The launch of the iPhone is imminent, and predictably the media is completely saturated with coverage, as bad (or worse) than the crap we endure during the Super Bowl or Presidential elections. (My apologies for contributing to the cacophony!) I just did a Google News search on the topic and it returned 11,403 results, which is bound to grow exponentially for weeks to come, and of course my favorite tech blogs are overrun with the topic as well — Gizmodo has 763 posts about it at the moment, and Engadget won’t tell you how many stories it has but you can bet it’s a ton. They’re both carrying a lot of the same stories, though I have to hand it to Engadget for the post titled “First iPhone camper smelled at Apple’s 5th Ave store.” Heh. And as expected, people are obediently lining up three days in advance so they can be the first to own one. I sure hope this purchase brings spiritual and emotional fulfillment to their lives.
Sigh. Am I crazy, or does this seem like the latest in a long list of Big Distractions our nation is obsessed with (i.e., Paris Hilton)? How much “real” news is being obscured or buried by the iPhone tsunami? I simply can’t wait until this crap is over and people regain control of themselves. Neither can John Dvorak, who is ripping the media a new asshole today (“Hitler got less coverage when he invaded Poland”). But the iPhone will be endlessly yakked about for months, especially by frothy-mouthed Apple cultists analyzing it in infinite detail, proclaiming it the greatest invention in history — humankind’s topmost achievement. It’s no coincidence this thing has been dubbed the “Jesus Phone.” Non-cultists will worship it too, but not with the undying devotion of the Apple crowd. Gag me. (I do think it’s a cult, just like rabid sports fans are cultists. Some don’t agree, but it sure feels culty.)
So…do I want one? Well, I sorta did back in the beginning because it’s gorgeous and a smartphone has been on my wish list for quite some time. And I certainly understand gadget-lust, make no mistake about that. But the more I learned about it, the less I was impressed: it’s too pricey, the AT&T terms are too restrictive, the battery isn’t user-replaceable, it’s lacking in some great features that other smartphones have, blah-blah-blah. No thanks, I’ll go the heretic route and sit this one out. (It won’t stop me from playing with one if I get the chance, though…)