Will Apple’s iPhone be a big seller or not? Even a die hard Apple fan like me doesn’t know for sure.
Still, I love reading John Dvorak’s latest anti-Apple rant against the iPhone. Dvorak goes off with his once and future all-in-one wet dream, which Apple is ready to deliver. If you backpedal on a wet dream you’re sure to leave foot prints. Here’s a translation:
“Not that many years ago, I described my tech vision of the future as a device that would fit into a cradle and serve as the basis for all computing. You could carry it in your pocket, and it would serve as your mobile phone, TV set, MP3 player, and handy GPS device. I would often discuss this imaginary device in public speeches. During my PowerPoint presentation, the last feature I’d list for the device was a LoJack capability, since people would want to steal these things. That was for laughs.”
TRANSLATION: Bill Gates told me it would happen. I believed him. I’ll say anything for a laugh.
“Now it seems that Apple is going in this direction, to some extent, with the iPhone. So, I have to wonder why I’ve soured on my own vision of the future. Is my skepticism regarding Apple clouding my logic? Or is it something else? Something perhaps like, uh, reality?”
TRANSLATION: Damn that Steve Jobs. Who woulda thought he would actually deliver on my pet techno wet dream?
“First, the iPhone is not intended to be a computer replacement, but an iPod replacement and a phone—for now. Maybe it will have GPS built in at some point. Maybe it will actually run OS X and be a pocketable computer. Let’s assume it’s exactly what I was predicting: the be-all and end-all killer device of all time.”
TRANSLATION: Someone is sure to remember that I dissed the iPhone. I’ve got to act fast. Let’s see… hmmm… I know. I’ll sour myself on the iPhone.
“So, why am I souring on the device? And why am I demonstrating the same characteristics I criticize others for exhibiting—namely, judging a product one way or another without ever having seen or used it?”
TRANSLATION: Damn, argumentation and logic can be really hard. Really.
“Why? Why? Why? It’s probably for the same reason that I stopped giving that speech over two years ago. I have not been talking about this futuristic pocket-sized computer because I no longer believe in the concept, after being slapped by reality once too often. When the iPhone came along, I was already sour on the entire idea of any sort of device consolidation, whether it be from Apple or anyone else. And, in fact, as one of the few people in North America with a Swedish touch-screen NeoNode phone, which is similar to the iPhone, I’ve already been playing with essentially the same thing for nearly two years. (Actually, I may have the only one in North America, since it had to be custom-made to work here. It’s a great conversation piece.”
TRANSLATION: That’s it. No one will know whether I’ve soured on the device or not, so I’ll tell everyone that I did… uh, I am… uh… by the way, my current cell phone is cooler than yours and I have the only one.
“What kind of mobile phone do I use on a day-to-day basis? I use what street thugs in Baltimore call a burner: A disposable cheap phone that costs me next to nothing to own and use. I’ve given up trying to have the coolest and newest phone while spending a fortune to use it. I’m sick of being ripped off by the entire mobile-phone game. And I’m disgusted to see people talking on these things constantly, especially while driving. Shut up, for God’s sake, and watch the road.”
TRANSLATION: Yes, I carry two cell phones. One is the hippest, coolest phone you can’t buy in North America, and it already does everything the iPhone will do. Did I mention I have the only one? My other phone is the one I actually use, but don’t show in public.
“So that’s one reason why I’m sour on the Apple iPhone. I’m not looking forward to seeing another round of “phone fashion” when I am already disgusted by it.”
TRANSLATION: Uh, except for the aforementioned phone which is even cooler than the iPhone and I have the only one in North America. I am already disgusted by you who are not as cool as me. Isn’t one reason enough?
“Then there is the iPod thing. Hey, I toyed with the earliest MP3 players and eventually got bored with having to listen to that much music. Exactly what is the point of being all pumped up and bopping to the beat while sitting on your duff anyway? But now I’m beginning to sound like a old coot. And these are just the petty grievances. It’s the trends that concern me.”
TRANSLATION: I really am cool. I had an MP3 player before anyone could spell M. P. 3. But I don’t listen to music. I don’t even watch TV. But I am self deprecating, right? I do that so you’ll feel comfortable with me.
“Let’s get back to my dream machine of a few years ago. It’s not a possibility, since devices cannot be totally consolidated no matter how hard people try. I have personally given up on the idea. The iPhone is really a dream of consolidation. In other words, it’s wishful thinking. It won’t be more than a passing fad as a fashion accessory, and it will never cut it as an iPod replacement or a phone. Yeah, you’ll be the coolest person in the room when you pull one out and show it around, but that gets old fast when three other people have them and one person somehow has one that glows in the dark.”
TRANSLATION: Gawd, I hope Apple’s iPhone is a big flop. Apple needs to screw up something, otherwise people will think I’m a fool tech writer trolling for hits with ridiculous articles published on my web site. Oh, even if you get an iPhone, you won’t be as cool as me, because I already glow in the dark.
“Yes, I’ve soured on the device, sight unseen, because it represents an unachievable goal, a utopian ideal. The forces of never-ending fragmentation are too strong for anything to defeat them.”
TRANSLATION: Everyone knows you can’t achieve a utopian ideal. If you did, that would be called reality. We can’t have the facts of reality rain on my babble parade, now can we?
“The evidence that nobody wants to acknowledge is all the failed smartphones that have come and gone. And let’s not forget the Motorola phone that incorporated an iPod (remember the ROKR?). What a flop! Any sort of device consolidation, like what the iPhone possibly promises, is a pipe dream and runs counter to real and immutable trends. The problem is, nobody wants to admit that these trends exist—yet they do.”
TRANSLATION: Trends exist or fail because I say so. Smartphone are failures because I say so. ROKR was a failure because I say so. iPhone will be a failure because I say so. The evidence can’t be acknowledged because I say so.
You gotta love that translation widget in OS X’s Dashboard.