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iPhone - First impressions

I wrote a long post on a discussion forum about my impressions of the new iPhone after viewing Steve Jobs keynotes about the new phone. I decided to translate it and post it here seeing as it is quite relevant. As stated this is just my impression of the iPhone, but I think anybody out there who easily gets blinded by pretty plastic and great marketing probably should read this before making up their minds.

iPhone lacks a lot of technology common today. It slacks behind in certain areas. It's a very closed and proprietary system, when the rest of the marked is heading towards open source. Most systems are quite easy to develop on, and are getting easier as the linux is getting more common. However the iPhone can't be used with 3rd party software, it will only allow you to run applications Apple have decided you need.

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What iPhone however does is revolutionize phones user interfaces. One thing I'll give them is that the user interface of the iPhone is amazing, and I'm sure we'll see more of this in the future. But still the iPhone is nothing more than a cool phone that's nice and shiny but doesn't really offer very much technology. As I've said many times before, the iPhone is for those of us who want a phone with a high wow factor and who feel the need to own something cool, but not for us who need a tool.

I took some notes while watching the videos, and I'll post them here:

In the beginning Steve Jobs basically serves us a whole lot of bullshit, among others:

iPod didn't just change the way we listen to music, it changed the whole industry

This is bull, and Apple knows it. Apple grabbed something that had been developed for years, and was starting to become more common, used a whole lot of great PR to make it very popular, and then used the power of their size to try to squeeze the original companies of the market.

Now I'll comment quote by quote:

breakthrough Internet communication device

With only EDGE and WLAN?

Steve Jobs compares the iPhone to smart phones, and says that iPhone is much smarter and much easier to use than a smart phone. You can't compare iPhone to a smart phone. It just doesn't offer the same possibilities. iPhone is actually much dumber than a smart phone. I'm sure he's correct when he says iPhone is much easier to use than a smart phone, but that it's smarter is pure bullshit.

software that's 5 years ahead of any phone on the marked breakthrough software its 5 years ahead of anything on any phone

Again this is just drivel. The user interface might be a couple of years ahead, but not the software. Most of the software is about what you could expect on a smart phone today, some of it maybe a tiny bit ahead.

reinvented the phone

Again, bullshit. They have in no way, shape or form reinvented the phone. What they have done is taken the user interface one step further. Once could under doubt call this reinventing the phones user interface, but not reinventing the phone.

Free pushmail via IMAP

I'm not impressed. I already have that on my phone today

widgets on the phone

I'm not impressed. I already have that on my phone today

Google maps

You can already get that on your phone today, of course knowing Google only in beta. Of course Google isn't going to give Apple exclusive rights for their system. I haven't tried Google maps on my phone yet, but I'm going to do it soon and write a review here.

Google search

Already got that and it works fine

Yahoo search

Already got that integrated on my phone, and it works great. In addition I have Live search, something Apple will never offer.


All of the multitasking examples already exist on my phone. Not much of a wow effect here.

Voicemail without having to listen through all of the messages, just click on the one you want to hear.

I've already got that.

threaded sms

I have the possibility to install that on my phone if I want to, but I'm not interested.

We filed 200+ patents. "Applause"

Makes all the hairs on by back stand up.

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Full rich HTML email

This is new. But I'm not sure how useful it is. Normally when I'm on a WLAN I have access to a computer anyway. I already have pushmail on my phone, so if I get an e-mail with rich format that I would like to view, I just view it on my computer after I got it pushed to my phone. This could however be a nice feature when using 3G (oops. iPhone doesn't have 3G) or EDGE, but the costs of the data traffic would be way too much. They are high enough with plain text e-mail.

OK, so the conclusion is that the only thing iPhone can offer me that I don't have today is the following:

  • An amazing user interface
  • Full rich e-mail
  • A very good mp3 player

The things I already have today that iPhone can't offer me:

  • 3G
  • The possibility of running and developing 3rd party applications. This can give you features like AVL (Advanced Vehicle Location), MSN, IRC, simple office use, automating the phone, and basically anything you can think of. Only your imagination limits you.
  • The possibility of open source software
  • High resolution camera
  • The possibility to swap batteries

The conclusion of the above is that I have absolutely no need for an iPhone. The disadvantages are far greater than the advantages, and I will not compromise. As long as I use my phone as a tool, iPhone cannot replace it. If I however feel the need for something I can use to look cool with, iPhone probably would be my choice.

Photo by Blake Patterson / Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.