iPhone anti-anti-hype

We’ve come full circle.  First the hype, then the anti-hype, and now the anti-anti-hype.  The problem is the anti-anti-hype is bullshit.  I’m sorry, but I have to call Ethan on his post. He’s making stuff up.

The iPhone has enough good points going for it without making up lies and spurious statements about it.  Ethan claims that malware would be rife if the iPhone was as open as a Nokia:


Could you imagine for a second the press if malware got onto the iPhone and spread? Think about it: fingers would point in so many directions it would look like a meeting at work. It’d be amazingly cluster-fuck worthy. AMAZING.


There’s several things that bug me about this classic “closed is safe” argument:

  • All current smartphones are open.  Apart from the antivirus vendors, no one is complaining about malware.  Piles of crappy software sure, but not malware.
  • His Steveness himself is aiming for only 1% market share.  What self-respecting script-kiddie would hit that when they could target Nokia’s 35%?
  • An “open platform” doesn’t have to be an open book.  Restricted APIs and installation security are plenty enough on existing smartphones.

“Cingular only… that is just business”, what an amazingly bad argument.  If Apple really thinks ‘visual voicemail’ is such a fantastic idea (and it is), why not just say “… and the other networks better get working on the back-end to support visual voicemail or they’ll fall behind the curve!”.  The real reason for Cingular lock-in is that Apple has chosen expensive design and components to make the iPhone look good (and it does), so Cingular can’t sell the iPhone without a subsidy, so they need the exclusive to justify the huge subsidy.

Also, claiming that patches and updates will fix other issues is a bit lame.  Maybe they will, but isn’t it better that people point out the flaws now, when Apple has plenty of time to fix them?  Why slap people down for anti-hype when they are in fact helping Apple by pointing out these flaws now?  Did you miss the cluetrain at your last stop?

Seriously people, the iPhone is an incredibly sexy piece of kit with piles of goodwill and a fantastic future.  And it has faults.  It’s as simple as that, and Ethan is doing himself a disservice by trying to turn the anti-hype into some sort of witch hunt.

[tags]apple, iphone, phones, smartphone[/tags]

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  1. Oh dear. Did we really need this anti-anti-anti-hype post? Can’t you please let the story rest?

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