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iPhone Roundup 149

Posted by kdawson
from the twisty-items-all-different dept.
Some of you are tired of the blizzard of coverage the iPhone is getting, so this roundup of iPhone stories is running off the main page. First off, EMIce points out what seems to be plenty of prior art (as well as a booming research scene) on the multi-touch interface that Steve Jobs demo'ed, boasting of having "filed for over 200 patents." FastCompany has a profile of NYU researcher Jefferson Han and his killer demo of a multi-touch interface at TED. Next, Toreo asesino writes in with Microsoft's Steve Ballmer's take on the iPhone; the Microsoft CEO doesn't sound very impressed. And finally, an anonymous reader notes CNet's article on why the iPhone, once it's in the hands of consumers, may be the most muggable item of consumer electronics ever.
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iPhone Roundup

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  • by billsoxs (637329) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @10:42AM (#17663238) Journal
    I like the CNET.co.uk story on 4 ways to hide the iPOD from muggers.... (You have to dig in a bit on the links.) One of which involves the sun not shining. They suggested the same for the iPhone.
    • Re:Hiding the iPhone (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Thansal (999464) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @10:51AM (#17663370)
      Yah, the entire iPhone/iPod mugging article was rather stupid.

      Honestly, the best way that I can think of to protect iPhone owners from mugging is for the GSM carriers to get to gether and share ESNs of stolen phones, and then simply black list them (this would have to be a group effort as unlocking the phone would get around each network blacklisting phones stolen from their customers).

      I know Verizon will blacklist the ESN of a phone that has been reported stolen, and they don't have to share these numbers around, as there are only 2 CDMA carriers that I know of (can you unlock a phone between Sprint/Verizon?).

      also, the incentive for the carriers is that with fewer stollen phones, they can sell more handsets.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by LoudMusic (199347)

        Honestly, the best way that I can think of to protect iPhone owners from mugging is for the GSM carriers to get together and share ESNs of stolen phones, and then simply black list them (this would have to be a group effort as unlocking the phone would get around each network blacklisting phones stolen from their customers).
        Or take it a step further and use the phone to track the person who stole it / bought it hot and bust them.
        • by tbone1 (309237)
          Or take it a step further and use the phone to track the person who stole it / bought it hot and bust them.

          "That's profiling, and profiling is wrong." - Ron White

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Andy Dodd (701)
        "I know Verizon will blacklist the ESN of a phone that has been reported stolen, and they don't have to share these numbers around, as there are only 2 CDMA carriers that I know of (can you unlock a phone between Sprint/Verizon?)."

        You used to be able to unlock the programming mode of Sprint phones and reset the access codes to 0000, which allowed you to activate the phone with Verizon.

        You couldn't go the other way - In addition to a stolen phone blacklist, Sprint keeps an ESN whitelist of phones they have s
        • by Thansal (999464)
          Huh, I didn't know alltel was CDMA (they don't exist in my area AFAIK).

          I also didn't know that you were able to swap a sprint phone over to verizon. Knowing that I am not surprissed that both verizon and sprint now use a white list to keep track of ESNs that are from their retailers, they REALLY like locking you in.

          This all makes me start to wonder if the US will start to have laws about unlocking cellphones, and what will happen if we do. I know that in other contries providers are generaly either requir
          • by drinkypoo (153816)
            Alltel is both CDMA and GSM, but they don't actually sell GSM service, they only run towers for roaming from other networks. They actually sell CDMA service (and provide CDMA roaming as well, AFAIK.)
          • by jayratch (568850)
            USA recently passed a law requiring carriers to unlock phones for customers if requested. I'm not sure it applies to Verizon/Sprint or what good it would do you, but for Cingular(AT&T) and T-mobile it means you can use each other's phones and use a local sim when you leave the states. Phones are still locked out the door, though, and I'm not sure what Apple's workaround will be for this... if my only option was to pay $0.99+ a minute when going overseas, I'd certainly steer clear of an iPhone for my w
      • by jonwil (467024)
        Here in australia you can report your GSM/UMTS phone as stolen (for example reporting the IMEI number) and all the carriers will block it (Telstra, Optus, Vodafone, 3)
      • Here in South Africa, they gave up on blacklisting phones (they now 'greylist' them instead, which means they do nothing) because it just meant all the stolen phones got exported to the rest of Africa ... which I presume reduced the market for second-hand phones for those whose phones had been stolen ...
  • by hansamurai (907719) <hansamurai@gmail.com> on Thursday January 18, 2007 @10:46AM (#17663304) Homepage Journal
    I'm sure the iPhone may well become the most "muggable" item on the street, but I'm still a little confused. The Cnet articles says this:

    The Apple iPhone will trigger a revolution in street-crime convenience. It's a three-for-one deal: not only is it a mobile phone, it's also a cutting-edge video iPod and a Wi-Fi enabled Internet browser. The Met says that people are stealing mobile phones even if they are locked, so that they can access the other features, such as the camera and games. The highly functional iPhone couldn't fit more perfectly into a mugger's dream.

    So it's a 3-for-1 deal, an iPod, mobile browser, and phone. If I'm not mistaken, without a usable service (which would no doubt be disabled within minutes of it being reported stolen to Cingular), what are you left with? An expensive video iPod with "camera and games." This is all well and fine in itself, and the article went on to explain how obvious it will be that someone has an iPhone when they're talking into their white headphones, but still, I'm not seeing what's so lucrative when a wallet, purse, Rolex, laptop, or small dog may also be available. At least those don't immediately lose two-thirds of their value when stolen.

    • what are you left with? An expensive video iPod with "camera and games."

      If you stole it from some one the cost to you is Zero. So you just got an iPod with a camera and games for free.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Thansal (999464)
        However the point is to mug and then sell, thus turning a nice proffit.

        Also, remember the cost can be very high, as the cost of mugging someone is the chance of getting caught and going to jail. Obviously getting caught far outweighs the worth of the iPhone, however that cost is tempered down as it is only a possible ending, and the ocst is further adjusted up/down based on the effectiveness of the local police.

        On the note of reporting the phone stolen.
        Cingular does not kill ESNs if a phone is reported los
    • by Junior J. Junior III (192702) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @11:32AM (#17663980) Homepage
      I don't really see this working too well. iPhone will be eminently lo-jackable. It's got the cell phone's GPS, and is a closed platform meaning that the thief probably won't be able to disable it. Steal it, and you're inviting the cops to come pick you up.
      • by walt-sjc (145127)
        It doesn't have GPS. That is one of the complaints about it...
        • Are you sure about that? I thought all cell phones were required to have GPS transmitters. Maybe the complaints are that the phone's user can't use the GPS for navigation? But perhaps big brother can? I'd be curious to find a definitive answer to this.
          • Yes mobile carriers can triangulate your location from whats in the phone normally based on cell tower triangulation. I think the name of the day is GPRS. I know this partially because I'm in talks with Cingular to use that ability for my job. It won't let you see your location on your phone, but it will allow an outsider to narrow down your location within a 100meters area or so at minimum.
            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by Crizp (216129)
              General Packet Radio Service has nothing to do with triangulating your position but lots to do with achieving higher data speeds (for WAP etc) on the GSM network.

              Triangulating a mobile phone is just like triangulating a pirate radio broadcaster; it has everything to do with signal strength and knowing exact positional data on the GSM towers the phone is connected to.
          • by drinkypoo (153816)

            Are you sure about that? I thought all cell phones were required to have GPS transmitters. Maybe the complaints are that the phone's user can't use the GPS for navigation? But perhaps big brother can? I'd be curious to find a definitive answer to this.

            They're not required to have GPS transmitters, but the phone company is required to provide positioning data. A number of GSM providers (including T-Mobile; no idea for sure on Cingular but AFAIK they're in bed together now anyway) are using TDOA or Timed

            • The fact that the cell company will give this information to the cops (at least for E911) but not to you is utterly repugnant.

              I agree. But why wouldn't they? Is it possibly because it's not terribly reliable and they don't want to be subject to lawsuits if it doesn't work the way it should?
              • by drinkypoo (153816)
                I agree. But why wouldn't they? Is it possibly because it's not terribly reliable and they don't want to be subject to lawsuits if it doesn't work the way it should?

                I guess that's an option, but as per licensing you're already supposedly not allowed to sue the maker of a navigation device for misleading you. I don't see why this would be any different.

            • by LWATCDR (28044)
              For some cell phones I think it is more a practical limit. They can probably only do a few locations per cell tower per unit if time. Also the data for some of the systems is created not at the phone but the towers so they would then have to have some way to send it back to your phone.
              My sprint phone does provide me with position data. But for mapping you have to pay for it but for weather and movies it is free.

          • by Wdomburg (141264)
            No, they're required to support E911 services, but that doesn't necessarily mean GPS. In the case of Cingular, they use a technology called U-TDOA to triangulate which doesn't require any special equipment in the phone or the towers. The accuracy required for E911 services can be up to 300 meters, which likely isn't good enough for most consumer applications and I'm fairly certain it wouldn't scale to real-time use from handsets rather than one time radiolocation for emergency calls.
      • by Andy Dodd (701)
        Three words: New SIM card.
        • by p0tat03 (985078)

          Can we not register the device's serial number against the user's account, such that when I call in to report a stolen phone they can blacklist that S/N and share the blacklist with all other US carriers? Street crime and muggings are generally not international, so the odds of a thief being able to turn a profit locally is slim if the phone they just stole is useless.

          • by Thansal (999464)
            yup, that SHOULD be done. The sad thing is that atleast Cingular (and I am rather sure about T-Mobile) does not even blacklist ESNs (Electronic Serial Numbers) on their own network for stolen phones, let alone ussing a shared blacklist.

            As previously stated, Sprint and Verizon DO (though they do not share the blacklists, but you can not unlock a phone between sprint/verizon).
    • by steveo777 (183629)
      I don't understand what's so hard about reporting it stolen, Cingular sends a signal to the ESN, effectively bricking the phone. It transmits it's signal until the battery dies, regardless of if there is a SIM card in it. Pull the battery and it stops, replace that battery and it broadcasts "I'm stolen, here I am." again. Stealing it would get you nowhere. No camera, no games. Nothing. Just a brick with a battery.
    • without a usable service (which would no doubt be disabled within minutes of it being reported stolen to Cingular), what are you left with? An expensive video iPod with "camera and games."

      And what use would a thug have with an expensive video iPod with camera and games that they didn't have to pay for?

      Even without phone or internet connectivity, getting an iPhone for $0 sounds like it would be a good deal. And that's not even including the value of an iPhone as a status symbol.
    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      So it's a 3-for-1 deal, an iPod, mobile browser, and phone. If I'm not mistaken, without a usable service (which would no doubt be disabled within minutes of it being reported stolen to Cingular), what are you left with?

      It's not that simple. The phone will probably be locked to Cingular, but who's to say there won't be an unlock available? Some phones are AFAIK only unlocked with assistance from the manufacturer, but who really believes the iPhone will be among them?

      Meanwhile, there are IMEI changers

  • by rolfwind (528248) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @10:47AM (#17663318)
    that's a plus for Apple, right?
    • by Shisha (145964)
      At least he didn't say anything about "squrting" anything on pictures of your kids or whatever it was he was on about the time when he talked about Zune.
  • by CyberSnyder (8122) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @10:48AM (#17663326)
    Most anyone that is interested in the iPhone will already have a cellphone and be locked in to a 2 year contract already. Personally, I have a pretty good deal for my Family plan with Sprint. Moving everything over to Cingular will likely end up costing an additional $100 per month on top of the $599 I'll need to pay for the phone. So, over 2 years, the iPhone will cost about $3000. As much as I like the phone, that's a little too expensive for a gadget. Now if Cingular introduces a plan as revolutionary as the iPhone at launch then they will sell these phones as fast as they can make them.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by phoenixwade (997892)

      Most anyone that is interested in the iPhone will already have a cellphone and be locked in to a 2 year contract already. Personally, I have a pretty good deal for my Family plan with Sprint. Moving everything over to Cingular will likely end up costing an additional $100 per month on top of the $599 I'll need to pay for the phone. So, over 2 years, the iPhone will cost about $3000. As much as I like the phone, that's a little too expensive for a gadget. Now if Cingular introduces a plan as revolutionary as the iPhone at launch then they will sell these phones as fast as they can make them.

      lets see:
      ($100.00 x 24) + 599.00 is certainly in the ballpark of 3k.
      the more likely figure for cost is going to be closer to:
      ($100.00 x 24) + 599.00 - (the rate you already pay for your service X 24)
      And it seems to me that the target market is already paying premium service fees (so the monthly fees will likely be a wash or, perhaps there will be some savings, since the phone itself will be able to do some of the things that you used to have to pay the service p

    • by tgibbs (83782)
      Most anyone that is interested in the iPhone will already have a cellphone and be locked in to a 2 year contract already.

      I've specifically refrained from updating my cell phone and entering into a new contract while waiting to see what Apple comes with. Now I'm glad that I did. I suspect that I'm not along, and that there could be a significant amount of pent-up demand.
  • Patents (Score:5, Informative)

    by axlrosen (88070) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @11:10AM (#17663674) Homepage
    Jobs said that they've filed for over 200 patents on the iPhone overall, not multi-touch specifically. You can see it in his slide here:

    http://www.blogsmithmedia.com/www.engadget.com/med ia/2007/01/dsc_0232.jpg [blogsmithmedia.com]
  • Do you think that if Microsoft had had this product they would have been ho-hum about it? Do you think he'd be saying, well, "Our phone is okay, but there are better"? No, he'd be extolling the greatness, the features, the "innovation", etc.. He'd say that it would burry the rest of the industry, etc. He's probably wondering why can't he (MS) and its partners not make something as appealing as what Apple does?
    • by Albert Sandberg (315235) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @12:10PM (#17664560) Homepage
      "He's probably wondering why can't he (MS) and its partners not make something as appealing as what Apple does?"

      From pirates of silicon valley, which is of course no good for quoting, but still, "We have culture, they don't".
    • I think Ballmer also misses the point. Can you get a phone cheaper than the iPhone? Yes. Will it match up to the iPhone feature for feature. No. Then it's not a fair comparison.

      What Apple is gambling on is that they will reduce the complexity of smart phones to where the average grandmother could use it like they did with MP3 players. To this day, iPods are not the cheapest MP3 players compared to Creative, Samsung, etc. But none of those other players sold 21.1 million players in the Q3 2006.

  • by abb3w (696381) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @11:21AM (#17663836) Journal

    Old news [appleinsider.com].

    It might be amusing to add a GPS system. Then, write an app that, on receiving a certain type of SMS from Apple, proceeds to start phoning the police asking for help, and posting its position and a picture of its surroundings to a website. Screaming for help [appleinsider.com] might be another nice touch... or perhaps just making the sound of police sirens as an unsubtle hint.

    Yeah, it's a problem; however, there are enough easy solutions that I'd be surprised if Apple doesn't stuff one (or more) in by deployment time.

  • That Jefferson Han article points out that Apple "may" be coming out with a "touchscreen iPod" in the future, so I doubt it was written knowing that Han has already posted on his site [nyu.edu] that "Yes, we saw the keynote too" and that they "have some very, very exciting updates coming soon- stay tuned!" The site may say "February 2007," but it's straight from last year. Yay for magazine-caliber latency.

    So, way to not point it out by using an outdated article, but I would be so bold as to venture that Han and Apple
  • My biggest issue with taking this as anymore than a cell with games and keeping it out of the smartphone category is it's lack of any enterprise mail support. From what i have seen/read it does not support Good, Blackberry Connect or even Exchange ActiveSync. The latter would be one of the easiest to implement, even Palm has Exchange ActiveSync support on it's palm based Treo's.

    Hopefully they'll include this at some point, but for now I (personally) just can't justify getting it for a smartphone, maybe a ni
  • I was sort of surprised when Steve Jobs acted like Apple had "innovated" the idea of multi-touch and even the finger pinch image resizing, because I had recalled Jeff Han's video from last year demonstrating a working multi-touch product with the same type of gestures Steve Jobs was using. I wonder if its possible that Apple licensed the tech from Jeff Han's company?

    If not I wonder who filed patents first on a lot of these technologies as the article linked above mentions that many different companies ar
    • by pjcreath (513472) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @11:58AM (#17664344)

      Apple bought FingerWorks [fingerworks.com] several years ago.

      You may remember them for their Multi-Touch keyboard [slashdot.org] nearly 4 years ago. Apple first began incorporating the technology into their scrolling trackpads [apple.com] about 2 years ago. Now it has found its way into the iPhone.

      • by Abreu (173023)
        But FingerWorks as a company has ceased operations... And it doesnt seem like Apple is going to reissue their products...
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by rsborg (111459)

          But FingerWorks as a company has ceased operations... And it doesnt seem like Apple is going to reissue their products...

          It's not about the products. When companies acquire other companies, many things are considered assets... products, as you mention, but also the workers/knowledge, the IP, the customer lists... often times the products sold by the acquired company themselves are not nearly the most valuable thing in an acquisition.

          In this case, it was clear the patent portfolio of Fingerworks was the

    • Innovation is an economic term, it's about taking a good idea and applying it to something new to the market. It can be accomplished by exploiting new knowledge , or changing demographics, or changing attitudes, or unexpected successes/failures.

      The difference between Apple and others is that they're usually the first "innovator" but rarely the inventor. With integrated Ethernet & USB on the iMac, for example, they were the innovator. With Firewire, they were both. With the iPod, they were the maj
  • Basically all they are doing is blaming Apple for putting in too many nice features in the device. It is just stupid.

    Many of us wear watches on our wrist that make the iPhone's price tag look meaningless. If I were a mugger I'd much rather steal them. The black market for expensive watches has to be better then the black market for a device in which you can't use one of its main features (the phone part) and of which is easily to track if you turn it on and let it connect to the cell network (which phone
  • by sootman (158191) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @12:11PM (#17664572) Homepage Journal
    Here are some thoughts I've had in the last couple weeks.

    Success:
    - Will it be a success? Yes. Is it pricey? Yes. Is it gorgeous? Yes. And the price will eventually drop, just like the iPod did. It's Apple's famous method: release a really nice, almost perfect product for a bunch of money, sell a bunch to the first batch of buyers; then, when that supply is exhausted, improve it, drop the price, sell again to the next round who weren't willing to buy the first time. Lather, rinse, repeat. (Note: don't look for a widescreen, touchscreen, iPod until MAYBE September for the 2007 Xmas season; more likely, you'll have to wait until Spring 2008. Apple won't let a nice iPod cannibalize sales they'll get to people who buy the iPhone MOSTLY because they want a widescreen iPod. Oh, and by the way--current iPods have 4:3 screens. (1.33:1.) All Apple's computers are 16:10. (1.6:1.) The iPhone, like the original PBG4, is 3:2. (1.5:1.) So: what shape should iTMS movies be?)

    - BUT--the iPod wasn't a success just because it was pretty. It really is a better, easier-to-use MP3 player than anything else out there for most people. The iPhone will ONLY succeed if the touchscreen system works as well as Steve says it does. I can tell it'll be mostly great just by looking--a regular touchscreen could easily handle 90% of the single-finger action he demo'ed--but I'll have to see the keyboard in person to become a believer on that.

    - will Apple work out a deal with Cingular to offer a reasonable data plan? No one will be happy with the Internet Communicator of the Future if it costs $100/month to do anything with. For this to really, really work, there has to be reasonably-fast, reasonably-priced data. If it becomes a situation of "Oh, I can't use Safari until I get to Starbucks or Panera" that will be a big buzzkill.

    - will they meet their goals? They said they want to sell 10 million phones--have 1% of the market--in 18 months. (God, that sounds like so many WWW business plans I heard in 1995-97--"If we could just get 1% of all web users to visit our site...") That sounds good on the one hand, given that they want 1% of a billion phones, BUT--Cingular only has 60M customers. Is the iPhone so great that ONE SIXTH of Cingular's customer base will spend $500? If not, are that many people going to get out of contracts and switch carriers in the next 18 months? I'm not so sure. Like I said, I really think the iPhone will be a success, but their expectations are pretty high.

    Other thoughts:
    - no iChat! no iChat A/V! How LAME! Either a) it's part of the deal not to step on Cingular's toes by offering anything like VOIP, or b) it's waiting for Rev B. Unfortunately, my money's on A. Well, at least you can use the browser to access Meebo [meebo.com].

    - Proximity sensor--nice. But I hope that's not one of their patents. My Canon XTi turns off the screen when you put it up to your face--and it already exists. ;-)

    - Apple will need to add 'Cingular' and 'iPhone' to Leopard's spellcheck dictionary. :-)

    - I'll pick one up in a couple rev's just to have a decent browser. Despite having twice as many pixels as the iPhone, browsing on my Axim mostly sucks. [slashdot.org]
    • by Skadet (528657)

      - will Apple work out a deal with Cingular to offer a reasonable data plan? No one will be happy with the Internet Communicator of the Future if it costs $100/month to do anything with. For this to really, really work, there has to be reasonably-fast, reasonably-priced data. If it becomes a situation of "Oh, I can't use Safari until I get to Starbucks or Panera" that will be a big buzzkill.

      I do most of my communicating via email and IM. My Blackberry is my only phone, and I try and use it sparingly. However

    • by conigs (866121)

      current iPods have 4:3 screens. (1.33:1.) All Apple's computers are 16:10. (1.6:1.) The iPhone, like the original PBG4, is 3:2. (1.5:1.) So: what shape should iTMS movies be?)

      Ultimately, it should remain 640x480 with a Pixel Aspect Ratio field to enable anamorphic widescreen. I really wish they would use this now. I'm really not fond of the idea of getting a 640x480 quicktime file with a matted letterbox format. Too many wasted pixels.

      Oh, damn... I hope I didn't just turn this into a torrent vs authorize

    • - no iChat! no iChat A/V! How LAME! Either a) it's part of the deal not to step on Cingular's toes by offering anything like VOIP, or b) it's waiting for Rev B. Unfortunately, my money's on A. Well, at least you can use the browser to access Meebo.

      That's presuming that Apple doesn't do something with the browser like disable the ability to use the microphone into the browser session. From a coding perspective, that's trivial and would make sense so they would not step on the toes of their partner. Don't expect any VoIP to work; that's a danger to Cingular's business model and will lead to the dissolution of their partnership incredibly quickly.

      I won't be buying an iPhone... at least not in the incarnation that seems inevitable at this point. I've sp

  • by TheWoozle (984500) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @12:34PM (#17664938)
    WTF do you expect him to do, fake an orgasm at the mention of a competitor's product?

    Apple could develop a cure for cancer, and Steve Ballmer would say "Meh, we've got an offering in the works that will do everything Apple's cure will do, but at a lower price point. And our solution leverages our synergy with our business parterns to enable innovation by developers, developers, developers! in this new market. It'll be brown and you can squirt it to all of your friends!"
  • I'm not buying this appeal to "authority"
  • Easy Fix (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Bones3D_mac (324952) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @09:06PM (#17674568)
    Just add RFID support to the things. Each iPhone owner gets an RFID patch they put somewhere on their body that's encoded with a key specific to their iPhone. If the iPhone detects that it's been both moved out of range of it's owner and that it's moving around beyond a certain threshold, it sends an unpleasent 10,000 volt jolt through the metal backing into the thief's hand. If that doesn't work, and movement is still detected, it then destroy's it's own SIM, wipes the memory and locks up the phone until it's taken/sent to an Apple certified dealer for repair. All the dealer has to do is run a check on the iPhone's serial number and verify the owner is actually the person who brought in the locked unit.
  • by scdeimos (632778) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @09:16PM (#17674684)
    Ballmer also specifically pointed to the iPhone's lack of a keyboard as a potential drawback for heavy e-mailers. "If you want to send e-mail, touchscreens are okay," he says. "We have touchscreen-based devices, but I think keyboards are generally preferred for people who do much typing."

    I have to call BS on this one. We've got plenty of corporates using Windows mobiles (I'm not one of them, thankfully) and the serious e-mailers do prefer a keyboard - a Bluetooth keyboard, not the built-in ones. You can even get them in pocketable folding formats. iPhone has Bluetooth? Check!

  • by SnowDog74 (745848) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @09:18PM (#17674706)
    I recently had a conversation with an Apple alumnus, today in fact... He was there when Jobs came back on board and made some very interesting comments that made me realize something.

    The iPhone is just the beginning of a much larger revolution in computing, in fact probably the biggest revolution since the birth of the graphical user interface. Not sure what I mean? Look at the submitter's link to the TED demonstration, and also take a look at the Synaptics Onyx Concept [synaptics.com].

    Put it this way... if you still haven't guessed where Jobs' head is right now, the iPhone with its arguably limited feature sets is a way of not showing your best work up front. In fact, Apple I think has something much bigger in mind... for which the iPhone is really just a loss leader.

    When you see what multipoint capacitance sensors can do, it should become evident that Apple's probably already researching how to redefine the user interface of the home computer... and eliminate the mouse and physical keyboard entirely, but simultaneously give us a user interface far more advanced than a mere 2D touchscreen. A touchscreen tablet strips away some of the advantages of a keyboard and mouse, but a tablet PC with a multipoint capacitance sensor opens up new dimensions of desktop navigation and application control.

    Put it another way... Have you seen the Pre-Crime computer in Minority Report? Now you've got some idea where Apple's research is very probably currently focused.

    iPhone not meeting expectations, not living up to the hype? Pfeh... I guarantee you Steve Jobs and company are already thinking another five years ahead to the day when the desktop GUI framework will undergo the first systemic metamorphosis in 20 years.

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