Sunday, July 01, 2007

iPhone assessment (I agree, by the way)

Tim Wu takes the iPhone to task in Slate. It's, for tech writing, a blistering critique by any real measure. Wu says,
It is in some ways astonishing that AT&T and Apple are partners at all. AT&T is the oldest of the old school—the most ancient major high-tech firm in the United States, founded in 1878. Unfazed by spending the last 23 years in suspended animation (after the great breakup of 1984), AT&T is back to its classic business model: own the largest networks and everything on them. Apple, meanwhile, is the original hippie computer company, a child of the 1970s, not the 1870s. At least in its origins, Apple is an ideological foe of IBM and AT&T. (Remember that 1984 ad?) Considering that these firms were born on the opposite sides of the tech Kulturkampf, the iPhone cannot help but be a little strange.
Indeed. Ma Bell and the long-haired idealistic techno-revolutionaries (technolutionaries?) getting in bed over a phone that LG had earlier this year (i.e., the KE850 Prada) is a little strange. What's stranger still is the almost slavish adulation and adoration of the iPhone by a lot of media outlets. It can't do as much as the BlackBerry (and the other smartphones by Motorola and Samsung), and it can't take over lives like those phones. Why get worked up?

Why pay two thousand dollars (phone and contract) for the last horse over the line, when the winners' circle is already crowded?

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