This is the best we can do?

For the record, the Macalope does not profess to “know” whether or not Apple will make an iPhone or whether or not it will succeed. He merely thinks there’s an opportunity there.

For those who believe there is no room for Apple in this space, please take a look at eWeek’s roundup of smart phones available this holiday season and if you’re comfortable with these, then you should consider checking yourself into the Jonathan Ive Clinic for the Esthetically Challenged.

  • Joey:

    Is that anything like the Jonathan Ive Clinic for the Aesthetically Challenged?

    Also, the one big bonus of an Apple phone, if there were such a thing, would be the fact that the providers would offer it. A lot of the better offerings from companies like Sony Ericsson (k790a) and Nokia (the entire n series) aren’t even being picked up by Cingular anymore.

  • John Muir:

    Oh but do remember how elegant, well formed, thought out and sublime all those cruddy mp3 players were the day before the iPod came out. So long as you knew your precise tracks, liked apps compiled in Borland by poorly trained monkeys and could put up with a serial / parallel cable connect THERE WAS NOTHING MORE YOU COULD EVER REASONABLY HOPE FOR!

    Ah yes, the suffering, the pain and pointless suffering. No way the iPod could ever have succeeded. No more to learn here, now move along. 😉

  • Watts:

    I’m going to take a slight exception here — the Sidekick actually has a pretty well-designed UI. It’s not quite like anyone else’s (and the Sidekick III is a bit of a step backwards, from what I’ve seen), and that’s mostly a good thing — it’s pretty easy to navigate and it has a lot of the “small but appreciated” touches that tend to be the differentiating factors between, let’s say, Microsoft UIs and Apple UIs. Legendary usability curmudgeon Jakob Nielsen had a few plaudits the original Sidekick. And, it’s worth noting in passing that the original design team for the Hiptop at Danger Research had more than one ex-Apple employee wandering their halls.

    There are things to dislike about the SK, some of which are the fault of T-Mobile’s woeful “hipper than thou” branding and some of which may in a way just be Moore’s Law as applied to smart phones: the Hiptop’s concept of essentially being a “thin client” with a beefy back-end server is great when putting power into the phone itself is dreadfully expensive or even impossible, but as the clients catch up, it becomes more liability than feature. (I suspect this design is the reason the SK III can’t act as a Bluetooth modem, for instance, which is something of a deal-breaker for me at this point — I have an SK II, but I’m waiting to see what happens in the market soon before upgrading.) All in all, though, any company planning to enter the smart phone market could do a lot worse than to study the Hiptop as an example of a product that did more things right than wrong.

  • Blain:

    Agreed. The Sidekick is the closest thing to a mac for the phones I’ve seen, and it doesn’t hurt to have Woz on Danger’s board. Not only is the software UI well done, but I really like the lack of a touch-screen. Tougher unit, and they can make a UI that you can operate without insanely-steady hands. At the same time, the Sidekick demonstrates the sort of neutering power that providers have in the states.

    The sidekick III has an MP3 player and also lets you download ringtones. However, you can’t use the MP3 player for the MP3 ringtones, nor can you set an uploaded MP3 for a ringtone. The reason? T-mobile charges about $2 a ringtone.

    All the sidekicks come with mini-USB connectors, which allow you to hook up your sidekick to a computer. On the III this can be used for transferring songs and photos. On the II, this can only be used for hooking up to a development kit. Of course, being able to freely download and use said devkit is nice, but the fact that tethering, uploading sounds for ringtones, etc are easily technically feasible, but aren’t because of T-mobile’s wishes is frustrating at times.

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