Can't sleep. - MisterPengo — LiveJournal
I've always considered Apple products like a popular cover band. They may not have pioneered the concepts, but they made them popular. Also, they're slightly more acclaimed than they deserve to be. Like an American Idol winner.
For example, there is a fine line between "I used the web browser on my old phone, but it's slow and clunky. The one on the iPhone is better" to "WOW! The iPhone has web browsing! This is totally awesome!" The latter is, unfortunately, a lot more common in the press and commercials.
I think it's interesting to see how things will shape up. I still think I'm in favor of the PC vs. console concept: while it's attractive at first to have a console that will do everything you want, I still lean to environments that are more permissive, even if they're more risky.
I suspect that for many people, phones that had various features (say, web browsing) in effect didn't. If it was too troublesome to set up, too awkward to casually use once set up, etc then it didn't really exist as a live option for most people. So I have to wonder if the reason the PR around the iPhone turns into "Hey, imagine this - a phone that lets you check your email AND browse the web!" is because Apple's functionality is such that they can actually get away with that kind of bragging. There's a reason you don't really see Nokia or Sony Ericcson firing back with 'Hey, we do web browsing too!' And I think it's the same reason that Sony or Microsoft can say 'Hey, check out our awesome 3D capabilities!' but Nintendo can't. "3D graphics are nothing new" doesn't do full justice to the situation.
Yes, Apple's pretty obnoxious, and they do get far on shallow achievements. I wasn't impressed with the past, what.. decade? or so of advertisement. I never dove into the iPod craze, because that really struck me as a situation where you were paying premium for the brand name. With the iPhone, I see something else. It's a combination of ease-of-use and a streamlined app system (streamlined both for programming/distribution and acquiring.)
On the flipside, sure. I prefer the freedom that comes with a PC. Specifically in the PC/console area, right now the most innovative platform is the PC, like it or not. Not even the Wii comes close. And keep in mind I'm not knocking Nokia, etc universally, or saying there's no good reason to have a phone other than an iPhone. If you want certain features, and especially if you have the right expertise/interest, I'm certain there are better phones, or at least 'a better phone for you'. I just am starting to understand the potential for the iPhone, and what Apple actually pulled off with it. When someone goes on about how, wow, they can check ebay with their iPhone, it's not just a sign of ignorance on their part. It's indicating something Apple's accomplished that goes beyond (in my view, naturally) pure hype and good PR.