updated 09:25 pm EST, Fri January 12, 2007
Cringely on the iPhone
Noted PBS commentator Robert Cringely has chimed in with his opinion on the Apple iPhone, as well as the trademark dispute with Cisco Systems. Cringely asks why Apple failed to conclude talks with Cisco before moving forward, noting that the latter had no choice but to sue if it wanted to defend itself against future infringements. The situation is compounded by the fact that Apple did change the name of the iTV, enabling the company to avoid potential legal troubles with Elgato Systems, makers of the similar EyeTV.
The commentator asks why Apple would knowingly challenge a larger company while side-stepping a smaller one, surmising that the move is a calculated publicity stunt designed to earn a great amount of media attention without paying for the equivalent advertising campaign.
Cringely also wonders about the choice of Cingular as the carrier partner. The company's 2G network can't maximize the potential of the iPhone, he says, and the 3G network features Cingular Video, a download service that uses RealVideo. Since Apple would prefer customers to use QuickTime and iTunes, the 3G network will go unused until Cingular caves in or loses the partnership.
Apple's move may be a direct attempt at domination of cellphone content, Cringely surmises, forcing a major carrier to switch formats if it wants to hold on to a lucrative product. When the Cingular exclusive ends, subsequent carriers may need to support iTunes to retain any popularity.