January 9, 2007



Everyone's been getting all excited about Apple's new "iPhone", but somehow I just can't be bothered.

I feel much the same way about my new MacBook Pro laptop, which I've had since November. The most interesting thing so far has been opening the cardboard box it came in. Since then it's been all downhill.

Though to be fair, one can never get too excited about good package design....

[Note to Stylist:] The guy who can look good in a turtleneck hasn't been born.

[UPDATE:] A fairly informal reaction from Nokia.

Posted by hugh macleod at January 9, 2007 11:57 PM | TrackBack

This is why we love you so much ...

Posted by: Sam Sethi at January 10, 2007 1:03 AM

For some reason I followed the blogging on Engadget, line by line, photo by photo, and was transfixed. And at the end I thought 'what's all the fuss about?'

A phone I can't get for nine months, an ipod that can't hold all the music and podcasts that's on my current ipod, something that's fatter and shorter-lifed than my current phone, that won't take as good photographs or video, that's going to be $500 including a two-year contract (which means at least £350 here in the UK)...etc etc

I was under the impression it was going to change my life. Why did I waste two good hours of my life watching it?

I felt the same when I opened my first (and only) mac three years ago. It lasted 18 months before I thought 'hey, this is only a computer' and returned to Dell.

Posted by: Andrew Denny at January 10, 2007 1:05 AM

higher purchase for higher purpose

is it gonna be better for showing off than xda?

Posted by: Krzysztof Kurowski at January 10, 2007 1:07 AM

I've been contemplating getting a smartphone to replace my 3+ year old brick. I have always enjoyed apple's user interface and design so I admit that I am pretty excited about this one. I suppose we'll see if the product is up to the hype around it (it does look very nice), but $500 is a lot of money for a little computer thingie. Even if it is all that they say.

Posted by: Mikael at January 10, 2007 1:36 AM

Oh look, Hugh - you've accidentally started an iPhone thread, when you clearly don't like it...

Well, here goes:

Personally, I'm surprised at the capacity and lack of 3G.

There we go.

I love Apple.

The end :P

Posted by: Rob McDougall at January 10, 2007 1:48 AM

Lol in 7 years it will be PC again.

Posted by: Please Eat My Pies at January 10, 2007 2:25 AM

Excited or not, you have to admit that this launch is significant. This phone raises the bar far higher than it's ever been for the design of smartphones. Once it catches on, the way consumers experience the mobile web will be forever changed, and mobile will finally be a useful marketing channel.

Posted by: Ryan Anderson at January 10, 2007 3:55 AM

Surely Hugh it would have been more surprising if you had got excited about it? ;-)

Posted by: Alex at January 10, 2007 5:41 AM

"Once it catches on, the way consumers experience the mobile web will be forever changed, and mobile will finally be a useful marketing channel."

We'll see....

Posted by: hugh macleod at January 10, 2007 7:07 AM

If you're getting bored, install Vista on your new Mac - works wonderfully.

The phone is a big deal (just look at the market's reaction) but not to me either... or anyone living outside the US.

Posted by: Paul Murphy at January 10, 2007 7:30 AM

Paul, it may be a big deal for some, fair enough.

I've been saying it for years, what the market WANTS is a small, portable device that can handle web, phone, computer, video and music without making a dog's dinner of everything. For Apple to spot the gap in the market was hardly rocket science. Of course, they're going to bring in their particularly nasty version of DRM into the mix, teamed up with good ol' AT&T...

The company you work for [MS] has a couple of billion dollars in the bank. So what was stopping you guys these last 5 years?

What ever happened to "Your vision, our passion" [or whatever]? Or was that just Madison Avenue speaking?

Hell, if MS could actually get their wi-fi to work properly I wouldn't even be owning a Mac right now...

Posted by: hugh macleod at January 10, 2007 8:07 AM

Well we're starting to give those billions back to shareholders so people like you can't use that argument anymore!! :)

In all seriousness, we've hardly been standing still. Our Mobile & Embedded Division is has been the fastest growing division in Microsoft over the past several years. We have all the software technology to do what you say (and I aspire to own that same device btw). We're just as close with our latest generation smartphones as Apple Inc.

Our principle limitation (and we'll see this with iPhone as well - I'm confident) is battery power (thus, processing power). I stand firm that we won't see true convergence in this space until a significant innovation in power (either in consumption or supply).

Posted by: Paul Murphy at January 10, 2007 9:31 AM

I've had a phone that handles "web, phone, computer, video and music" (OK, not music very well)for about four years. It's a Sony Ericsson P900 circa 2003(?). OK it's fatter and heavier, and I can't look like a media tosser using it; but it has a massive touch screen and most of the functions are there.

I think George Clooney looks good in a turtleneck. Steve Jobs looks like a 'trendy vicar' who says 'yeah, call me Jeff'.

Posted by: jill at January 10, 2007 12:08 PM

Spotting the hole in the market, that's easy, right? Execution...that's the tough part. Apple has worked for 2+ years to step up and try to fill that hole. They may not succeed with the iPhone, but why are so many people so down on them for trying?

Posted by: michael at January 10, 2007 12:58 PM

The big news for me was multi-touch. It's amazing (google it, watch the vids). Apple own the patent on this technology (they bought it). So whilst Microsoft toils away on 5 billion dollars worth of tax deductable "research" each year, Apple watch an emerging technology and snap it up. I like their style.

It's time for Microsoft to indeed go home, I feel.

Posted by: Mike Peter Reed at January 10, 2007 1:19 PM

Hi Hugh,

I agree.

For starters, the massive screen and lack of an off-screen keypad are troubling.

I've got one of Nokia's horrible 7710s which has both of these 'features'. The result? Very short battery life and a constant fiddle when trying to dial numbers.

Tim Benjamin

Posted by: Tim Benjamin at January 10, 2007 2:37 PM

Hey Hugh, I commented on Pekka Pohjakallo's remarks back on my own blog. Check it out: http://rawsocket.org/?p=341

Posted by: Bernardo at January 10, 2007 3:24 PM

I'm not surprised that you are not excited about the iPhone. I'm not excited about it either. I am pissed that they did not update the iPod since the display on one I have had for 2 years just died.

I am surprised that you're not a fan of your MacBook. I find OS X to be a stable, pretty and functional operating system. I recently have run pre-release versions of both Leopard and Vista and find that Vista might be pretty but it is less functional than even XP because every 10 seconds the screen fogs over and I am asked to confirm an action that I initiated a moment before. "Firefox is attempting to use your internet connection." NO SHIT? REALLY?

These constant requests for confirmation of simple actions indicates that Microsoft still has not solved any of their security issues. It just looks like they added more duct tape to conceal the problems hoping to stop the leaks instead of rebuilding the parts that leak in the first place.

Posted by: sayten at January 10, 2007 7:12 PM