If Apple Comes Out With An 'iPhone,' Will Anybody Care?
Leander Kahney thinks there might not be any demand for the rumored combination of iPod and cell phone from Apple. But the combo just makes sense. Why carry around two gadgets when you can just carry around one?
I'm not entirely convinced that the combination of phone and music player is as natural as it seems. I've owned two or three phones that can play MP3s, but I've never really used them. True, their capacity is small and syncing them is a pain. But the real problem is that music is just another feature among many that I don't use.
I use the phone for making calls. I don't use the other functions -- not even the camera. The one exception is syncing it with my calendar. I set up alarms to jog my memory when there's something I've got to do.
Well, I'm a counter-argument right here. I don't make much use of mobile computing technology myself. I work from home and don't have kids, which means I don't have much use for wireless e-mail, high-powered and complex cell smartphones, and other on-the-go doodads.
Nonetheless, I do have a Palm Treo 650 smartphone.
I've been carrying around a PDA for a decade now and I've been carrying a cell phone just as long. Although I don't get a lot of use from the cell phone, I don't like to leave the house without it, because I consider it essential emergency equipment.
Combining the cell phone into the PDA made sense. Why load up your pockets with two things when you can just carry around one? And including my contact manager in with my cell phone was an added bonus; it meant I didn't have to take the time to update two address books, one for my PDA (which, of course, synched automagically with my desktop) and one for my cell phone.
Many people also like to carry around an iPod wherever they go, and for those people, combining the iPod with the cell phone makes sense. Why carry around two devices when you can carry around just one? And I'm sure the clever lads and lasses at Apple will come up with other ways that an iPod can take advantage of being married to a cell phone.
Oh, and by the way, even though I'm not otherwise a mobile computing early adopter, I do like to browse the Web from my cell phone. Leaving the house often involves a lot of sitting or standing around waiting -- at doctor's office, getting a haircut, picking up take-out food (motto at our house: Cooking? We've heard of it). I like to read RSS feeds during that time. Google Reader has a really good mobile edition for that.
Server Market SplitsvilleJust because the server market's in the doldrums doesn't mean innovation has ceased. Far from it -- server technology is enjoying the biggest renaissance since the dawn of x86 systems. But the primary driver is now service providers, not enterprises.