Most people who know me will be somewhat surprised by the title of this post... but it's true. I do, indeed, enjoy the current iPhone craze - simply because I think some good is likely come of it :)
Specifically, there's two main positive things that I think may come from the current iPhone craze:
A shake-up of current mobile phone manufacturers
Until recently, I had just spent six years working in the mobile services division of the Telstra Research Labs, and I've gotta say, I'm not really impressed with the current state of mobile phone products. Frankly, they suck. They should be a lot smaller, faster, and easier to use. And yet, the likes of Nokia and SonyEricsson keep making phones bigger, slower, and more powerful - aka more complicated and buggy. Of course, there are exceptions - some of Nokia'a Series 40 phones, for example, are excellent. But the general push among manufacturers and retailers, is towards bigger, "smarter" (yet dumber) handsets. I can only assume that this push is largely driven by the telcos, who want, more than anything else, to see mobile data traffic sky-rocket.
So anyway, I feel that this current negative situation would not have been but for the complete complacency of the major phone manufacturers (I'm looking at you, Nokia!) And so, it stands to reason that a major new player, like Apple, can only serve to shake the current phone manufacturers back into a consumer-driven reality - which is definitely something I'd like to see :)
Yes, that's right... I think Apple is evil. I actually think most companies are evil (yes, I even have my doubt's about do-no-evil Google too), but the strangest thing about Apple, is that people actually think their "$h!7 don't stink" ;) I don't know if it's their glossy PR, effective (albeit false) advertising, or just their passionate fan-base... but people just seem to think Apple is completely righteous.
Well, don't get me started, but I think Apple is easily as evil as most other corporations - yes, including Microsoft. But, the somewhat puzzling distinction is this: While companies like Microsoft tend to be "evil" (and I use the term loosely) toward their competitors (something I can understand, even if the courts do say it's wrong), Apple tends to be "evil" towards their own users!! I won't bother listing the many, many, examples, but most can fit broadly into these categories: misinformation, abuse of customer rights, over-reaching platform lockdowns (and purely for financial gain - not user protection), abuse of artists' rights, and (my favorite) complete denial of all issues - even going so far as to frequently, and consistently remove all traces of genuine support topics from their own forums! :(
But let me back up just a sec... as I said above, I don't think that Apple is particularly more or less evil than other companies... it just annoys me that so many people believe that Apple is so much holier. Which brings me to the iPhone... I do believe that most of the reason that Apple has such a positive image, is simply because the competition (ie Microsoft) has such a poor image. And this is mostly the result, in my opinion, of Microsoft's success - Microsoft's products are so common, and frequently used, that people are all too aware of their bugs, and short-comings. Whereas Apple... well, almost no-one knows anything bad about them... yet. But just wait... iPod's crashing... iPhone's being bricke... iPhone's failing dismally on 3G networks... iPod's exploding... It has begun people ;)
My prediction is not that Apple, nor the iPhone will fail - far from it. The iPhone is an excellent product, and deserves significant market share (especially when you look at the dismal competition). But, my hope (dare I say prediction?) is that within the next year or two, people will start to place Apple on a level playing field - realising that they are not much better (if at all) than the other PC manufacturers (and yes, I did say "other PC manufacturers" - contrary to what most Apple users want to believe, Macintosh is a PC).
Just today there was an article on Slashdot titled "Apple's IPhone 3G Firmware Update Bombs"... don't tell me Apple can stuff up software updates too? You mean its not just Microsoft making those sorts of mistakes?! ;)
Well, Something to think about at least... anyone care to follow up with their own predictions? :)