The iPhone Phenomenon

The world has changed.

We’ve all been hearing about the iPhone for months now and its finally out. And unexpectedly, while watching the waves of eager customers line up to enter the Apple Store along Palo Alto’s University Blvd., my friends and I got bitten by the iPhone bug too. So there I found myself standing on opening day (June 29), in a line that was surprisingly fast moving, and got myself an iPhone. The gadget is sleek. It’s glamorous and it’s just plain cool. What a beautiful user interface. Very easy. Very, very intuitive. It’s got maps, music, movies, email, weather, stocks, wi-fi, camera, and a quad-band phone – everything a professional needs. The integration of Google maps, YouTube, Yahoo weather, iTunes music and movies is fantastic. This gadget sets new standards for convergence and raises the bar for all handheld devices to aspire to.

The only thing I don’t like is the bundling of a 2 year mandatory phone service contract from AT&T. The user should be able to select their own voice carrier and have more flexible monthly plans available. But, on the positive side, the bundled data service is unmetered. That’s a revolution for the US market. Unrestricted data connectivity will assure iPhone’s success because the network apps and features can be accessed at any and all times without being nickle and dimed to death.

But the iPhone whets my appetite and expands my wish-list for a comparable open source software solution. I want to see an ‘openPhone’ with the same level of integration from the OS to the GUI. Perhaps Red Hat with its ‘‘ will aim to achieve the samelevel of integration from the OS to the GUI. Perhaps Red Hat with its ‘‘ will aim to achieve the same standard of integration and do a ‘Fedora Fone’.