June 27, 2007


Yesterday, Reuters ran a story by Franklin Paul about the imminent flop of the iPhone, featuring a prominent critique by David Platt, described as a computer science professor at Harvard University.

Here's the list of Computer Science faculty in Computer Science in Harvard's School of Engineering and Applied Science -- the place people expect "a computer science professor at Harvard" to be employed. And there's no David Platt in the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Science phone directory. (I believe he's taught some courses at the Extension school. And perhaps he's a new appointment. But his own site doesn't mention a Ph.D., and most Harvard professors have doctorates.)

Yes, there's a lot of iPhone hype. But this pseudo-reporting is absurd. Nobody knows how people will like the iPhone. Nobody. When Steve Jobs came back to Apple and announced the iMac, we laughed: who would want a bright blue VT-100? Who indeed! Two months later, you could tell which art galleries in Santa Fe were doing well because all the thriving galleries had bright blue iMacs sitting on their 18th century Spanish-American tables. And I thought the iPod was a silly little peripheral that would cleverly lead a few people to buy Macs because they owned an Apple product and nothing terrible had happened.

The popular tech press is corrupt. All this week's iPhone coverage is merely a battle of people trying to spin their past job performance or grab some extra attention. You can't study a device this complex quickly; we'll all need days or weeks to figure out what it can and can't do.