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The iPhone Journalistic Debacle

Jack Shafer again nails the inane hypefest for the iPhone in “iPhone suck-up watch. Be sure to follow his link to Josh Quittner’s on-the-mark critique (though there’s a tinge of jealousy in the piece, as he didn’t get one of the phones for early review).

Look, the iPhone does look like something of a breakthrough in some ways. But its drawbacks preclude me from even considering it at this point:

1. It’s only available with AT&T’s crummy network and customer service, not to mention the company’s recent decision to become Hollywood’s partner in spying on customers‘ Internet activities, not to mention its outrageous coziness with government snoops.

2. Despite running a version of the Mac OS X operating system, the phone is locked down in its software capabilities, which means that third-party software developers — and therefore customers — are out of luck if they want the kind of applications that have made other smart phones so versatile. Apple’s claim that there’s enough flexibility in the Web browser for third party development is beyond ludicrous; it’s downright insulting.

3. Despite being a GSM phone — a good thing for international travel — it lacks the modern 3G capabilities that international travelers need. (This won’t bother most folks, but for me it’s yet another deal-killer).

4. As far as I can tell, it can’t be used as a modem with a PC or Mac, something I do on occasion with my current phone when out of range of a broadband or wireless network.

5. Did I mention AT&T?

Note: I’m currently using a Nokia N95, on loan from the company to test for journalistic possibilities. I’m going to buy it, even though it costs more than the iPhone. For now, the N95 is, in my opinion, the absolute class of the field when it comes to high-end capabilities.

1 Comment on “The iPhone Journalistic Debacle”

  1. #1 Center for Citizen Media: Blog » Blog Archive » The iPhone is a Beta Product
    on Jun 30th, 2007 at 1:04 pm

    […] lacking in some key features and only works with AT&T’s mobile system — see my previous posting — the features it does have leave plenty to be […]