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A valuable lesson from Christopher Hitchens

This obit at the Huffington Post contains the following statement: “Although he eschewed drugs, Hitchens became both a heavy smoker and hard drinker.”

That statement is, simply put, a perfect example of the totally irrational and backward thinking propagated by our society’s attitude against “drugs”.

It’s complete bullshit and the opposite of the truth.

A more accurate version of that statement would read: “Hitchens was a heavy user of tobacco and alcohol, two of the most addictive and harmful drugs available.”


I mean, an addiction to two life-threatening drugs defined his public persona and almost surely contributed to his death.

It’s patently absurd.

Predictions for Apple’s upcoming “Let’s talk iPhone” announcement

iPhone 5:

Same basic design as iPhone 4

A5 processor

Better camera

Virtual wallet technology (possibly, but not necessarily, NFC)

Runs iOS 5 like a champ and works great with iCloud- and games

Single model phone for all carriers using hybrid GSM/CDMA technology

Big deal is price: $199 for 16GB, $299 for 32GB, $399 for 64GB… all unsubsidized. Buy from Apple for those prices and then get your own contract, or buy from a provider and possibly get the phone for lower cost or even free- or buy no contract and use the iPhone wi-fi only. Maybe carriers will offer low-cost data only plans, prepaid plans, or month to month options. Bottom line: at these price points and without a need for a contract, Apple will make the iPhone accessible to a much broader range of customers. And by now, Apple can afford to do it.

As a result, the iPod touch is renamed to just the iPod:

One capacity: 8GB (works great with media from iCloud, don’t forget)

Cost is $99. Bam.

Has a slightly larger screen compared to the previous iPod touch (but same resolution)- makes it even better as a gaming device or e-reader.

Camera from the iPhone 4 (a great camera, though not quite as good as what’s in the new iPhone 5).

Wi-fi only

Not sure what happens to nano, shuffle, or classic iPods.

Re: Steve Jobs- if he’s there at all, he’ll be a member of the audience only.

9/11, 11

Today is the 11th September 11th associated with the horrific attacks on our country.

A few days ago, as I’ve done a few times before, I watched the live broadcast of NBC’s Today Show from the morning of 9/11/2001, from the moment they learned about the first plane crash at the World Trade Center through the collapse of the second building. As time passes, watching the events of that day unfold in real-time and remembering what it was like to experience the agonizing progression of the unimaginable, is a stark reminder of just how utterly mad things were that morning, and have been ever since.

My first thoughts go to the victims and the heroes of the day.

I think about people on airplanes who experienced a hijacking; had and saw throats slit; were passengers on unthinkable flights that behaved like no airplane we’ve ever been on; and then fought back, to varying degrees, to have their lives ended in what could only have been near-instant evaporation.

I think about people in the World Trade Center. I imagine all sorts of horror there but don’t need to expound on it. The thought that haunts me most is that of the office workers who stayed behind to be with someone who was injured or otherwise incapable of escaping on their own.

I think about the firefighters, ambulance workers, cops, other professionals, and ordinary people who ran toward their deaths to help others.

I think about the people at the Pentagon who died in an assault on their military fortress.

I think about all of the good that was brought forth in so many people that day and in the days, months, and years that followed.

It’s a shame President Bush was not their equal.

I don’t know what was in his heart in the days, months, and years that followed 9/11. I’m just guessing, but I don’t believe he was uncaring or unpatriotic.

I do believe that George W. Bush did far more harm to our country than the terrorists that perpetrated 9/11 were capable of doing, and the poisonous consequences of his failed leadership have put us into a tailspin from which we may never recover.

It’s worth remembering that 9/11 came not even a year after the gut-wrenching “election” of 2000, in which Bush lost the popular vote and quite possibly the electoral vote, and took office after an extremely controversial, undeniably political Supreme Court ruling. I personally believe he didn’t legitimately belong in the White House, but so be it: he was the president, and we’d moved on.

After 9/11, the country united behind him, as did the world. I did too. It didn’t have to be that way, but he was granted an extraordinary opportunity to claim his legitimacy by leading in the spirit of a competent, if not grandiose, figure.

Instead, we got:

<> A war in Afghanistan that, while started uncontroversially, failed to meet any notable objectives during his administration and suffered from a lack of attention due to the idiotic war in Iraq. I supported going into Afghanistan and we should have stayed there and penetrated Pakistan until Bin Laden was found.

<> A war in Iraq that was, as I said, idiotic. I remember clearly in the months leading up to the invasion the incredulous feeling that most people had lost their minds in supporting the inevitable war. It didn’t take a genius to tell that the way the administration was talking about Iraq, conflating it with 9/11, encouraging public confusion and fear… there was clearly no true and just cause to invade that country at that time, particularly considering the unfinished business in Afghanistan. Damn Bush for steering us in such the wrong direction.

<> The issue of Iraq tore the country apart and bifurcated us from the world. So be it, if it was a necessary war to be handled competently. But damn him for doing so to the contrary, and for destroying so much and so many in the process.

<> America was attacked on 9/11 and was ready to report for duty immediately after. Bush asked for nothing from anyone other than the volunteer soldiers who were sent overseas to do battle. The least he could have done was to have paid for those wars instead of bankrupting the nation as a consequence.*

<> * It wasn’t just the wars that bankrupt the nation. His unprincipled, amoral stewardship of the domestic economy during his tenure was the worst possible path to take after the surplus years of the Clinton administration. He lead a decade of bullshit economic success in which everyone except the highest class suffered financially, and he left a depression that very well may eclipse the Great one on his successor’s doorstep in the process.

So in conclusion, 9/11 is a difficult day for me, because it brings into such clear contrast the victimization and heroism of that day with the self-destruction of our nation under the hand of our worst president, George W. Bush.

Ultimately, though, this day is not about him, and it shouldn’t be about anger. I mourn the loss of everyone who died that day and on all of the days since then, and I still feel profoundly lucky to be living in a nation made up of so many heroes, both sung and unsung, who lead us forward through the darkness.

God bless America.

For the babysitter

For the babysitter:

We’re not big fans of TV in general and are very strict about following the guidelines that say children shouldn’t be exposed to any TV at all before two years of age (and as you know, our twins are 18 months old).

That said, there are certain, limited times when an exception is permitted. In such a situation, the children may be allowed to watch TV, provided it is Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope. The proper version of this movie can be accessed via my Apple TV and can be found labeled as such. Do NOT play the “Special Edition” of the movie nor any of the other Star Wars movies in my collection- especially not Episodes I though III, not under any circumstances.

So to be clear, the only thing the kids can watch on TV is the original 1977 version of Star Wars.

If either of the kids should ask about any of the subsequent episodes, you are not to engage in any conversation about them. If pressed, you may express excitement for the experience they will go through as they eventually watch Empire and Jedi with their dad, but you are still bound not to mention the prequels.

If somehow either of the kids should discover evidence of the prequels (a fireable offense for you, by the way), you MUST avoid discussing them at all costs. Avoid eye contact, try to change the subject, play the original version of Star Wars again… whatever it takes. Run and pretend to vomit in the toilet and have them focus on helping with cleanup. Whatever.

If you can’t hold them off long enough, start telling them the George Lucas backstory as it existed before the dark times that came in the nineties. Go into detail about how the original Star Wars film was hand-crafted by dreamers fighting long odds.

If you get to that point and we still haven’t returned from dinner, please fall to the ground and pretend to be dead until we return at around 9:00. It shouldn’t be a late night.

Dinner’s in the fridge and should be served at 6:00. Bedtime is 8.

Call if there’s any confusion about the TV thing, please.


A big part of what I’ve been up to

It’s difficult to summarize the above, but I just came across the following unpublished post I wrote on my company’s blog a few months ago, and I think it addresses the above pretty well in this context.

If you’re reading this, thanks.

Here’s the post:

About a year ago, my friend Paul and I had an idea and named it Techromatic.

Techromatic is many things and always unfolding.

Its purpose was to unite two geeks in a strategic partnership that would in turn generate value that could be provided to people who would pay us for it. Because at the time, with both of our wives about to deliver our first children (twins for Jeff)… and with the economy in the midst of a radical transformation… and with barriers to connecting falling all around us… and with the subconscious observation that the world was being remade around us and we wanted in on the process…

At the time, we believed that some combination of our obsession with technology and honest desire to make the world a better place could be harnessed to create a shitload of money for our families. Talk about a virtuous circle.

So here we are, roughly one year in.

“Roughly” is the perfect word for it, the more I think about it. Nothing has happened quite the way I thought it would. And in the process of realizing that, I am realizing that I am (roughly) living out my dream.


Where does that leave us?

Techromatic is evolving into the expression of a vision for information flow that I deeply believe has the power to unite whoever wants to be united.

Think about the following terms: computer, PC, software, operating system, memory, RAM, CPU, instruction, operation, access, error, user.

One of those terms is not like the others.

The 1970s, ’80s, ’90s, and ’00s were a period of blistering innovation in the field of computer science. The very concepts of “software” and “hardware” lead to the novel concept of “virtualization”, which in turn lead to the idea that we could redefine our most basic building blocks to comprise entire systems instead of single parts.

Atoms made of universes.

The biggest revelation, of course, will come with the full effect of uniting all of these newly evolved atoms into symbiosis. The Internet and social networking give us clues as to how this will happen.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

On a practical level, one way to look at this is to realize that so much of what sucked about “computing” in the past just doesn’t need to suck anymore.

So many of the terms, tools, and ideas that jumpstarted this process and yet alienated the human part of all of us have themselves evolved into new things.

Our job is to help you discover better tools to manage your information flow, and to help you master them.

When you encounter a knot on your path toward having a smoother relationship with the information in your life, we’re here to help.

From a business perspective, we’re looking for organizations that stand to benefit most from a fresh perspective on information and technology, and we want to partner with them, whether as clients, vendors, or simply links in the broader web of relationships that is the new world in which we live and do business.

I’m one year in and I want more Techromatic!

My current thoughts on the iPad after months of use

I like it a lot- it’s clearly a sign of the future. If you break it down to its essence, the iPad represents the beginning of mainstream computing’s switch away from the mouse, keyboard, desktop, and file metaphor of the past thirty (can you believe it?!) years. Coupled with the seamless online app distribution model, the evolution past most of the worst problems inherent in previous computing platforms (malware, system configuration issues, the exposure of complexity like command lines, etc.), and the ability for the platform to provide content distributors with full control over the use of their content through apps… All of the pieces are there and well executed.

As a device, the iPad has a few first generation hardware issues, which I’d list in the following order of importance:

It’s about twice as heavy as it needs to be to be comfortable enough to use as casually as you’d like.

It needs front and rear facing cameras.

The screen is too reflective for easy use outdoors.

Beyond those basic points, all of which are reasonable hardware shortcomings for a first generation product and will almost certainly be addressed in subsequent updates, I think the iPad has what it takes.

Add in a Retina display and it’s even better.

Will iPad 2 have all of these things? I want to say yes but I bet no. But I bet iPad 3 will have all of these and beyond.

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What Microsoft could do

I’m one of those people who believe that, on its current path absent any dramatic change in strategy, Microsoft is destined for a future as a commodity provider of business software.

Over the past decade, Microsoft has shown itself remarkably resilient to innovation, pushing forward with refinements to its 1990s vision of computing, totally oblivious to the evolution of the market beyond traditional computing as it had been conceptualized (by others, ahem) up to that point.

It’s actually been financially beneficial, on a limited time horizon, for Microsoft to have plowed ahead with blinders on toward deviations in its core strategy of preserving the 1990s era status quo of the computing indusry, and a clumsy inability to connect with people (and to connect people) in meaningful ways.

Unless it does something that would be truly out of the box by Microsoft’s standards, I see that path for them.

But what if they made the next version of Windows not a piece of software, but a whole new computer? A whole new, blazing fast, completely modern computer.

And say this computer was constantly monitored and upgraded, and designed to work exactly like the Windows you’ve come to know and love- but with far fewer problems…

The next version of Windows should be a service that you can log into through any web browser, and once you’re in, you get your Windows desktop and all of your apps, and full control of the computer they’re running on.

The whole thing would be virtualized in the cloud. The only significant limiting factor would be bandwidth, but this could be optimized to work adequately or better over broadband connections relatively easily.

And while it will be a little while before bandwidth is wide enough to use such a system for gaming, it’s not that far off, and once we get there, BAM- the benefits of moving hardware to the cloud will outweigh the negatives in a major way.

This is an area where Microsoft can uniquely compete, because unlike Google, Microsoft has a huge installed base of legacy software that people are still interested in running.

A virtualized, cloud-based Windows would be able to run those apps better than any locally installed version of Windows ever could. And it could be updated, curated, and innovated in ways that would not be possible otherwise.

I’m just saying.

My name is Jeff, and I co-founded a company called Techromatic.

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The future of Apple TV

I think Apple’s got a big shoe to drop in the form of an online service that combines iTunes and MobileMe and adds additional features that enhance the value of using multiple devices on the iPhone OS platform. But that’s just background to keep in mind for the following…

I think Apple TV will change dramatically to fall in line with this new reality, and I have high hopes for what this might look like.

First, check out this video of Steve Jobs at the D Conference on Tuesday.

I don’t think Apple is going to attempt to enter the TV market as Jobs believes the market is currently defined.

Apple is doing just fine selling its line of pods, phones, and pads. Which are, by themselves, actually the missing ingredient to bring TVs into a future free of remotes and tangles of cables.

Imagine an Apple TV that’s nothing more than an HDMI cable connected to something like a MacBook power brick. The HDMI cable plugs into your TV. A simple computer in the power brick connects to a WiFi network (like the AirPort Express) and accepts streams of video, which it in turn sends out to the TV through the HDMI cable.

So your iPod, or iPhone, or iPad is the interface, and the TV is just a nice big screen with nice speakers that can play any of the video content you own in the highest resolution possible, all streaming over WiFi from the device in your hand (or pocket or propped up on your legs).

Streaming to TV would become an integral part of the iPhone OS development kit for third parties to use in a variety of ways, including… games. Wow.

In other words, goodbye anything that currently expects to live permanently attached to a TV. In the future, devices will connect to the TV over WiFi, and I think Apple’s about to go there in a big way.

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“Lost” series finale fulfills mandate to shock

It was like every other aspect of the smash hit ABC television series “Lost”, where the only thing you can predict is that the unpredictable will win the day.

Four days before the highly anticipated final episode was broadcast, Anne Sweeney, Co-Chair, Disney Media Networks and President, Disney-ABC Television Group, called a press conference to announce that the finale would air live- shot in real-time- from Hawaii.

The announcement shocked the world. Not only did this mean that the finale would be of a style completely different from every episode that had come before- it also meant that the producers had the opportunity to reveal the final script in near real-time to the actors as the episode played out, adding a dramatic new layer to the show’s self-referential nature.

Reaction swung positive and large swaths of the show’s fan base took to the concept with feverish anticipation.

When the finale kicked off at 9PM Eastern on May 23, 700 million people in North America and Europe were tuned to ABC and to watch the show unfold live.

Almost immediately, fans developed a strong distaste for what they were seeing. This coupled with an intense desire on behalf of many to believe that this massive disappointment was only part of the buildup to some greater, unimaginable metaconclusion.

But it was not to be.

The finger pointing and slow, open-mouthed head shaking will likely continue for generations, and we’re only at the beginning of that long and unfolding journey. This is a real 9/12 moment for hundreds of millions of people across the globe.

A proper journalistic treatment of this phenomenon is beyond our capabilities at the moment, but given the amount of animosity and violence out there, we feel it is our duty to present whatever information and insight we can into this matter.

Following are a series of viewer comments about the final, live episode:

Dan Gideon, cinematographer: “Right away, the live look of the show contrasted harshly with the slick, highly produced film look of the series. It really looked cheap. No contrast and like infinite depth of field, all washed out. And the whole thing was framed in wide master shots, making it painfully obvious how important all of the cutaways and closeups are to the show’s ability to sustain drama.”

Helen O’Grady, realtor: “I felt very uncomfortable watching it. It was that feeling you get when you see something failing so miserably it hurts to see. Like a terrible standup comic, or a gored fox on the side of the road by my farm. It also made all of those gorgeous actors look like C grade amusement park trash.”

Mike Hanrahan, web designer: “I really couldn’t believe how bad the special effects were. It felt like some kind of SNL parody as it was playing out, but even cheaper. Cheaper even than Mad TV was. The way the smoke monster was so obviously a smoke machine, and the way you could see the strobes and the multi-color lighting effects. And the thunder and lightning effects…”

Tim Tyson, doctor: “It really felt like a cheap stunt show at an amusement park. Especially the end, with that totally contrived 20 minute fight in the cove. With the speed boat chase around the dock, the jumping over barrels, the poorly timed explosions where no one was standing. I swear you could see bleachers out in the shadows.”

Jill Darko, ad sales planner: “Everyone’s talking about the part where Josh Holloway ["Sawyer"- ed.] jumped across the smoking barrels and obviously tripped and took a minute to orient himself. When he looked out at the live audience on the set and gave that “whoops, aw well” look out of character- instant permanent heart-melting moment. Chicks eat that up and Josh knows how to serve it.”

Dean Camen, composer: “The guy who plays John Locke, give him credit for really seeming to feel at home in that dinner theater action show milieu. When he was coming down from the smoke by the trees and his harness became obviously visible when some protective foliage fell away, he embraced the moment and let out that terror-inducing roar that I guarantee you, as a man who writes stories myself, with music- I guarantee you that roar was far and away above and beyond anything that the show’s writers could have imagined. And well beyond what would have happened if not for that moment when the guy who plays Locke made beautiful lemonade out of putrified shit.”

“It was a big miscalculation, end of story,” said ABC’s Sweeney at a press conference held on Sunday morning following an emergency Disney board meeting. “It was a terrible idea, pure and simple. Contractual details prevent me from going into any sort of detail about any other aspect of this situation. But suffice it to say that if I were not operating under a gag order, I would outright tell you who was behind the idea to do this to this show. And it’s not someone who works as an employee or assignee of the company I am responsible for managing, either.”

Representatives for J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot production company issued the following media release: “May 23 was apparently not the end of ‘Lost’, as the next episode is already unfolding in what is shaping up to be the legal battle of the century. We’re going to take that entire company down by its oversized motherfucking ears.”

We caught up with Terry O’Quinn, who plays “John Locke” on the show, and he was happy to discuss the episode with us: “Part of the safety latch on the backup security line caught on the cable as I was sliding down to the beach for my grand finale, and I’ll bet that looked a little silly on TV. But I took it in stride and I think we gave the audience a hell of a bangup show that night. Let me remind you that those were live knives we were using in that sequence on the yacht with Dr. Jack Shepherd. It might look a little slower and farther away than a real fight when you’re watching it up close on your television set, but that’s real theatre up there, two old school pros- if I may- really dishing it up with a little something on the line to give the fans that extra pow!” He slams a knife into a prop wooden table for emphasis.

Events took a turn for the surreal when an Internet rumor began circulating that George Lucas, creator of the “Star Wars” line of prouct SKUs, was behind the decision to produce the final episode that way. Disney and Bad Robot issued an unprecedented joint press release the day after the rumors made it into the mainstream press (about a week after the meme had died down): “While our differences define us and we could previously imagine no circumstance that would cause us to respond in any sort of unified manner whatsoever, we want to make it crystal fucking clear that George Lucas had nothing to do with the season finale of ‘Lost’. You can print that, you can frame it, you can amend the fucking United States Constitution to contain this statement of fact made by The Walt Disney Company and Affiliated Companies and Bad Robot Productions, and include a provision that stipulates should either of those parties be found to have lied about this fact, that our family members’ lives will be on the line.”

We caught up with Steve Wozniak, co-founder, Apple Inc.: “George Lucas is batshit insane, really out there. I mean, I’ve got a reputation for being a little eccentric, but that guy is so far off the reservation it’s like he’s not even on the continent anymore. And he’s got no wagon hitch, that’s for sure. I wouldn’t put it past them that they’ve got another edition of the finale coming out soon with robots and stuff though.”

Nick Denton, owner Gawker Media (publisher of the Gizmodo tech blog): “To talk about this is to play right into their game.”

As for the numerous questions spawned by the show’s six seasons that were addressed in the finale, fans don’t seem to care.

A fan: “I just don’t accept that show as cannon, and I know I’m standing on the shoulders of giants with that admittedly controversial stance. But I don’t buy it. This is a highly policitized, poisonous atmosphere. All of the earthquakes, the volcano, the oil rig explosions, the Church scandals, the Polish plane crash, the market’s flash crash- you think those are really natural occurences or accidents? And do you really think the, quote, season finale that aired, which everybody would agree is far more horrible than any of those things on a comparitive level, was not part of some larger, cynical design?”

Another fan: “You know, I choose to go easy on those guys. The whole show for me was about the spirit of adventure, the quest for true love and the ultimate questions of free will, destiny, good, and evil. Truly great characters- like Hurley, Jack, Sawyer, Kate, Jin, Sun, Desmond, Charlie, Claire… Ben! Shit. He should have been much earlier in the li- oh, and Jacob- wait, can I start over? No? Really- no? Okay- really?! I feel kind of like Joe Lieberman getting shut down by Al Franken on the floor of the Senate.”

Perhaps the scandal and intrigue that engulf the live series finale are like the strangely rickety yet nevertheless deadly tendrils of smoke that make up said monster.

Perhaps the concluding “FOUND” title card, the unexplained last-minute substitution of Jason Bateman in Jeremy Davies’ role, the thinly veiled Michael Jackson tributes, the afterthought narration at the end of the episode that explains why none of the female characters were in the final episode at all…

Perhaps all of those serve as the perfect backdrop for MIB/reincarnated John Locke’s last line of the show: “Well we’ll just have to wait and see now, won’t we?”

And as it turns out, you just might have the chance to see ol’ smokey himself right in your own backyard. Said Mr. O’Quinn, “My contract indicates that the first three years will be at the Hydra Island stunt show in Anaheim, but that for the second three years, the producers are free to take the show on the road across America, and I’ll be there every stop along the way.”

As we put away our reporter’s notebook and audio recorder, Mr. O’Quinn fixed us with a chilling downward glance and then gave us a symbolic tip of an imaginary hat.

“Gentlemen,” he said. “I’ll be waiting for you at the Hydra Island power depot. And don’t worry: I’ll keep my knives nice and sharp for ya.”

EDIT: After I wrote this piece, this happened. Interesting.


Here’s what I want the next iPhone to be: Part II – The Positioning

This is the second in a series of posts about what I’d like to see Apple do with the next generation iPhone and beyond (here’s the first).

As far as the product family name is concerned, I like “iPhone 4″. Ties it into the vague “4G” concept and how to Apple, “4G” means the next generation of mobile phone experience. And that means more than just a faster network connection- which we all know by now itself is a faulty premise as a benefit, because the service quality and coverage on newer, faster networks is almost by definition not as robust as the previous generation.

And then there’s the whole business model for mobile voice plans, based on minutes and rollovers and nights and weekends and all of that really seems like a 2000s way of thinking about your phone.

The next generation phone needs to be able to connect to almost any network. It needs to be flexible and have a longer lifespan than phones that are tied to a carrier’s “high speed” technology of the day. And it needs to be simpler than what we have now, where we have one network and set of services and billing for voice calls, and another for raw data.

Fortunately, the raw data network (the Internet) can simulate the old fashioned phone number and telephone call metaphor for free or next to nothing, via a range of services like Skype, AIM, MobileMe, and- yes- Google.

With iPhone OS 4, apps for VoIP services like those can run all the time in the background, essentially making them first-class citizens with the traditional Phone app itself.

The groundwork has been laid to support a sea change shift from the 20th century notion of phone calls and mobile phone voice networks. The iPhone’s address book even includes a phone number category of “iPhone” (alongside home, work, mobile, etc.). This will come in handy for a world where when we reach out to speak to people, we don’t need to know about which service or technology is being used.

WiFi- especially 802.11n- is a perfect middleman layer to serve as the bridge between an iPhone and virtually any type of wireless network available. Almost everyone has WiFi, and it’s easy to deploy commercially. It’s more power efficient than the radios used for 3G cell service. And it’s got plenty of headroom for speed way beyond what even today’s newest “4G” networks offer.

WiFi is everywere. But not capital E everywere. So if you need that extra level of service, you would have two options:

1: You can buy a pocket device like a MiFi, which connects to a 3G or 4G network and uses WiFi to connect your phone to that network. Alongside such a device, your WiFi-only phone instantly becomes a Verizon or Sprint data device.

I think we’ll see MiFi-like devices becoming a lot more popular over the next generation of mobile, and it makes sense. Get one device and one plan (all data) for your mobile connection to the Internet, and everything else you have connects to that. If and when something better comes along, go ahead and jump to that- no need to change your other devices, they’ll connect to any service as long as it’s through WiFi. So when “5G” comes out, assuming it’s not faster than 802.11n’s theoretical capacity up in the high hundreds of Mbps- all you need to do is get a new MiFi (or whatnot) and all of your devices are instantly “upgraded”.

Suddenly the idea of having cellular chips built into, and monthly plans associated with, each individual device seems very outdated and inefficient. Imagine the decrease in weight and complexity, and increased battery life, associated with removing the 3G components from the phone itself. And once the category of MiFi-like device becomes more popular, I bet we’ll see all kinds of devices that are basically 3G and WiFi radios bolted onto massive batteries in all sorts of form factors that dramatically improve their battery life.

2. For those who need a “traditional” mobile phone, Apple should sell a second model with 3G connectivity built in, just like with the iPad. But maybe instead of perpetuating the carrier/device lock-in schemes that have been the norm in this industry in the US, it’s time to ditch the carrier partnerships and offer the device unlocked. Buy that one and take it to any carrier you’d like that supports the standards supported by the device. Apple’s already gone one step in this direction with the pricing model for 3G access on the iPad. The next and final step is inevitable (and will include support for Verizon’s US network).


Well, a hypothetical “iPhone 4″ that’s similar to what was depicted in the leak but without any cellular innards would be very similar conceptually to an iPod touch with a new case, a camera, and a GPS. Which is probably what the new iPod touch is due for anyway. So could they be marketed as one and the same device?

I think yes.

And once you go down that road, you need to figure a bunch of other stuff out.

Next up: Part III – The Arrival of Apple’s “iPlatform”

Tease: A full screen touch iPod nano running iPhone OS 4 and a new category of App Store apps?

About me: I am a technology strategist and co-founder of Techromatic Incorporated, a technology consulting firm.

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