THE iPHONE, THE ’90S and WEB. 2.0
Over at his blog, tech writer Peter S. Magnusson posts a thorough critique of the iPhone, celebrating its hardware and design before ID’ing what he views as its current flaw: it’s non-adoption of various web 2.0 platforms. He thinks Jobs made the iPod great because he’s a music fan and knows what consumers want in a portable music device. He’s not sure Jobs has his finger on the pulse of the current mobile user who is looking not just to download movies but also to chat, social network, etc.
I was actually in the room when Steven Jobs first announced the iPhone at Macworld earlier this year. I was immediately struck by his emphasis of desktop/iPod-oriented features; using the telephone, using the calendar, todo lists, listening to music. That’s the stuff the 1990s generation did, and they do it on their desktops. The 21st century kids – and workers! – have other frameworks. They chat; they blog; they share their music playlists; they listen to internet radio; they play text RPG-like games on wikis; they argue on bulletin boards; they exchange pictures and phone/webcam videos; they watch youtube; they post video responses to youtube.
The new generation doesn’t use the phone. They don’t call somebody to discuss a document. They just change the wiki entry and they know any subscribers to changes will be notified. They chat. They update their emo trackers with mood and location like “wd market, nw” [walking down market, nice weather]; and so forth.
Yeah, they got youtube. But only because Google had bought them. And you can’t post to youtube from the iPhone. Even if you could post, you can’t actually make a video with the iPhone.
You can’t even leave a friggin comment on the youtube service.
So why was the iPod different? Very simple: Steve Jobs actually understands music and related technologies. He’s an artsy guy. He’s even known to have a real good musical ear. That’s why the iPod was awesome. Jobs actually understood the target customer.
Click on the link to read the entire article, including Magnusson’s take on what he would have done differently if he designed the iPhone.