Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Motorola ROKR and the Apple iPhone

Wired has a must-read summary of the birth of the iPhone.

The Untold Story: How the iPhone Blew Up the Wireless Industry

... It was a late morning in the fall of 2006. Almost a year earlier, Steve Jobs had tasked about 200 of Apple's top engineers with creating the iPhone. Yet here, in Apple's boardroom, it was clear that the prototype was still a disaster...

It's no surprise to read that months before the release date the iPhone was a disaster. My guess is that Apple's taking so long to add my "must have" features because the thing is held together with duct tape and bailing wire. It usually takes at least a year to dig out from a hole like that, so maybe they'll have a stable environment by this summer.

One of the most delicious parts is a sidebar comparing the Motorola ROKR vs. the iPhone

...Apple has created two music phones. The ROKR, made with Motorola in 2005, respected the traditional relationships between manufacturers and carriers. The iPhone, released last summer, completely overturned them....

Supposedly Jobs thought the RAZR was a sign that Motorola could build a good phone. As a RAZR owner, I'm surprised. I thought Jobs was smarter than that.

Anyway, he learned another lesson, and he must have staff who understood that the Motorola RAZR is very ugly software in a pretty shell.

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