Sep 10, 2007
Is Steve Jobs Sick Of The Cell Phone Industry Already? Crunchgear's Seth Porges asked and and answered that yesterday: Yes. The new iPod Touch steals some of the iPhone’s thunder. That's proof enough. And then there’s Beck’s “Cellphone’s Dead,? the Touch’s demo song. Observes Sascha Segan of PC Magazine, “The phone is the weakest part of the iPhone anyway.?
I think not. First, Porges and Segan make the mistake that industry analysts - in contrast to media historians - often do. They’re equating the industry, or social and economic structures surrounding a medium, with what the medium does or doesn’t do, itself. Television national networks, for example, were spent by the late 1980s. But television - the enjoyment of audio-visual stories, news, etc on a screen under one's control - was as powerfully appealing as ever. The result was the not decline of television, but its migration to cable and BitTorrent.
The phone is not the weakest part of the iPhone - it’s actually the strongest part. A device that gave us great connections to all of the Internet would be wonderful - but its magic is that it also lets us call someone we love, or a business partner, and receive calls from same. A conversation with a real person - if she or he is the right person - usually trumps anything else we might be up to online.
AT&T and its antiquated system is the weakest part.
But AT&T was never in the vanguard of cell phone service in the
first place. Indeed, as the near-monopolistic giant in
the first hundred years of the telephone, it impeded its
dissemination to the point that it was not until the 1950s, some 75
years after the telephone's invention, that more than 50-percent of
Americans had telephones in their homes.