Monday, July 02, 2007

What iPhone is not

As phone manufacturers rush to throw features onto their phones, it is worth some time to think about what iPhone is not, a camera, a TV, a GPS etc.

I think that some of these decisions are wise, but others are not. GPS is a natural function for a telephone.

Another natural function is to be a telephone. The iPhone has WiFi. Why can't it hook into my home WiFi network, find my Vonage access point and place calls on it? OK the answer to that one is AT&T.

But that answer only holds while a cell phone still costs $600. Let us imagine that the phone costs $200 to buy off the shelf, no strings attached. At that point I get two phones instead of a phone and a backup battery. Just arrange things so that when I turn one phone off that calls are automatically routed to the other one.

Its not a telephone number, its a person number.

Instead of thinking about the phone as a phone we should think about it as a personal communicator. I don't much care whether my phone has a camera in it, but I would very much like it to be a remote control device for anything in my house. It would be nice if it could also be an OATH OTP token.

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