I watched Apple's sensational iPhone ads with my wife last night. I drooled over the images, even though I know they're faking a theoretical optimum experience that won't be real for at least another year -- and then only with a WiFi connection.
I couldn't fool myself completely however. There was only one instance of data entry. The user's fat fingers entered a search term, which miraculously rendered without a typo (how many tries did that take?).
Emily scoffed. She ripped my aging Samsung i500 out of my hands a few months ago, and she's constantly doing stylus data entry (Graffiti One, not that Bizarro clone known as Graffiti Two/Jot) on an ultra-tough compact clamshell that fits in pocket or purse and survives recurrent abuse.
Sigh. I know she's right. As much as I want an iPhone, it will be only five times better than my loathed RAZR. It won't be half as useful as the long abandoned i500.
One day the consumer market will mature enough that the i500 will be reinvented with superior technology and a viable business model. In the meantime I'm looking forward to my iPhone, but I know it's only second best.
That is the problem of an efficient marketplace; it's too "clever" to make the kind of products space aliens like my wife and I want.