge threat to civilization?

Is it like walmart, in which every mom and pop shop is going to have close, adn the big guys, like target, are going to have find innovative ways to compete?

Is it like SUVs, in which individuals are unfairly taking advantages that were meant to for farmers and laborers, thus forcing those that choose not to take advantage of the tax code to subsidize their lifestyle?

Is it like the american automaker, refusing to put put profits into R&D, seeing it's stock turn to junk.

Or is it as simple as the wackos on street corners who scream at people as the walk or drive past, imploring them not to visit a particular place because they will be putting their immortal souls in jeopardy.

I may not get an iPhone, but given the amount of money that has been spent begging people not to buy it, I look forward to how it will transform the US mobil phone market as well as the Blackberry/MS fight over the enterprise mobile market. Given the level of fear, I expect that transformation to be significant. I see IT personal having to go to training, kickbacks disappearing, and perhaps, in a perfect world, more webpages that can be read by browsers other than IE.

Re:biased (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19629739)

you don't think apple offers kickbacks? or even more laughable at&t?
 
get a fucking clue fanboy.
 
and who the fuck would need to train for this?

hype and interest isn't a suprise (4, Insightful)

bwy (726112) | more than 6 years ago | (#19629507)

It is no wonder that there is a lot of curiosity and anticipation of this device. To spite what geeks/nerds might think, the current products on the market today are a mess. Look at these things with dozens of buttons, thick and ugly, with thrown together interfaces, everything is basically a one-off kludge. Consumers see the potential in handheld devices but they know that nobody has yet realized this potential. Will it be the iPhone? I don't know. But if it isn't, we might be in trouble- I don't know of another device on the horizon with as much potential.

What details? (1)

mgabrys_sf (951552) | more than 6 years ago | (#19629531)

I didn't see anything apart from security and open standards that were covered by other sources.

I'd still like final confirmation on video capture (or why it doesn't have it) among other things.

AT&T's snail-paced internet access: iPhone suc (1)

Doug Jensen (691112) | more than 6 years ago | (#19629573)

If the iPhone were available on Verizon's network, I'd be at the store with credit card in hand on day one. A lot of iPhone buyers are going to be really surprised when they try to browse the web on AT&T's pokey network.

Re:AT&T's snail-paced internet access: iPhone (1)

Chabil Ha' (875116) | more than 6 years ago | (#19629631)

If the iPhone were available on Verizon's network...

That's who Apple went to first. When negotiations broke down, they went to AT&T. AT&T had to bend over backwards quite a bit to get the deal, but it wasn't Apple's first choice.

Source? A well placed relative inside AT&T.

it's a phone..... (1)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 6 years ago | (#19629575)

fer fecks sake... it's just a phone... not the second coming... I'm getting sick and tired of this iPhone mania...

Re:it's a phone..... (1)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 6 years ago | (#19629623)


not the second coming... I'm getting sick and tired of this iPhone mania...

Maybe the Second Failing, the ROKR being the first...

It's SIM locked (1)

YesIAmAScript (886271) | more than 6 years ago | (#19629619)

That's the problem with it in my book.

It's SIM locked to Cingular and no one knows how to unlock it right now.

You can save a ton of money overseas by using a local prepaid SIM, and if this locks it out, I have no use for the device.

It's too bad Apple didn't stand up to Cingular on this.

roughlydrafted == shill (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19629679)

The web site is nothing but promotional articles with links to more promotional articles on the same site (how many external links have you seen there)? It doesn't deserve notice on slashdot.

Web (2.0) Hype (5, Interesting)

Tom (822) | more than 6 years ago | (#19629703)

I don't know why everyone's getting so hyped up over a small part of the iPhone. I know I want one because a) it syncs with iCal and addressbook and b) it has good chances to being the first ever actually useable smartphone. I've looked all over the market about a year ago, and to be honest, every smartphone sucks, just each one in different ways. From what I've seen, the iPhone has the lowest "suck factor" by far, and a couple really nice features. I don't think the web-browsing will clock in a considerable part of the time you spend with your phone for most people.

Don't misconstrue why reviewers bash products (5, Insightful)

tcampb01 (101714) | more than 6 years ago | (#19629707)

Columnists don't necessarly bash products becasue they hate the product. They're in a ratings business. If everyone writes articles that praises a product, we'll all yawn and nobody will bother to read them. By bashing a product -- especially if it's a product that everyone else loves, this creates controversey.

We see this on slashdot all the time... we call it 'trolling'.

As for the iPhone we'll have to wait and see. While I can find things to criticize in Apple's products (as the saying goes.... you can't please all of the people all of the time) they do have a reputation for good products.

Did anybody *really* have high hopes about the Microsoft Zune? Maybe fan-boys did, but most people in the industry have come to expect that getting software from Microsoft is almost like getting software from the former KGB (it's loaded with 'bugs' and they maintain more control over your device than you do -- why should the Zune be any different.)

The high expectation about the iPhone is because so far most phones suck. It would be really nice to have a phone that sucks less than the one I have now. That phone is a Treo 650 that used to crash 3 times per day. Now it only screws up a few time per week and for some strange reason I am happy with this because I fear that every *other* phone will be just as bad and I'll just end up locked into another contract.

Speaking of contracts... AT&T (Cingular) says they plan to reelase "new phone plans" on June 29th which go with the iPhone. Having a very low opinion of phone companies, my assumption is that this will be a plan intended to rape buyers, but make up for the high price tag by offering poor service. (Please God tell me it isn't so) My hope is that since Apple was successfully able to keep the music industry from charging more than .99 per song the iTunes Music Store, that maybe Apple's exclusive deal with AT&T came with a clause that also limits what AT&T can charge for the rate plans on the phone in order to keep that exclusivity. I expect to have my sanity challenged for even being willing to consider such a possibility, but remember that since AT&T stands between Apple and Apple's customers. They can totally make or break the success of this product. Apple has a lot at stake and is generally not stupid when it comes to negotiations, so I'm hopeful that their agreement with AT&T keeps AT&T in check or gives Apple the right to sell the product through other carriers if AT&T can't perform.

Why can't we agree? "Its cool, not for everyone". (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19629723)

I mean give us a break.. Everyone seems to be divided into 2 camps here. Either you are (i)pro-iphone or against it. Personally I think thats plain out silly and very narrow minded. I've been looking at several reviews and movies and such about the iphone and quite frankly I think that it looks very slick and impressive. There is simply a big "BUT" to fill in every here and there.

For example; I really like the idea of having an ipod due to its versatility and the way it plays music. However, I don't really need an mp3 player (I sometimes abuse my ipaq for that) and so the combination of mp3 player and phone appeals to me. Next is, ofcourse, internet access. I currently use the internet feature a lot on my current phone.

However, the reason why I think the iPhone isn't going to be as appealing to me in the end are a few simple details. I actually like simplicity at one point but also extensiveness in the other. Take, for example, useability. When I grab my current phone I open it up and can start dialing, using the Net, etc. with a single tap of the button (either a number or 'i' button). When I grab the iPhone I'd need to turn it "on", confirm that I want to turn it on by using the slider, then select either the option to "dial" or the option to use the Net. Sure, this looks awefully sleek; but I think that it might be very tedious in the end.

Another thing is snapping pictures. I'm only starting with using my phone as a camera every now and then (yes, I'm one of the types who doesn't believe in one product doing everything) and when looking at the iPhone I can't help wondering.. There's this button on the left which can be used to change the volume, but how does one snap a photo? By using one of the displayed buttons perhaps? With my current phone there's this button on the side of the machine which I can press to start using it as a camera as well as actually snapping a picture. Simplicity. I really don't see myself grabbing the iphone with one hand and using my other to tell it to snap a picture.

So, does this mean the iPhone is crap? Ofcourse not! What people should be learning to understand is that if they don't like a product or some of its features it doesn't mean that this applies to everyone! Heck, I can see the iPhone becoming a hit due to its versatility (music player/phone combo for example). Just like I can see it not becoming the biggest hit due to some (possibly, this can't be confirmed right now) lack of versatility. An example of that can be using your own stuff as a ringtone. I'm really not that much of a "phone die hard" but I do appreciate the option to play mp3 files on my phone and actually use those as a ringtone. Its not something I spend hours on, but I like using 3 - 4 different ringtones to seperate my callers.

So like.. Nothing to see here IMO. Move along, lets start the discussions when there's actually something concrete to discuss instead of speculate!

iPhone? More like iHype... (3, Insightful)

FJR1300 Rider (888176) | more than 6 years ago | (#19629735)

But seriously, what I really feel will limit iPhone's adoption, at least on this side of the pond, is the non-serviceable battery. What's up with that? That's borderline demented! All the mobiles I've had since 1995 had interchangeable batteries! And batteries these days are notoriously piss poor, they only endure a few hundred charge/discharge cycles, after 6 months or so they start holding maybe 70 or 60% of their initial charge, after a year or less they're good to be replaced. At least with my Nokias I can just ride down to the store, buy a new battery and plug it in. Voilà, it's as good as new.

I wouldn't buy an iPhone because of that reason alone. I have two or three batteries for all my phones, and usually carry a second freshly charged one with me, because I'm not always sure I can go home everyday, or will be able to find a place to charge the phone.

I go through a new mobile maybe every two or three years, but I buy new batteries yearly or less. My phone is very important to me, I just checked and my five and a half year old Nokia 6310i has a little over 715 hours of talk time; my three year old Nokia 6230 has a bit over 482 hours; and the new Nokia 6233 I bought in December to retire the 6310 already ranks over 230 hours. Even with the 40% increase in battery time (what, it'll last 45 minutes now?), the fact I can't change the battery is still makes it a toy. Thanks, but no thanks.

Well, that, and the piss poor data rates are also laughable. What is this, 2002 all over again?

And besides, what idiot had the brilliant idea of leaving out 3G in a handset marketed towards hip, young, urban people? That's the key demographic target of 3G! Leaving it out is an egregious mistake if I ever saw one.
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