I hate Apple. I hate Steve Jobs. I hate the iPhone. Now, that said, I would take an iPhone if someone gave it to me. I already have an Android device (which I also hate to a certain extent) and therefore have a data plan. So, to switch to the iPhone wouldn’t be that big of a deal. And since we’re being honest, I really want a Windows Phone 7 device. It looks so awesome. There’s just one problem…
One problem which I will turn into many problems. This one, solitary problem which I will subdivide is very simple: investment. I have invested time and money into my Android device. I have done my research to find the apps which will work for me. I have tested many, many apps which I thought would work for me (but didn’t). If I moved to a Windows Phone 7 device like I want to, I will lose much of the information I have collected with the Android apps on my current phone. Sure, there are similar apps for WP7, but not the same exact app which I already paid for. So there’s one issue with moving to WP7. A rather big one, but fairly simple to overcome (once I deal with the fact that I have to find and learn how to use a new app… yet again).
The same type of thing happens if you try to move to an iPhone. I had an iPod Touch for a limited time. Honestly, I just wanted to play with it. I am attracted to shiny technology (keep that in mind, ladies). I loaded it with apps: games, productivity, informational, and so on. The one (and possibly only) thing I liked about the platform was that this device in my hand was the only one. Not the only one in the world, but the only set of specifications for developers. Technically, you have the iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPod Touch G1, iPod Touch G2, and currently the iPhone 4 (I’m not counting the iPad because there are specific apps which only run on the iPad, even though they usually have iPhone/Touch equivalents). But even with these different devices, they’re not really different. The OS is simply upgrades of the previous OS. The hardware is pretty much just upgrades of the previous hardware with some hardware additions. If my friend and I both have an iPhone (or Touch of some kind) he can show me a cool app, and I know a.) I can find the same app by the same developer, and b.) I know the app will run on my device with no problems.
Now, if I wanted to go from my Android device to an Apple device it would be similar to the move from Android to WP7 with one exception: as of late, I have found it is possible to find the same Android app on the Apple App Store (and vice versa). That’s very difficult to do with WP7, not counting official commercial apps and apps for companies such as Weather.com, or AllRecipes.com. So, if I got an iPhone 4 (or maybe the upcoming iPhone “5”) it would probably be easier to move. Not to mention that even if I can’t find the exact same app, there’s a good possibility (with, like, a ga-gillion apps) that I can find something I am very happy with.
Honestly, though, why would I trade the freedom I have with my Android for the finesse of an iPhone? There are many tweaks and changes I can make to my Android phone which Apple just doesn’t allow on their precious iPhone. Any Android phone, these days, has the same specs, apps, and uses as any iPhone. Whether it’s GPS, WiFi, Bluetooth, accelerometers, cameras, RFID, voice recognition, high definition screens, high fidelity audio, 3G/4G/whatever G networks… every phone manufacturer has these same specifications on one of their devices. Is there something missing?
Honestly, I need to get the point of this post: what else can the iPhone possibly do? The answer to that question is “everything and nothing.” The iPhone could do a lot of other things.
- They could go the route of Motorola and make the iPhone a real desktop replacement. Set the phone in a dock which only props it up at a 10 degree angle. The phone would work as a sort of touch screen and track mouse. Attach a keyboard via Bluetooth. Attached to a monitor and you’d get more data on the screen and could watch movies and tv shows on a nice, bigger screen or home entertainment system.
- The iPhone could be your one and only credit card (yes, they are working on this). Just swipe your phone and be on your way.
- The iPhone could employ 3D technologies. If setup properly, you could use the phone not only to take 3D pictures and videos, but also take 3D scans of objects and output those scans to 3D printers or software. You could also share 3D pictures right on the phone with a 3D screen. (some Android phones already do some of this. And there is an app for the current iPhone 4 which will allow you to take a 3D picture that can be manipulated)
- The iPhone could be setup with microphones to allow a soldier to place the phone in the center of a room; the iPhone would send and collect subsonic audio to map out the structure of the room or building; using GPS to show locations and stitch different rooms or iPhones data together… but I guess this would only be used for the military.
- That Motorola phone has a fingerprint reader on it… c’mon Apple. You have my iFingerprint. Don’t you want my real fingerprint?
But besides this stuff, most of which is being worked on or is already being done, what else can the iPhone possibly do? Upgrade the cameras? Upgrade the screen? Upgrade the speakers and microphones? Upgrade, upgrade, upgrade…? Really, all there is left to do for phones is upgrade the current technology. Until someone comes up with hologram technology which is cool and useful and can fit into a phone, there’s not much else to do. Maybe you could somehow fit a Kinect into a phone?
So, the next iPhone will probably be a hit success. Yet, with no real differences between the iPhone and other phones (whether it’s Android, HP WebOS, WP7, or Blackberry) how long will Apple be able to attract people with their “innovations?” Steve Jobs touts the iPhone as a user-friendly device, so intuitive that even kindergarteners instantly understand how to use it. That’s not gonna change; and I argue that goes for other touch phones as well, these days. So what is going to change? You think these are being talked about at Cupertino?:
- iTazer (the new phone for women everywhere)
- iCredit (a credit card with Apple… might as well give them my soul, then)
- i3D (I think Apple invented 3D…)
- iHologram (they’d have to pay royalties to George Lucas)
- iSonar (I was gonna say iDolphin, but I don’t think people would get it)
- iBreath-alyzer (you’d find this on every teen’s Christmas list)
- iDesktopReplacement (doesn’t Apple make desktops…?)
- iDroid (like a snarky PDA. But, again, they’d have to pay Lucas some big bucks)
- iPrint (like a Polaroid. What? You don’t know what a Poloroid is?)
- iMorhper (“there’s no time to call the police! Periodontalasoarus! *SP-DOUCHE WHA WHA WHA!*
- iDrive (you already race on your phone. Why not just drive your actual car with your phone. Or your plane. Or your tank. Or your Millenium Falcon… oh, ya… Lucas royalties)
- iMemory (just hold the phone to your brain, copy your current state of mind. Should something depressing happen simply restore your mind from your phone…. “What happened to Uncle Chuck!?! RESTORE!”)
As ingenious as these ideas are, I don’t think Apple will got for any of them. Which begs the question, “what else could the iPhone possibly do?” And that question begs the question, “if the iPhone is only going to upgrade the camera with every new model, why would I buy one?” I guess only iTime will tell.
This post was written after reading this article on eweek:http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Mobile-and-Wireless/Apples-iPhone-5-Could-Solidify-Global-Market-Position-896987/