“The First Widespread Pocket Desktop Computer”

Michael Giberson

David Pogue in the New York Times:

I can’t tell you how huge this is going to be. There will be thousands of iPhone programs, covering every possible interest. The iPhone will be valuable for far more than simple communications tasks; it will be the first widespread pocket desktop computer. You’re witnessing the birth of a third major computer platform: Windows, Mac OS X, iPhone.

Lynne sees herself as “an early-but-not-bleeding edge adopter.”

Not me. I mean, sure, I love a good gadget. Sometimes I crack open Wired purely for the technolust frisson. But I’m usually happy keeping my technolust fantasies on a virtual level. I don’t need to own the things to enjoy the feelings of wonderment and coolness that come with knowing these things are out there existing in the world. I don’t “love a good gadget” so much as love the ideas of all the good gadgets out there in the world. In fact, owning actual, physical things often spoils the fantasy.

My current cell phone is a beat up, two or three-year old (I forget which) Motorola with a weak battery. No built-in camera, no music player, no web browsing. Apparently it can download ring tones, but I’ve not been too keen on running snippets of popular song through the tinny little speaker. I believe it is possible to upload images to the tiny little screen, but don’t believe it is worth the trouble to figure out how.

More from Pogue:

The release of iPhone 2.0 is over three months away, but I’ll stick my neck out and make a prediction: it will be a gigantic success, spreading the iPhone’s popularity both upward, into the corporate market, and downward, into the hands of the masses. iPhone 2.0 will turn this phone into an engineering tool, a game console, a free-calls Skype phone, a business tool, a dating service, an e-book reader, a chat room, a database, an Etch-a-Sketch…and that’s on Day One.

I just may have to risk my technolust fantasy and actually enter into a physical relationship with one of these devices.

(Maybe I should have included the warning message that Pogue started his column with, “this column is about the iPhone. If you’re one of those people who are sick and tired of hearing about the iPhone, then scroll on while you still can.” Oh well. If you were one of those people, you be gone by now.

If you are still reading iPhone stories, but haven’t yet read Lynne’s more substantive post commenting on the technology and economics of Apple’s iPhone SDK release, you should read it.)


4 thoughts on ““The First Widespread Pocket Desktop Computer”

  1. I’m an Apple fan of long standing, but I have been content to admire the iPhone from afar. But then I handled an iPod Touch in an Apple Store. [It’s an iPhone without the phone.] It just blew me away. I’ve never touched anything so cool in my life. The thing only has one button on it, and it almost looks like a bit of styling. The rest of it is all touch-screen.

    Maybe some would see it as a souped-up mp3 player, but I saw it as a small computer with an awesome new human interface. Realizing that, you start thinking about the massive flexibility of this thing, even as it exists in its first rendition. The rush of imagination that came from holding and interacting with it was quite exhilarating.

    I can’t afford to buy one just because it’s so neat, but I sure am going to enjoy watching it develop.

  2. I too am using an “outdated” Motorola V170.

    Even worse than no internet, no downloads, etc. I use the prepaid Tracfone service.

    Sometimes cheapness gets in the way of technolust.

  3. Re: “I can’t afford to buy one just because it’s so neat, but I sure am going to enjoy watching it develop.”

    That is sort of my thought. But when my current phone finally dies, just maybe.

  4. Re: “I can’t afford to buy one just because it’s so neat, but I sure am going to enjoy watching it develop.”

    That is sort of my thought. But when my current phone finally dies, just maybe.

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