So Apple has gone and launched the iPhone. And changed the company’s name in the process, signifying a major shift in their strategy? Or does the name change only acknowledge the fact that for about 3 years now, their focus has shifted to selling high-end, pricey fashion symbols disguised as “devices”?
Steven Levy gushes about the iPhone thus:
(Jobs) promised three devices: a full-screen iPod, a smart phone and an Internet communicator. The iPhone, of course, is that complete trinity in one 4.8-ounce package, with the features of those three potentially disparate products superbly integrated. The look of the device is classic Apple: stunningly austere, with a lush 3.5-inch screen ringed in black and a single button underneath. There are also controls (for volume and ring-silencing) on its slim sides (less than half an inch thick), but they are almost imperceptible. The real controls are built into the software—task-appropriate buttons, switches, sliders, and scroll bars that appear on the high-density “multi-touch” screen, which has the intelligence to discern which touches are intentional and which are just random bumps. (This is in addition to a sensor that figures out if you’re holding the screen vertically or lengthwise, adjusting the orientation likewise, or another sensor that determines if the phone is being held to your ear, in which case the touch screen goes dormant so your cheek won’t accidentally switch your phone call to an iTunes movie.)
At an entry price point of $499, the iPhone is pricey sure. But the full-screen iPod alone should count for something. Although a lot of us would disagree with Steve Jobs’s comment:
[The iPhone] is five years ahead of what everybody else has got. If we didn’t do one more thing, we’d be set for five years!
Hubris? Or traditional Jobs bravado? Only time will tell. Of course, if Apple continues the innovative streak, ably demonstrated so far with successive versions of iPod, with the iPhone, in another couple of years that statement could well reflect reality.
As another reviewer said however:
Worry about the battery life, audio quality, signal reception, and all those more techy whatevers later. There’s a time for objective review, and there’s a time for plain ol’ awe. I for one am content to just sit here and drool for now.
Also check out Jeff Han’s stunning video on TEDTalks. Don’t know how i missed that!