iPhone Ponderings

Everyone has gotten excited by the recent filing of the trademark “Mobile Me” by Apple…far more than is warranted. It’s as if everyone wanted to bring up the iPhone hype story again and were delighted that Apple gave them such an excuse. The truth is that “Mobile Me” could be intended for anything — Apple’s range of MP3 players and laptops are already mobile…and it could be a service intended to enhance the use of those devices.
Also, I’m not waiting with baited breath for Apple to deliver a mobile handset…I’m sure its design will appeal to a lot of people and there will be those who will automatically buy it because it’s Apple, but all the discussions revolve around the fact that Apple has done so well with digital music with the iTunes store and the iPod so any extension of that will automatically be great. The phone functions are considered an addition to the iPod rather than the iTunes service being considered an addition to the handset. There’s a lot more to mobile content than music…admitedly, mobile music is a big aspect, but so is mobile video/TV, mobile games, and third party applications. Not to mention social applications which are beginning to come out. Apple has got experience in these areas, if not in mobile then at least in computing, but they won’t necessarily translate directly to the mobile handset. In any case, if Apple does bring out a handset I hope it sees there is more to mobile phones than talking and music.
The other aspect is compatibility — Apple is likely to retain its “Fairplay” DRM system, but what sort of operating system will it use? Will it adapt one of the current ones or, as is its wont, create it’s own? That will be yet another OS for developers to write for, and it won’t have the scale that others do. That being said the mobile market is so fragmented one more is unlikely to make much difference.
It is possible for Apple to do an amazing job with a mobile handset, but time and time again I’ve been disappointed by companies that could do some really wonderful things but don’t…and Apple has been one of them.
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