iPhone and the End of PC Era

63 Comments

Steve Jobs is a great storyteller. If he were a fiction writer, he would stand shoulder to shoulder with the likes of Tom Clancy and John Grisham. Mesmerizing in prose, master of the climax.

Today’s performance at the Macworld Keynote was no different. We hyper clicked, reloaded websites and traded SMS messages trying to find out more details about new iPhone, the real thing, not the poser that came to market a little while ago.

And how he teased us, taking two hours to let us know that it will be available in June 2007. And even though it is going to cost an ungodly amount, there is a good chance we might get one. But that is not the real story of the day. The real story of the day came at the very end of his keynote.

“From this day forward we’re going to be known as Apple, Inc. We’ve dropped the computer from our name.” And then he quoted ice skating legend Wayne Gretzky. “‘I skate to where the puck is going to be, not to where it’s been.’ That’s what we try to do at Apple.”

That also might be the epitaph of the PC era. And it is sweet irony that the company that sparked off the desktop computing revolution is the one announcing its passing.

Dropping Computer from its name is a sure sign that Apple, from this point forward, is a consumer electronics company, a mobile handset maker – one that also makes computer hardware and software as well.

Like the iPod, the iPhone may feed off the computer, but it can leave peacefully without any dependence on a desktop. A Wi-Fi enabled device, it is should ideally be capable enough to do direct downloads from the iTunes store, no desktop necessary. (Time magazine says it is not possible, so who knows!)

Apple is making the phone do all things a computer does – surf, email, browse, iChat, music and watch videos. Nary a keyboard or mouse in sight, and everything running on OS-X.

While I am not suggesting that this replaces our notebooks or desktops for crucial productivity tasks, the iPhone (if it lives up to its hype) is at least going to decrease our dependence on it.

Quotes via Engadget. Photos by Niall Kennedy via Flickr.

63 Comments

Lorenzo Sisican

Whatever you call it, iPhone, iPad, etc., it still does what the big brother PC is doing , computing,; since it is owned personally, it is still called personnal computer ( same PC ), only the size and name differ. Small thing can not do what the big can. So what was thought of “end of PC” is a hoax and is another strategy of those losing the battle.

Hunter

Does anyone know if an iphone can sync to my mac a home and my PC at work?

Archangel

“This thing makes my Treo look small” You must be one of Palm One executives at least!

You fat-ass good-for-nothing Treo is going down. Pleeeeaaaase, how can you even dare to compare that gray brick with an iPhone!

Alex

Where are the software development tools for this tele-computer?

Roger Smith

iPhone is available with Cingular ONLY!? And what if I am stuck under contract with a carrier OTHER than Cingular but still want a iPhone?
Well, the only solution I could fine was http://www.Cellswapper.com – they get you out of any cell phone contract!

PJ Cabrera

Now, I am really excited about the iPhone, but to think it will make us less dependent on laptops or desktops is just incorrect. Sorry, but you do realize you need a desktop or laptop running Windows or Mac OS X to sync your calendar and address book, don’t you? And that you can’t download songs directly? You need a computer with iTunes to sync music or video to the iPhone.

I think it is a great device, really. I am actually going to get one. But I think, Om, you drank too much Kool Aid at the Apple party.

Ann

Yeah 8Gig is nothing nowadays and I’m concerned about Cingular’s contract. How much will the iPhone cost us really?

Ann

I agree that battery life is an issue regarding iPhone. Of greater importance, I’m highly concerned that Apple will no longer make any desktops as they move toward consumer hand-helds. I’m whipping out my old dusty Atari before moving to PCs.

Alexey

3) comments:
1) I think it is consistent with Apple’s iTunes hub strategy that you will not be able to download songs from the store into the iPhone directly. iTunes is a model that by now everyone understands and values.
2) I can’t wait to see the new generation of Video iPods. I bet they will have a similar form factor than the iPhone, just without wireless capabilities.
3) iPhone runs OSX. Why didn’t catch anyone up on that one yet? The possibilities of that move are endless. Buy a bluetooth keyboard and be able to work on your iPhone. Buy a iPod connector for display and have a full mac in your hand.

iphone

I think it was a nice move for apple to come out with the apple iPhone. The iPhone has most features consumers have been waiting to have. I also think the price will not deter people from buying the Apple iPhone. I even think they will sell more then the 10 million Apple iPhones they expect to sell within the next year.

Knox Bronson

Undermining Windows Media at every step? When was windows media EVER a player in that arena? Total shit to anybody that actually WORKS in digital media, like all MS crap.

The reality is, and all the apple-haters just don’t get this part and never will: It is NOT the feature set (which is incredible in any case), not WHAT the iPhone does, but HOW. Apple has proven over and over and over that it understands USER experience better than any other company out there. always has, always will. You will not need a manual to use the iPhone. You all know this to be true. I hate my nokia phone. can’t wait for an iphone.

Microsoft will always suck hind-tit when it comes to day-to-day actual life stuff.

I’m sure the ZUNE will KILL the iPhone. $300 for that piece crap?

All you Apple-haters, I have just one thing to say:

Hahahahaha!!!

Larry

Yes the iPhone is a computer.
To make productive work, everybody will switch to what was called “chord keyboards”, and is in fact “reduced key number keyboard”. Much smaller than existing ones (Desktop, Laptop, BlabckBerry-Treo, Pearl or Sony600, ordinary phone), and much more easy, not to learn, a few hours, but to use when mobile and with others :
One Hand Mobile Touch Typing while standing, interacting, walking, driving …
above 40 words per minute for everybody.
(see Thad Starner).
Thanks Steve, even if you have not yet told it.
lgs@tikilabs.com

ashwin

I will give apple this: they make products sexy.
but replacing the pc? common now. What does this device do that other devices havent done?

I can browse just fine with my treo, blackberry and pocket pc with hsdpa or evdo.

I can play music through any sony erricson phones and even the nokia n91 and n93.

chat? i can chat on pretty much any treo, nokia or se phone above $300

will i get rid of my 30gb ipod and nokia phone which has gps for a phone which has no support for 3g? and is priced at $600?

Grammer Snob

FTA:”taking pleasure in seeing a special person knocked down a peg is a great American pastime.”

Good article, what should we take from the fact that Time didn’t feel confident that its readers would recognize the word “Schadenfreude”? :)

David McQueen

I reckon Nokia and Sony are going to give them a run for their money in Europe and Asia..and of course the ever emerging market in Africa.

Why? Keypads and Texting.

Sam Jackson

My smartphone might free me from my PC a little bit, but I think more than that it enslaves me more to information and the ‘services’ that my PC ordinarily provided. Carrying so much functionality in my pocket doesn’t liberate me from my PC, since if I am in my room with my PC I’m still going to be doing things on my PC because the format is better and more productive. It just means that I have a greater need for those same functions more often. :|

Andy Abramson

Give it all time folks.

Apple just announced the iPhone officially. With all the inventive types out there someone will find ways to do all that is being said can’t be done especially with iTunes.

I mean, why would Apple not want to make every iPhone an roaming cash register and sell via iTunes. My guess. That aspect of the deal hasn’t been finalized with Cingular and also, more importantly, may be part of an annoncement at CTIA or even 3GSM later this year. If I was Apple’s PR person I’d be holding back lots of details to keep the iPhone in the news running up to and through when it becomes available.

That’s one of Apple’s stock news management plays and I don’t see that changing.

The same applies to tools that can sync. Apple will likely roll out an SDK and that will feed the developer world who will develop widgets and applications to do just that.

Osman S Borutecene

Time Magazine may be confused between iPhone and Zune. Zune is not capable of direct download from Microsoft Services, although it has wi-fi capability. Zune is only able to share music with another Zune. So, I don’t think this is valid for iPhone. Apple usually do not market what it can’t do.

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