Strong opinions, weakly held

Steve Jobs is wrong

From John Markoff’s iPhone article today:

“We define everything that is on the phone,” he said. “You don’t want your phone to be like a PC. The last thing you want is to have loaded three apps on your phone and then you go to make a call and it doesn’t work anymore. These are more like iPods than they are like computers.”

The iPhone, he insisted, would not look like the rest of the wireless industry.

“These are devices that need to work, and you can’t do that if you load any software on them,” he said. “That doesn’t mean there’s not going to be software to buy that you can load on them coming from us. It doesn’t mean we have to write it all, but it means it has to be more of a controlled environment.”

Actually what I want is a little handheld PC with a touch screen interface that I can use in whichever way that I choose. That would be fantastic. I realize that it’s not for every customer, but it would be the ideal phone for me. It’s a shame that Apple is locking down the iPhone. I may still buy one, but I’m wistful about what might have been.

Nick Carr does a good job of explaining how Steve Jobs’ inner control freak is what’s best and worst about Apple.


  1. Rafe, you might be interested in the Neo1973, which isn’t as fully featured as the iPhone (no camera or accelerometers that I can see note of) and of course doesn’t have the various apple software greatness, but it does appear to be a touchscreen phone with an open and explicitly hackable OS.


  2. The moment you say ‘Telco’, it’s the moment you say ‘lock-in’.

    That’s the only thing they’re protecting on that phone.

  3. I don’t buy the whole “it needs to work” argument for not allowing installed apps on the iPhone, especially because it implies that Apple is doing this to give the user a better experience. I call bullshit. What about when the battery begins to lag eventually (“lag” being defined as not being able to hold a charge), as it does on the iPod? The iPhone battery cannot be swapped out by the user — is anyone else realizing this? YOU WILL NEED TO SHIP YOUR PHONE TO APPLE SERVICING WHEN IT WINDS DOWN. Put plainly, that sucks; especially if you’ve come to depend on it as your primary all-in-one communication device, as Apple is supposing you might. It’s no big deal in the iPod’s case, as it won’t kill you to go without your music player for a week, but your phone? I call going without your all-in-one communication device for a week, at minimum, a really fucking terrible user experience.

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