iPhone U Phone Wii All Phone

January 23, 2007

Apple announced their highly anticipated iPhone earlier this month. If you want to see it in action you should check out the video of Steve Jobs introducing the iPhone. The iPhone has a PDA form factor but rather than use a stylus for text input and navigation it uses a “multi-touch” user interface. It looks like Apple nailed the stylus-less touch screen navigation. The scrolling, a kind of thumb/finger flick, looks awesome.

What confuses me, though, is the overall package and what need the iPhone addresses. Does that wonderful touch-screen navigation compliment its other features to create a unique user experience? It is relatively thin (0.46″) but it has a very Pocket PC-like 2.4″ x 4.5″ face which is largely filled by its 320 x 480 pixel screen. This is the form factor everyone expects from a pure video iPod but the iPhone will carry 4 or 8 GB of flash based storage which is Nano-like rather than the 30 or 80 GB disk based iPod. It has WiFi so browsing when near a 802.11 b/g hotspot should be fast but I’m not convinced that browsing on a 320×480 screen will be such a wonderful experience. Have I missed an important software breakthrough on the iPhone that will make 320×480 viewing wonderful? I have used a WiFi enabled Dell Axim with a 480 x 640 pixel screen to browse and it just doesn’t cut it.

I really like the iPhone’s Visual VoiceMail interface but its seems like the hard part is implemented by Cingular on the back end. The phone navigation looks good but is 2.4″ x 4.5″ too big to hold up to your ear comfortably? A Blackberry user pointed out to me recently that “nobody puts their phone up to their ear anymore”. Maybe.

Speaking of Blackberry, is the iPhone a threat to RIM’s dominant position in e-mail centric smart phones? It may take some of the shine off the Blackberry Pearl in the consumer space but anyone that values e-mail or Instant Messaging or any application that requires decent text input will stick with the Pearl.

I’d certainly love to play with one though :-)

Whadya think?


9 Responses to “iPhone U Phone Wii All Phone”

  1. Bob Says:

    Well if you take a quick look here:

    You’ll see that while the screen is at 320 x 480 pixels, the PPI is in fact quite high. The result when seen as a 72ppi, is a nice 711 × 1067 sized display :). I do agree with the storage aspect, 4-8GB is very inadaquate, especially for such a huge screen thats so suited for movies.

  2. KMG Says:

    We have an old saying that says “when the cat can’t get the meat she says: it smells bad” :-). Well, you have to be a Cypriot to get its meaning :-)

    Anyway, I’d love to play with one too, but it’s too big and bulky for my back pocket. We’ll have to see what the iphone does to the blackberry sales.

  3. tom s. Says:

    Unless I’ve missed something about input, which is quite possible, I don’t get the iPhone target. Presumably it is similar to the iPod – young people with a few hundred dollars burning a hole in their pocket – but such people are going to want text entry so they can message their friends. And I don’t see how iPod does that. The difference between a phone and an iPod is that a phone is a social device.

    Of course, I guess they could always talk.

  4. Stacey Dee Says:

    Regarding “nobody holds their phone to their ear anymore”… wtf?? I’ve been the bitter, disappointed owner of enough ear-bud cell phone paraphernalia to say that I don’t understand how anyone gets by on that crap. *I* put my phone to my ear, and if other drivers on the 400-series highways are anything to go by, so do a heck of a lot of other people.

    When it came time to finally cave in and accept the Blackberry that my company had been shoving at me for many months, I chose the Pearl. Okay, I have to admit that I was a wee bit tickled by the little trackball feature, but the main reason for my choice was SIZE. I think that the teeny weeny earpieces that we see for cell phones must have been invented by (or at least FOR) owners of the big-ass Blackberries. Dang. I’ve used one of those, and it felt like I was holding a tablet PC to my head. Awkward, to say the least.

    Then again, I carry an iPod *and* a Blackberry Pearl on my nerdy utility belt (all I need is the magic lasso and the bulletproof wrist-guards and I have the whole look), which means that I would have less stuff to huck around if I bought this lil iPhone. Maybe someday, if they make it smaller… or pink.

  5. Snexlex Says:

    I hope this will make my Steve Jobs stocks go up so I make some money on it :-) http://www.trendio.fr/word.php?language=en&wordid=745

  6. das L Says:

    (discLaimer: i currentLy own neither ceLLphone, nor rim device, nor ipod)

    this device couLd be interesting to some peopLe that don’t want to carry around a phone and an ipod, BUT as others have pointed out the form-factor is a bit out of proportion, unLess you couLd actuaLLy get decent amounts of storage space.
    for maiL and other messaging the rim devices to me seem to have a better input.
    i wouLd Like to have a go at an iphone for a whiLe to see if my current impressions hoLd true or not.
    definiteLy Looks shiny ;) and having an osx derivative running on it couLd be a very positive thing, one just has to hope that it was not dumbed down too much…

  7. alex Says:

    hi nice site.

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