Monday, December 18, 2006

Deal with it: Apple's cellphone is still coming

Gizmodo, like, so totally pwn3d everyone with its "clever" iPhone teaser story. When the online rag finally revealed what it had known all along, i.e. that the iPhone was going to be a Cisco product, the author of the original prank even added a half-assed apology:

P.S. Macheads--including those from Macrumors, Think Secret, TUAW, and Cult of Mac--know Apple likes to release gear on Tuesdays. So they didn't expect an Apple iPhone Monday. If you did read into my original post and feel like I misled you, sincere apologies for the discomfort.
Well, jackass, you went out of your way and added an "Apple" label to the story (see Google's cache for proof), and removed it after your joke played off, so this was a pretty obnoxious, childish trick for sure.

But let's move on. In the wake of the Cisco announcement, two new types of commentary have appeared all over the blogosphere, even at Daring Fireball, that piss me off.

This is the first: How could anyone have thought Apple would call its cellphone iPhone if Apple doesn't even own either the trademark or the domain name?

My comment: hindsight, Watson, is always 20/20. But thanks for noticing. Yet there's more to it than that. Maybe Apple has sought a deal with Cisco about the iPhone name all along, and talks have broken down only recently. Or what the hell, maybe they haven't, and Cisco even allowed Apple to also use the name (without any announcements, of course). Maybe Cisco just wants to ride Apple's publicity a bit. Anything is possible, as far as we all know.

By the way, Apple does own

But in any case, it's just a name. Remember when Steve Jobs introduced iTunes? About half a dozen times, he accidentally called it "iMusic." My guess is that Apple had fought over that name with someone – and lost. (As an aside, I still think iTunes sounds awful. Especially with a British accent.)

And that leads us to the second type of comment that has reared its head today. Namely: How do we know that Apple will ever release a cellphone?

This one is easy. I'm quoting Bloomberg News (via
"We don't think that the phones that are available today make the best music players -- we think the iPod is," Apple Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer said in a conference call Wednesday. "But over time that is likely to change, and we're not sitting around doing nothing."
This is the absolutely most direct way imaginable in the universe in which an Apple exec can hint at a future product (unless it's being given away like the iTV).

Phones aren't good music players.

But that will change.

Apple will be part of that change.

How can you infer from this anything but a crystal-clear indication that Apple will create a music-playing phone?

Never mind the rumors, the analysts' reports, the whole thing. This single statement alone confirms the iPhone – whatever it's going to be called.

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