Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 26th Aug 2012 10:28 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless In light of the jury verdict in Apple vs. Samsung, the one-liners and jokes flew back and forth. One in particular, by Dan Frakes, has been copied and pasted all over the web, and it goes like this: "When the iPhone debuted, it was widely criticized for having no buttons/keys. Now people think the iPhone's design is 'obvious'." This is a very common trend in this entire debate that saddens me to no end: the iPhone is being compared to simple feature phones, while in fact, it should be compared to its true predecessor: the PDA. PDAs have always done with few buttons.
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RE[2]: Reaching
by galvanash on Sun 26th Aug 2012 21:08 UTC in reply to "RE: Reaching"
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In other words, the iPhone was not revolutionary. It was not innovative. It was evolutionary. That can be applauded. But it was still built on the technology, the feature sets, and the history of PDA's and smartphones that came before it. Thom is right about the loss of memory from even 10 years ago about the actual history of so much computing technology.

This case and its unfortunate verdict goes right to the heart of this very problem, and I do agree with Thom that the long-term results are likely to be quite harmful to the tech world and the consumers it 'claims' to serves.


Although I do think it was revolutionary and innovative, just not as far as the underlying technology goes. It was revolutionary and innovative in its design tradeoffs:

1. Users will accept 5-15 hours of battery life on a phone, even though many devices of the day easily doubled that.

2. Users will accept a non-replaceable battery if it can survive long enough.

3. Focus on consumers, not business. Get to the business market through the bottom, not the top.

etc. etc. Most geeks don't think this stuff matters much. I do. I think that is actually what makes Apple special - they don't make design tradeoffs lightly. They think about them very hard and when they decide to make them, they commit to them. Hard.

But none of this changes your overall point. I think you are right on with that.

Edited 2012-08-26 21:23 UTC

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