The USS Quad Damage

iPhone mystery numbers

I don't know if you iPhone users understand this, but an iPhone is not a phone. An iMac (or whatever they're called these days) are not computers.

Yeah I’ve been reading Daring Fireball, which is probably a bad idea for me. This guy is basically saying "Android phones are used as..."

And I need a new paragraph here, because the reality distortion is pretty severe: "... phones, and not as iPhones".

I’ve had this idea for a while, and you couldn’t put it in starker terms than the quote above: The iPhone is not a phone. In fact, if you look at Apple products, none of them are what most people think they are: Macs aren’t computers, iPads aren’t tablets, and iPhones aren’t phones. They’re just so good at whatever it is they do, that they almost re-define what phones, computers, and tablets mean.

Apple make things. No one, not even Apple, really knows what these things are, or what they’re good for. The mac is "sort of a computer, but...", and the “but” basically describes a product that is far removed from what a computer should be. It’s closed, inflexible, and opaque. However, it’s bespoke, beautiful, and “it just works (at... whatever it does)”.

So it is with the iphone. An iPhone sucks at making phone calls, and as a smart phone the first generation only had 2G. The 3G version didn’t have video calling. These are staple “phone-y” things that phones do. But the iPhone did something else. It re-defined smartphones to a huge extent. And when Apple-heads look at other smartphones, they judge it in terms of “iPhoneyness”, not “phoneyness”. The best iPhone is the iPhone. Everything else is “like an iPhone but not as good at being an iPhone”. It might just be a better phone, though, or a better smartphone.

This is partly the reason RIM and Nokia have been having such trouble. They insist on making a real phone. iPhone users have basically said “screw it, phones are useless nowadays anyway”, and the rest of us have come to terms with how a phone is no longer a phone, but what about phone companies?

They want to make phones! And they’re really good at it. If it works out for them (and I truly hope it does), smartphones from RIM and Nokia will be far superior at being phones than current smartphones. Hopefully they won’t lag behind at being smartphones. They probably won’t be iPhones.

The Nokia N9 will hopefully be that. I suspect when people use it they’ll be shocked at how good the voice quality, battery life, and signal strength is. Hopefully they won’t be too underwhelmed with the rest.