Negative Space

Dangling participles left after today’s introduction of the iPhone. What exactly does Apple mean by “Runs OS X?” A stripped down version, or the Full Monty? If a stripped down version, where else might this “OS X Lite” run? Where is the SDK? What will it take to recompile existing OS X software for it? Has it got Java? Why GSM rather than CDMA? Will Widgets run as-is? Why have they hitched their wagon to a single carrier, rather than selling an unlocked phone? Does it include a corkscrew?

Sometimes it seems like Apple puts as much effort into deciding exactly how transparent / opaque they should be as they do into design. Negative information space surrounding a visible hub, carefully sculpted to encourage speculation.

Just switched to Sprint a few months ago, and am locked in for the long haul. Shame too, since Cingular offered a similar discount to UC employees; could easily have swung that way. Wearing a phone on one hip and an iPod on the other strangely seems much more awkward today than it did yesterday.

Two good reads:

Tom Evslin: Apple Fails to Reinvent Telecommunications Industry – Too Bad.

Imran Ali, with both dancing praise and concerns about openness (or lack thereof): Yay! iPhone!

Music: The John Doe Thing :: Tragedy by Definition

7 thoughts on “Negative Space

  1. Oliver Thylmann

    Greetings Scot,

    I have the slight presumption that it is a stripped down version because I didn’t see a Terminal and the like. It all needs a new interface at least, and I agree, an SDK would be good.

    Widgets do seem to run in general, but yeah, will normal ones?

    They did do GSM, not CDMA, which means world wide coverage. No UMTS is a bummer for Europe really. So no 3G and I love with 3G flatrate.

    They are using a single carrier because of the subsidies. Vodafone has a Palm exclusively for example here. That just mean that they subsidise the phone a bit more heavily because they have something special and get customers that do want the phone and will need to move carriers for it. For the Apple iPhone, they also get the heavy users.

    I presume the phone (the big one) would cost 800-1000 USD otherwise.

  2. Sean Graham

    You made up the CDMA part…. Steve dedicated a few sentences on how they were getting behind GSM and that roadmap, and that 3G, etc were in the future…

  3. shacker Post author

    Hmm… either made up or misinterpreted something. Fixed, thanks.

    Oliver, yes, I’ve been reading about these subsidies – apparently quite common to have carriers sell phones for less than they’re worth, recouping on the long term contract. Interesting.

  4. Oliver Thylmann

    just watching the keynote, the do have to work with specific carriers. Visible Voicemail needs them to know what the different keys are to press for voice messages I’d say. If I call my voicemail box then I need to go through the menu. They need to know the menu.

    Just as an example. this will be interesting.

  5. PJ Doland

    There are websites that allow you to find someone to take over your existing cellphone contract, if you are interested in switching come June, without incurring a ridiculous cancellation fee.

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