Thursday, January 11, 2007

When a phone was a phone; not an iPhone

What I really want in a cellphone is to be able to call someone. That's all. I want to pick it up, dial a number and talk to someone. I don't want to listen to music on it, I don't want to surf the Internet, and I don't want to check my e-mail.

I've got a great little phone. It's about three years old -- prehistoric by cellphone standards -- but it makes calls. It has a few other features that I have used -- for instance I occasionally put something on the calendar if I don't have a piece of paper to write it down on -- but its main purpose is to call someone.

So now Apple Inc. is getting all this buzz over the iPhone. It calls, it surfs, it downloads, it messages, it dances, it sings, it gets sued. All for the Apple egotist. So egotistical, in fact, that Apple has used a trademarked name owned by another company to name its new $600 toy. Apple, of course, says Cisco Systems' resulting lawsuit is "silly."

Well Apple could have avoided this silliness if it hadn't been silly enough to use a name someone else owned for its silly new product. Yes, I said silly.

Why would anyone want a touch screen on a phone you carry in your pocket? It's supposed to have a "proximity sensor" to keep it from dialing, but what about scratches? How long will it be before you have drop another half a grand for a new iPhone because you can't read the screen anymore?

I carry my little phone in the same pocket as my change, my ink pens, and my pocket knife. I go hunting with it, camping with it, running with it. I've dropped it on everything from concrete to gravel to a hardwood gym floor. It still works, reliably, every time. Let's see the toy formerly known as iPhone do that.

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