Apple is at work on the iPhone,
August 18, 2002 5:39 PM   Subscribe

Apple is at work on the iPhone, if you believe John Markoff of the New York Times. Do you?
posted by alms (38 comments total)
No, I don't believe him. Also, I'm sick of Jobs naming everything iWidget, it's getting really fricking tedious.

Also, this won't change my plans to get a hiptop.
posted by insomnyuk at 5:58 PM on August 18, 2002

oh, i first saw the hiptop mentioned on penny arcade.. i've been drooling ever since. oh, i wish i had money.
posted by lotsofno at 6:00 PM on August 18, 2002

for that hiptop to really blow up i think they'd need to add a color display. like the new sprint phones
posted by Dom at 6:14 PM on August 18, 2002

Dom: I understand, but for me, price and funtionality trump pretty colors. I don't need colors for email, text messaging, or the phone function. It would only help for games and the web, the two things last on my list of reasons for getting a hiptop.
posted by insomnyuk at 6:18 PM on August 18, 2002

when is the hiptop slated to be released? no info on their site...
posted by f at 6:28 PM on August 18, 2002

when is the hiptop slated to be released? no info on their site...

From their FAQ:

Q. When and where can I buy a Hiptop device in the U.S.?

A. The Hiptop will be available nationwide to consumers in the summer of 2002.
posted by Danelope at 6:55 PM on August 18, 2002

While I would *love* to own one, there ain't gonna be no iPhones in the foreseeable future. Not after Apple allied themselves so closely with Sony/Ericsson at MWNY. Jobs seemed pretty definite about letting other folks make the phones and letting Apple make the software that connects them to your Mac.

And I do believe the hiptop is supposed to come out sometime next month. Good GOD, how I want one.
posted by toddshot at 6:55 PM on August 18, 2002

You could always get a Sony Ericsson T68i with Bluetooth.
posted by riffola at 6:56 PM on August 18, 2002

I've got a PalmPilot that's, also a phone, that syncs perfectly with my Mac (in both OS 9 and X.) It's called a Handspring Treo. There's even one with a color screen.
posted by Fofer at 7:05 PM on August 18, 2002

Hiptop looks like a good idea, but my Palm has so many applications, I couldn't trade it for this if I wanted. This just looks like a glorified phone.
posted by geoff. at 7:14 PM on August 18, 2002

this article is saying that Apple is going to make a phone based on the fact that they've made a new version of OS X.

Um...? How does the author connect the two? Phones and PDAs use tiny, specialized OS's, not massive, OpenGL-rendered, FreeBSD-based OS's.

Apples and Oranges, so to speak :^)
posted by krunk at 7:16 PM on August 18, 2002

Agh, forgot to add what I use as to not make my comment meaningless. Mostly 4.0Student , an e-mail syncer, MSWord crap and e-books. Really, if you're a student 4.0Student is the way to go, it's a good reason for buying a Palm within itself.
posted by geoff. at 7:18 PM on August 18, 2002

oddly, a PDA, which Jobs poo poos, is the only device i would be excited to see apple market. i don't think their computers are much better than PCs (not for the price difference), nor do i think they could make a kickass phone. but could they make a great palm-os based PDA? certainly. they'd give sony a run for its money, i think. until then, i'll stick with my handspring. (and, owning a palm-based pda makes me wonder how anyone in their right mind (jobs is in his right mind, right?) could think they're "too hard to use and offer little real utility". i've said it before and i'll say it again: of all the items marketed since marketing began that say "makes your life easier", my pda is the only one that's ever kept that promise.)
posted by dobbs at 7:36 PM on August 18, 2002

While the software is being marketed as an improvement for desktop computer users, it could have just as big a future in powering a yet-to-be announced Apple hand-held computer-phone.

oh yes, i want a cell phone with OS 10.2! what the fuck?

that quote he takes out of context that i can't find is jobs being asked about pda's and him saying something like, "pda's are going to be subsumed into the cell phone industry, and apple doesn't want to make cell phones" they got burned on newton a lot, apple seems not to want to ever talk about that fiasco.

on the other hand no one really understands what inkwell is all about. jobs has said he is upset with the mac/pda user experience, but i thintk he's right to realize that pda's and cell phone will come together, and with their asskissing of ericson now i don't think that would be very welcome.
posted by rhyax at 7:42 PM on August 18, 2002

Markoff obviously didnt watch the OSX 10.2 product introduction, where Jobs demoed it in conjunction with Bluetooth-enabled phones. Apple's not going to make the phones - as someone else already said - just make it easy to connect to them.
posted by mrbill at 7:58 PM on August 18, 2002

Aside from the part where I think it's a little odd for the New York Times to be running Mac rumor articles that are less substantive than your average SpyMac piece, if the writer had done a bit of research he might've figured out that Apple is making the hub, and SonyEricsson is making the phone.
posted by spilon at 8:25 PM on August 18, 2002

I hear that Apple is also working on the iPony, just for MetaFilter members.
posted by dg at 8:48 PM on August 18, 2002

I have a Handspring Visor and I hate it. It doesn't do anything that I can't do with a little black book and a pen. And at least the only thing I have to worry about with that combination is my pen running out of ink.

Yes, this post is oversimplified. No, I don't care.
posted by cinematique at 8:58 PM on August 18, 2002

cinematique: It doesn't do anything that I can't do with a little black book and a pen.

Really? Your little black book can be used as a universal remote control, can draw, save, and recall full-color sketches instantly, browse the Internet online or off, transfer files to other people, and sync all of the data you enter into it with your home or work machine instantly? I need to get me one of those little black books...
posted by Danelope at 9:26 PM on August 18, 2002

I'll take that Visor off your hands, cinematique.
posted by jimmy at 9:30 PM on August 18, 2002

Maybe this is why I oversimplified my post: to instigate response.

But anyway... you can't surf the web on them unless you either buy a wired modem, which in my opinion, is a joke... or buy overpriced wireless service. Then there's that pesky problem with the screen size. Signal availability. Standards support.

I could go on, but web access on a Palm is a joke in and of itself.

Want to draw, save, and recall full-color sketches? Buy a set of colored pencils to go along with said little black book. Last time I checked, paper had this remarkable feature that saves pictures by default. And you can search the pages as fast as your thumb can fan through them!

Alas, I thought my Visor was swell until I took it, plus a Xircom modem, on vacation to Florida with AIM Express installed.

Got there on a Sunday, it died on Monday. The thing crashed on me. Hit reset. Poof! No more applications! Data? Gone! And since I was in Florida, away from my home computer, no chance of getting it back up and running.

Good times.

That universal remote control thing only works with a Springboard card as well. Ok, it "kinda works" with the built-in infrared port... but not from more than two feet away. And a true universal remote with learning capabilities is so much cheaper and convenient.

You can use them for MP3 players too! Then again... (insert eye roll here)

posted by cinematique at 9:46 PM on August 18, 2002

Apple will not build its own mobile phone. Apple will not build its own PDA.

Apple will, however, develop and market the best integration tools for both of them and demonstrate how to best integrate the desktop, the palmtop, and the mobile.

I believe we're going to see a slew of very tight agreements/projects between Sony/Ericsson and Apple. A S/E built but Apple branded product? Perhaps, but unlikely in the near future. More likely you'll see lots of cross-promotion of Apple technologies for use with these newly integrated devices.

I have no doubt Apple could and probably has developed some kick-ass prototypes of PDAs and mobile phones. Perhaps Apple has worked closely with the aforementioned in this endeavour (fairly likely, I'd say). But I don't think Apple wants to be the front-man for this show with Newton only 10 years behind them and still a scar on the company.

And a shame too, because the final Newton was a pretty damned good piece of hardware.

Next stop? Voice over IP....
posted by tgrundke at 9:56 PM on August 18, 2002

I hear that Apple is also working on the iPony, just for MetaFilter members.

Don't you toy with my fragile emotions like that.

Also, cinematique summed up all the reasons I don't use my Handsrping Visor anymore. I would rather rely on my memory than use a digital crutch, anyway.
posted by insomnyuk at 10:11 PM on August 18, 2002

About the Handspring, using pocket quicken is really useful for this household. So long as the wife and I enter our transactions, the software does the rest. We both know how much we have and it remembers old transactions that you regularly make so all you have to do is select an entry and tailor the amount. Any decrease in the time it takes to reconcile the account is worth it to me.

That pen and paper statement is flippant. Pen and paper doesn't sound off when you are about to miss an appointment or forget to take the trash out. Paper deteriorates in your pocket or wallet, so you can't have a master movie, library, cd, etc. list on you at all times. How heavy would it be carrying 15 or more classic [project Gutenberg] texts with you at any time, with detailed bookmarks etc. The list goes on and on and those are just the useful things. A camera module, the Dope Wars game, dictonary mod, address book, directions, calculator, news...

Call it a crutch, but to me that's kind of like calling a car, well, maybe a bike a crutch. "I'd rather rely on my feet!"
posted by mblandi at 10:28 PM on August 18, 2002

I'm with cinematique. I was an early Palm adopter, but finally ditched my third Palm last year for a quarter-legal pad and a pocket notebook (mokeskine, paper). I always have a pen, can write much faster and accurately than I could ever graffiti, can draw in my schedule and it runs forever (inevitable pun).

Most importantly, I'm more productive. I had several to-do items in my Palm for years. Having to manually forward my to-do list to a new page has been an amazing productivity booster.

PDAs just don't seem to work well for me. But I'm not writing off the category, there's still a lot of room for improvement. In a lot of ways, today's PDAs still can't touch some things the Newton was doing in 1995. Palm seems to be on the Netscape track of single-innovation followed by slow fizzle into oblivion. Both were companies with revolutionary products who basically forfeited their markets to Microsoft. (yes, I am aware of current PDA marketshare)

Mac PDA rumors are a regular occurrence on the Mac Rumor sites. Just because Apple added handwriting recognition to OS X 10.2 doesn't mean a reborn Newton is around the corner. Some sort of tablet-device might be in testing, but ultimately Apple's just bringing their various technologies into a single product.

(I almost posted something about PDAs earlier, but didn't want to skew the thread. Now that it's well skewed, I figured I might as well join in.)
posted by joemaller at 10:29 PM on August 18, 2002

As a software engineer, I have never felt the desire to own a PDA. I bought one just last week for my fiance because she is entering medical school and they said in so many words that a hand-held was essential. Now that we have it, I don't see what the big deal is. I do see some utility for doctors doing rounds who have patient files stored on the PDA, but essential?
posted by McBain at 10:36 PM on August 18, 2002

mblandi: You use your Handspring to remind you to take out the trash? Wow. My life just isn't that complex that I need a written reminder to take out the trash.

Also, the games are not a feature, in my opinion. If I wanted games, I'd get a gameboy, I don't need additional distractions when I'm trying to work. As for all your fancy lists, I can do the same thing on the web (I could be really simple and just archive it in my blog), and I really don't have need to recall all that info, as I can look at it quickly before I go to the rental store, or before I purchase a book, cd, or dvd (which I do exclusively online nowadays). It's neat to be able to have books on your PDA, except that the damn thing is such a pain in the ass to read lots of text off of. I prefer print, good printmakers have it down to an art form, it's easy on the eyes, you don't have to pay for batteries, and you never need to reboot. Jeez, I'm sounding like a luddite. As for contact information and appointments, while I'm at college quick notes suffice since everything revolves around my class schedule anyway. I keep important appointments in Outlook, which I can see over the network when I'm on campus. There are PCs just about whenever I need them. I also no longer have a 200 dollar liability in my pocket wherever I go.

I prefer to take high quality digital photos, so I use a color Sony digital camera. I don't have need for the little gadget they tack on to a pda.

I could see how pocket quicken could be helpful, but since I do all my banking online and buy most things with my credit card (which I review and pay online), I never write checks, except maybe once a year, so keeping track of my finances is really easy. Different strokes for different folks, but I'll save that 200 bucks on a PDA and buy myself some nice books (the real kind).
posted by insomnyuk at 10:40 PM on August 18, 2002

what i want from apple is a car audio face that does all the standard car audio things and acts as an ipod docking station. give me a shiny black face (like the shiny white, but shiny black, or various colors, white may look too strange in most cars) with radio of course, sleek looking, and let me slide my 20 GB ipod right into it seamlessly, then pop it out when i'm out of my car. yessir that's what i want.
posted by physics at 10:41 PM on August 18, 2002

Hell yeah I do, Insomnyuk. You get two chances a week to get all those bags to the curb, and should you miss it after having guests, Augh! The alarm is sort of the last line of defense to prevent trouble.

I can see how the thing is kind of binding in a lifestyle sense. I occasionally don't use it for a week or two, and I get by. I just marvel at it's usefulness sometimes.
posted by mblandi at 11:00 PM on August 18, 2002

Something just dawned on me: I'm rather amazed that Mr. Markoff didn't mention I still don't think Apple's getting into this market, but the fact that the URL redirects to Apple (and has for quite some time) would certainly have strengthened his position.
posted by toddshot at 12:11 AM on August 19, 2002

I have a PocketPC. In addition to being the MP3 player, digital photo viewer, and Palm-type calendar, contact manager and address book that I don't want to carry around, my Wi-Fi card lets me Google up information from almost every place I commonly hang out, like my apartment, my office, or Bryant Park behind the New York Public Library.

Handheld communicator that lets me instantly access almost any information in the world for no additional cost on a color screen that plays video, text, and sound? Sounds like Star Trek to me. And it sounds like what I have right now.

Oh, and yeah, I can read my blog on it, too, to remember when to take out the trash.
posted by anildash at 12:16 AM on August 19, 2002

Both the PDA and cell phone markets are saturated and manufacturers profits are dwindling. Apple aren't stupid - they'll let other people make the devices. It's like seeing iPhoto as an indication that Apple were going to make cameras.

The iPod was different - there was nothing to touch it on the market (though most of its elements had already been developed by other companies - Apple's trick was to put them together).

And I too have a Palm Pilot I never use.
posted by rolo at 1:40 AM on August 19, 2002 was registered back in 1999. Which was an altogether different age in every techno-bizness way that exists. I'm not saying the elapsed time disproves that Apple is working on it, but rather that they came up with a loose concept and quickly grabbed the domain. A concept that has in all likelyhood changed many times already since inception, and will just as likely change again, perhaps into a stillborn project even.


Registrant:Apple Computer, Inc. (IPHONE11-DOM) 1 Infinite Loop Cupertino, CA 95014 US

Domain Name: IPHONE.ORG

Administrative Contact, Technical Contact: Eddings, Kenneth (KE557) eddingsk@APPLE.COM Apple Computer, Inc. 1 Infinite Loop M/SAti 60-DR Cupertino, CA 95014 408 974-4286 (FAX) 408 974-1560

Record expires on 15-Dec-2003. Record created on 15-Dec-1999. Database last updated on 18-Aug-2002 05:26:24 EDT.

Domain servers in listed order:

posted by BentPenguin at 6:42 AM on August 19, 2002

It's like seeing iPhoto as an indication that Apple were going to make cameras.

Well, that's what everyone thought about iTunes, and then along comes the Pod. Not that I think Apple will make a phone. Who knows - but in that article, when they mention it now costs about $50 to throw cellular capability into any device, I was thinking more that they'd put that stuff into the Pod itself. The most recent iteration added contacts/notes/reminders etc - the only feature it's missing PDA-wise is input ability, and there's that thing "Inkwell," right?
posted by D at 6:57 AM on August 19, 2002

Why make a handheld/phone combo when they could make a super light weight, OSX running wireless (via bluetooth, airport, and GSM) tablet?
posted by benbrown at 7:03 AM on August 19, 2002

I'm amazed how many people never use their PDAs. Mine is a lifesaver. Manually copying out to-dos is a big waste of time in my books; to ensure that they get done, better just to keep to a schedule of doing at least one every day. And with my Visor, my address book is always with me; I can adjust my finances every time I take cash from an ATM; I have a convenient grocery list I never lose; I can take lists of references in the library directly from the computer system into the stacks (vital as a grad student!); I can attach a keyboard and take notes wherever I need to (or want to) without the expense or bulk of a laptop; and if worst comes to worst, I have all of this backed up on my iMac.
posted by ramakrishna at 9:06 AM on August 19, 2002

i'll pipe in regarding the pda vs. paper thing. i've done (and sometimes still do) all of the following with my pda: carry thousands of contacts, listen to mp3s (with an add on), read the NY Times, the Onion, and various other publications, transfer files from computer to computer, use it as a calculator, track my finances, use it as a remote control for various items (and that's up to 20 feet away without a module plug in. works great.), carry photos around, written a feature-length screenplay, half a novel, and over 100 entries to my web site (all using one of these things), track projects/billing for freelance jobs, plot things out (brainstorm), track items i wish to purchase (grocery lists, etc.) draw, play puzzle games, track appointments, access a 122 thousand word dictionary, remember birthdays... etc. most of these things cannot be done with a little black book. the thing has even improved my handwriting (which was dreadful and is now at least legible).

i'm not saying they're for everyone. but if you think they're just supposed to replace your datebook--well, that's a start.

as for the durability of the handspring, i've had mine for 3 years, dropped it countless times (on concrete), including once into a tub of water. it still works great. (i've also left it in 3 taxicabs--returned each time thanks to this.) without question, it's the best $300 i've ever spent. and no, i don't work for the company.
posted by dobbs at 6:12 PM on August 19, 2002

The Register
has a very sensible article on this topic.

posted by rolo at 1:29 AM on August 20, 2002

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