A dose of reality on the iPhone

With all due respect to those disrespected by Geico, you’d have to be living in a cave if you didn’t realize the iPhone is being released tomorrow. The press coverage amounts to a giant puddle of drool over this thing — I can’t say I’ve ever seen so much excitement for a phone before. You know AT&T is happy, seeing how they’ve got the exclusive.

Paul Thurrott aims to balance things out a bit. He’s right, too — in essence, the iPhone is a $500 phone that, if it weren’t for the touchscreen and Apple-ness, would be given away for peanuts. EDGE data? Ridiculous. I realize that AT&T’s 3G network doesn’t have much of a footprint yet (trust me, I lament it daily), but that’s no reason for Apple to just omit it from the phone. To use that phone’s strengths effectively, it clamors for 3G. Yes, it’s got Wi-Fi, which is cool, but what good does that do on the go?

I think it’s neat how Safari on the iPhone can browse the Internet proper without having to worry about “mobile versions” of pages. However, there’s a reason for mobile versions of pages, because no matter how wide the screen is on the iPhone, it’s still small. Period. The fact that I’d have to zoom and scroll and scroll and zoom doesn’t really attract me all that much. There are other advantages to well-created WML pages, too: they will generally perform better, will be less taxing on the phone, and quite frankly I would not be too crazy about having the full flash and pomp of the Internet on my phone. My fear is that the advent of Safari on the phone may make designers lazy and not provide good alternatives for the 99% of the Web-on-phone-using population.