Vol. 6 No. 7

February, 2007


iPhone: Hybrid or High Bread?

Comic: Rapter Agent

E.T. (Every Technophile),

Call Home

iToon on iMop

Cisco Kid No Friend of Mine

Comic: Dr. Philistine

iToon on iCap

...One More Thing






Don't forget to check out the








iPhone: Hybrid or High Bread? REACTION


It was the long awaited product rollout. Steve Jobs at Macworld finally gave the crowd what had been anticipated for years. An Apple telephone. Not a cellphone that could play a few tunes, like the ill-fated ROKR. No, an iPod i(nternet)Phone.

The initial reaction to the iPhone was a curious suspicion. There are three basic telephony camps: those who cannot live without being in constant contact with others; those who only use their cells for emergencies; and those who could not care less about owning or using one. The target audience had to be the upper luxury gadget loving spare no expense status symbol iPod addict. Upon further review of the product itself was subliminal advertising at its best. The main iPhone screen was thought out to tap into the viewer's mind: green, the color of money and envy; the orange fish are the symbols of the successful Pixar movie, Finding Nemo. This is being shown like a summer blockbuster.

But critics were quickly to point out reservations. In the past, most “hybrid” electronic products, those who combine multifunctions, using only do one thing well, and the other features are weak at best. Apple's iPhone attempts to combine an iPod, a cellphone, a PDA and an internet browser all in a sleek, handheld gamer flat touch screen. The iPod should work fine because Apple has mastered the domain of the portable music player. The PDA functions, like contact lists, autodialers, conference call feature, seem to fit well in the company's ease-of-use interface reputation. How well the cellphone component will work depends upon the service carrier, in this case, Cingular. And how fast the connection to the Internet to adequately surf the net is unknown. So many one or two functions will work well together, and the other components may suffer. There were some groans about the cost of the units ($499-599) plus monthly telephone charges, and the limited battery life.

The biggest misconception is that this is touted as a pocket desktop computer. It runs only widgets, those little iconic programs that give one weather, stock quotes, or maps. There are no business applications like word processing, spreadsheet or presentation software for this device. The keyboard is a touch screen that is activated by the chicken pecking one's own fingers. The size of the device and interface shows that this device cannot be considered a real alternative to a business laptop. This is not the reincarnation of the Apple Newton. This device is clearly looking to take market share from the Palm, Treos and Blackberries of the business world.

In the end, the most visible reaction is that this device is “cool.” Apple design elements have been the market leader in sleek, cool consumer products. There were other music players on the scene before Apple's iPod blew them out of the water. Now, there are other smartphones already in play. Whether Apple's iPod phone will become the gold standard is anyone's guess.



Inspired by the world being on the verge of the wide world of professional video gamers,

there will be the same kind of professional sports weird craziness, like prima donna players and strange pro agents.

And the with the term, Rapter, we defer to the Japanese anime spelling just to be difficult/different.





ET (Every Technophile), Call Home COMMENTARY

Is the iPhone the revolutionary product that casts Apple Computer into a new realm? Is the iPhone the watershed product that the 1984 Macintosh (with the super Super Bowl ad) started the dawn of the personal computer revolution? Is the iPhone the next, great, killer app just like the iPod/iTunes dynamic totally changed the music industry? It is extremely difficult to keep a product pipeline filled with monumental innovations.

The next generation leap in telephone interplay is pushing the desktop into a cellphone size package. A computer is a communication tool. A cellphone is a communication tool. Merge them together you get a new communication tool.

A cellphone or an Internet phone? The only difference may be wireless speed for applications beyond normal telephone calls.

A personal assistant or a personal phone directory? A contact list is a contact list; autodialers and point and click are features common in most PDAs.

A laptop with an Internet connecton or a phone browser with an Internet connection? Screen size may matter; connection speeds will matter; and whether the iPhone can actually store any information from one's web surfing (articles, photos, pages, links).

Is this an Apple proprietary product or a joint venture reliant on third parties to make the Apple experience real? This may be the Achilles heel for Apple, which has guarded its technology, operating system and operating interfaces like a protective zealous parent with their children. If Cingular's service is unavailable, slow or poor, this will reflect badly on Apple. And this may be the strongest signal from this year's Macworld Expo: Apple's willingness to let go of its secrets in order to grow into a full blown consumer electronics company. The Apple business plan was to make the best computers on earth. But when Jobs announced that the company was changing its name, no one seemed to notice the ramifications of losing the word “computer.”

Jobs' keynote address was devoid of any Macintosh “computer” news. The AppleTV product is an extension of the blueprint to make downloading movies, television shows and music from the iTunes Store easier for the average person. There was no mention of the new computer operating system, Leopard, new iMacs, new MacBooks, or new software updates for iLife suite of products. There was not even a hint at a 30th Anniversary Macintosh product. The focus of the speech was the new consumer electronic products.

The most important techno-feature to come out of this keynote may be the multitouch interface. By getting rid of stationary keyboards, tiny buttons, mouses, keypads, rolling wheels or stylus pens, Apple may have solved the problem of lost pens, fat fingers on tiny buttons and Blackberry carpel finger syndrome. If the touch screen adaptation of using one's own fingers to type and click, it is not that great a leap of faith to find this technology in the next generation of laptops and computer display screens. The question is whether it can be ported elegantly into existing mainstream computer products.

And that begs the ultimate question. Will Apple's R&D continue to focus on creating better computer products or will it be diluted into sharing its knowledge capital into making consumer electronic products to compete with integrated giants like Sony? There is a fine line to walk here: the middle of the road to keep the loyal Mac computer faithful in the cult of the personal computer revolution for the last 30 years or walking the plank by abandoning them to try to find the general consumer in the home electronic market of stereos, home theatres, television sets, cable boxes or game stations. There is a mixed signal, much like a fuzzy cell phone call, coming from Apple this year. We thought we heard that Apple is no longer a computer company.



Cisco Kid No Friend of Mine ARTICLE


Who owns the term iPhone? Cisco, through acquisitions, claims the trademark for iPhone. Apple introduced its iPod integrated phone as the iPhone, in a continuation of its i-PRODUCT family of marks. The press and Mac rumor sites have been calling the forelong Apple entry into the cell phone market the iPhone for years.

A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol or logo which identifies a person's products from others in the minds of the consuming public. A trademark associates a maker's products, good will and reputation in the marketplace.

Not many persons in the general public knew that Cisco had an iPhone trademark before the Macworld Expo introduction by Apple. Apparently, Apple was talking about acquiring or licensing or getting a hold harmless agreement with Cisco on the use of the iPhone name prior to the cellphone's introduction. But somehow, things got bogged down in the legalize. Apple is also famous for cutting licensing deals and having the parties wrestle in court over its meaning, scope and compliance (The Beatles are a prime example of this litigation wrestling.)

The standard for a claim of infringement is whether there is a likelihood of confusion as to the source of the products in the minds of the consumer. It may be hard for anyone to confuse Apple's sleek iPod phone with a Cisco router. But trademark cases are notorious unpredictable, inconsistent and expensive propositions. Apple has several defenses, including the argument that no one will be confused with the source of its iPhone as an Apple product. Also, Apple could claim that its i-PRODUCTS designations is a family of marks which is protectable against anyone who uses it to trade off Apple's good will. A family of marks in the consumer electronic marketplace with the “I-PRODUCT NAME” is clearly identified first with Apple Computer. An iPod cellphone is the natural expansion of the I-PRODUCT family of names with the Apple cellphone.

It would seem like a minor detail, that Apple Computer would have done a trademark search prior to naming its high profile product. The company may have thought it was a non-issue, as the national press has made the term iPhone merely a generic term for an Apple produced cell phone. It is unclear on what kind of mileage, public relations or compensation Cisco is trying to get out of this dispute. Most people associate Cisco with the early 1990s boom-bust cycle of Silicon Valley and not in the forefront of technology today.



Inspired by the souls being lost in the sink holes of cyberspace, comic commentary cyberbarf style.






. . . One More Thing

In his traditional end to his keynote speech, this year's under-reported “just one more thing”

announcement was that Apple has developed the first commercial application of a shrink ray.

Above, Steve Jobs is shrunken down to the size of a nano in order to determine

whether this woman's bass heart beat matches that of her iPod Shuffle player.


The Sultanate of Clintonia-Rogstaden

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