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.
Thread beginning with comment 532395
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
How easy it is to forget...
by bowkota on Sun 26th Aug 2012 12:04 UTC
bowkota
Member since:
2011-10-12

When the iPhone came out it was heavily criticised for not having a hardware keyboard (was often to compared to the then successful Blackberries); the author of this article was on of them.

PDAs were nice but they never caught on cause they weren't good enough. However I was one of those people who insisted the obvious thing. Phones should be converging towards PDAs. I even owned owned a Sony Ericsson P800.
Apple was the first company to design, market and sell the first real successful smartphone. They changed the market in a good way and should be credited for this.
Having good ideas in your lab is no good unless you manage to get it to the people

Reply Score: -1

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

When the iPhone came out it was heavily criticised for not having a hardware keyboard (was often to compared to the then successful Blackberries); the author of this article was on of them.


Excuse me? I was? I'd love some evidence for that.


Edit: Just to make sure I wasn't going crazy - here's my item on the announcement of the iPhone. Not a single negative remark about the lack of buttons.

http://www.osnews.com/story/16902/Apple-Announces-Apple-TV-iPhone-N...

Edited 2012-08-26 12:17 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 5

bowkota Member since:
2011-10-12

I detest interfacing with machines without getting tactile feedback.


One of your comments from your link.

If I'm not mistaken you made similar comments on the lack of a physical keyboard in the months after its release. I could be wrong though, there were so many people with the same issue.
And when they finally realised that physical keyboards were a nuisance they came up with the lack of SDK and then the lack of copy paste etc etc.

Reply Parent Score: -1

BallmerKnowsBest Member since:
2008-06-02

When the iPhone came out it was heavily criticised for not having a hardware keyboard (was often to compared to the then successful Blackberries); the author of this article was on of them.


Nicely done, you just accused Thom of being... a hardware keyboard. Literacy FTW!

PDAs were nice but they never caught on cause they weren't good enough.


Riiiiiight, if you ignore the tens of millions of PDAs that were sold before the iPhone was even conceived of.

In reality, PDAs did catch on - just not with the tap-and-drool morons that jumped onto the iBandwagon.

Apple was the first company to design, market and sell the first real successful smartphone.


Uh, bullshit. The Treo line was a success for longer than the entire time the iPhone has even existed (to pick one example). Typical iFanboy historical revisionism.

They changed the market in a good way and should be credited for this.


Except that all of the changes that can be legitimately credited to Apple are changes for the worse. Curated computing, arbitrary & draconian app store restrictions, OSes and UIs that are crippled & locked down to the point where they lack functionality that was standard pre-iPhone, and an overall giant leap backwards in the sophistication of OSes and software.

At best, Apple deserves credit for sparking a race to the bottom & being at the forefront of finding new ways to cripple & dumb-down computers.

Edited 2012-08-26 16:40 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 9

RE: How easy it is to forget...
by some1 on Sun 26th Aug 2012 16:42 in reply to "How easy it is to forget..."
some1 Member since:
2010-10-05

When the iPhone came out it was heavily criticised for not having a hardware keyboard

That was because before iPhone the primary purpose of a smartphone was writing emails. Even today, after 5 years of evolution of touch screen keyboards, hardware keyboard still beats on screen one for writing. You can recall a lot of criticism of iPhone email client too, which was sub-par compared to other smartphones.

However once you start targeting smartphone at people reading web, facebook and playing games, you can do away with hardware keyboard. As Thom shows, there were plenty of touch screen-only devices, so this was not a novel idea. The novel idea was to sell such a device as a phone on a mass market.

Reply Parent Score: 2

gsyoungblood Member since:
2007-01-09

However having a published good idea in the lab that never makes it to the masses is still prior art.

I'm someone else that has had PDAs since the 90s My favorite was probably the Sony Clie that I think debuted in 2002. I had been planning on buying myself one when they came out, instead the weekend of their release my wife got it. I got stuck with the Palm III.

Still, with the display twisted out you had almost nothing but screen, and I don't recall any buttons to speak of. Found a good pic:
http://www.pspilot.de/pppnx70/nx70_03h.jpg

So even among PDAs, an almost "buttonless" design was "obvious" and was the direction things were going.

This is 2002!

My first "smart phone" was the Samsung SGH i700 http://www.cellaz.com/photos/285_m.jpg

The Windows OS and browser were woefully lacking, I returned it due to the problems. Not the hardware, the OS.

However the i730 was a different story. The OS and browser worked well. I really enjoyed it. I miss the slide up to reveal a keyboard form factor (without having to rotate to landscape mode).
http://asset0.cbsistatic.com/cnwk.1d/sc/31313312-2-300-0.gif

Even without the iPhone it is entirely plausible that 3 to 5 buttons on the front were the direction things were going. Even "soft buttons" that don't seem really like buttons.

I think Samsung did copy elements from Apple. Just like Apple has copied elements from others. I own and have owned several Apple and Samsung products. I have both iPad and Galaxy Tab (7) tablets, and use the iPad the most. My primary systems are Mac. My primary phones tend to be Android or WP7.

With that said, I'll say Samsung probably should end up on the losing end of some of the complaints brought against them by Apple. However, I don't think this trial fairly arrives at what that should be. There are too many things in this trial that I think weren't handled fairly or equitably, not the least of which is the jury getting through as quickly as they did. I think there were too many times Samsung wasn't allowed to bring in suitable prior art. That alone means the jury was not provided the information necessary to come up with a just/fair ruling. They ruled there was no prior art for some things because Samsung was not allowed to bring in the full prior art they found.*

* If Samsung failed to find it in time then that's an honest error and they should have been allowed to correct it; if they were going for a Perry Mason moment, then that wouldn't have been fair to Apple. I don't know what happened, but surely there was another way to resolve this than outright excluding it. Sanction the attorney, but don't punish the client (Samsung).

Reply Parent Score: 2