Walt Mossberg Proves iPhone’s Backwardness

June 4, 2009 by Rico Mossesgeld  
Filed under Cellphones

Engadget recently speculated that WSJ tech emeritus Walt Mossberg was actually playing around with the long-rumored new iPhone, giving out subtle hints while honoring a supposed press embargo.

Walt Mossberg (Courtesy All Things Digital)

Walt Mossberg (Courtesy All Things Digital)

Yet what really caught my attention was Mr. Mossberg’s assertion that Palm—set to release the Pre in the US two days from now—may have to worry about Apple’s new smartphone:

Unfortunately for Palm, Apple has both a new iPhone operating system and new iPhone hardware coming, likely available within a month, that could obviate many of these advantages.

Apple already has announced it’s adding MMS, universal search, and copy and paste. And, although Apple hasn’t announced any new hardware features, I expect to see an iPhone with up to 32 gigabytes of memory, video recording, a higher-resolution camera, a compass, and greater operating speed. Plus, there are persistent rumors that Apple will announce at least one iPhone at a drastically lower price than $199. [emphasis mine]

Weren’t MMS and copy & paste functionality available on even basic GSM phones way before the “Apple will release a phone!” grapevine existed? And guess what had universal search as early as the mid-90s? Why, Palm PDAs of course!

To be clear, Walt was just reporting on Apple’s publicized future plans. I’m more amused by the realization that it took for Apple this long to integrate what’s been around for years into its phone.

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3 Responses to “Walt Mossberg Proves iPhone’s Backwardness”
  1. Ron says:

    This is a completely invalid criticism. BMW has only recently added adaptive headlamps to cars. A feature which was available in the 1950’s.

    A whole host of phones were available before the iPhone with some features not available in the first iPhone OS release. The point is they were all rubbish. MMS was used only by a small percentage of mobile users as it was horribly implemented on most phones.

    Copy and Paste on most phones never worked between applications. Indeed, you could rarely copy and pate anything useful. Apple delivers features when a consistent UI and technical implementation for a feature can be agreed rather than throwing features in which are poorly implemented. A good example of this is the superior chat-based UI for SMS on the iPhone, compared to the old time sequenced lists provided on Nokia and Sony Ericsson phones. No comparison.

    Further, Apple provide users with the ability to gain all of these new features without buying a new phone! On simply purchases the version 3.0 update, and viola! With the iPhone, you are not stuck with an old brick once these features are available.

    • Rico Mossesgeld says:

      That’s a great analogy. I will agree with you that Apple does a very good job with UIs. They really know their usability, and it shows even on the company website. I’m sure how they’ll implement MMS and copy & paste will be very intuitive. Yet as a long-time Nokia user, I can tell you that I’ve had no problems with copy & paste (at least on my E63) and definitely not with MMS. And arranging messages by conversation first came out on the Treo!


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