What iPhone has going for it

What iPhone has going for it

Summary: Yesterday I took a shot at the iPhone for being long on compromises and short on utility and your comments were tremendous. Today I want to take a look at some of the positive aspects and potential of the iPhone.

TOPICS: iPhone

iPhone concept #8,490Yesterday I took a shot at the iPhone for being long on compromises and short on utility and your comments were tremendous. Today I want to take a look at some of the positive aspects and potential of the iPhone.

No carrier baggage
One of the single best potential features of the iPhone is that won't be tied to a specific mobile phone carrier. One of the commenters yesterday said it best:

Even the best and most popular phones on the US market are always a political compromise between makers and carriers. Everyone pulls in their direction; carriers want features that will squeeze more money (sending pictures and videos; text messaging, etc); makers want more and more features, so that they can charge more. Ordinary users are ignored.

Locked phones are heavily subsidized by the carrier so that they can be sold for almost nothing - with a two year contract and significant early termination fee. The best part of a carrier-free (also called "unlocked") mobile phone is that Apple doesn't have to cripple its features because the greedy carriers want to charge for every picture, text and ring tone.

A perfect example of this is how Verizon Wireless forces handset manufacturers to disable all but the Bluetooth headset profile. Another example of carrier compromise is the Motorola ROKR's artificial 100 song limitation and inability to purchase and download tracks from iTunes Over The Air (OTA). Hopefully Apple's carrier divorce will mean that the iPhone has features that users want, like BT syncing.

Battle of the bands
Another iPhone issue that came up in the comments is how many GSM bands (if any) it will support and whether or not it and will ship with Cingular 3G from the get go. I agree with the commenter, I would like to see it ship as a quad band phone and not have different phones for different countries.

Button-less modular design
It looks like Apple could take an interesting approach to the iPhone's form factor. A new patent filing hints that Apple may allow a button-less touchscreen iPod to transform into a phone by simply adding a sleeve of sorts. Seems like a bit of a reach to me, but potentially promising at the same time.

Apple has just filed a new patent application for the adding of physical controls (like buttons or slides etc) to the touch sensitive surfaces of electronic devices. Apple seems to propose that you take a ‘blank’ iPod and add a wheel for a standard iPod, add a keypad to make it a phone - add a joystick to make it a game machine

Battery partitioning
The other great suggestion from the comments under my story yesterday was for a way to partition the battery so that there would be a dedicated amount of capacity reserved just for phone functions. Ever whip out your iPod at the gym only to discovered that it's completely dead? While definitely not ideal, it's not the end of the world either. However if your wife's blows out a tire on a dark and snowy night, it could be a serious safety issue if her iPhone was dead because she was jamming to a little too much Mariah and Brit - or even worse if she forgot to enable the hold switch.

Wish list
While I'm at it, Apple should go with a light version of Mac OS X for the iPhone. Can you imagine the potential of having light versions of iTunes, Address Book, Mail, iPhoto and Acrobat on your phone? I think that it would be tremendous. Apple should take a page out of Microsoft's Windows Mobile playbook and even offer light versions of iWork so that iPhone could open Word and Excel attachments too.

What's on your iPhone wish list?

(Concept photo courtesy of http://appleiphone.blogspot.com/)

Topic: iPhone

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  • Cellphone bands

    Actually, to be truly "global" the iPhone would need:

    850, 900, 1800, and 1900 Mhz GSM
    1900 AND 2100 Mhz WCDMA ("3G")

    This is because Cingular and T-Mobile are planning to use (or perhaps are already using) 1900Mhz instead of 2100Mhz for 3G operation. 2100 is pretty much universally used for 3G in the rest of the world.

  • Sweet....

    I think the iPhone will become a best seller and unfortunately Apple
    will end up being short in supply. However I am not so sure about
    all these speculations going on about it. we'll see.

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  • OSX Mobile

    I too am a smartphone user, and OSX mobile (Lite) would be the only way I could justify switching to an "iPhone" as there are several apps I use on my Treo all day long. OSX would allow me to completely replace those apps and ditch having to carry both my iPod and Treo. I never really thought about the partitioned battery but that is a very good point. I also use my Treo as a modem (as I am right now) and that would be a real plus
  • Full functionality - nothing disabled

    How about wifi? To be able to access the net via hotspots (free and otherwise) rather than pay for pricey data plans with your phone carrier?

    The Nokia E61 (for example) gas wifi, but is most often disabled when the phone is 'locked' (or 'personalized' as carrier's like to promote).

    And, as touched upon above, the ability to sync seamlessly with programs on the computer - I guess via iSync on a Mac.

    Oh, and the introduction of the iPhone without the Smug B*stard from Cupertino being unbearably smarmy....