Apple says iPhone is a console experience not a phone


It really should come as no surprise that Apple apparently does not consider the iPhone to be a phone at all, but rather what John Geleynse, Apple Director of Technology Evangelism calls "a console experience." That's what Geleynse told an iPhone Tech Talk developer event in San Jose, putting the iPhone firmly on a competitive footing with the likes of the Nintendo DS and possibly the Sony PSP.

I am not at all surprised by this, and have in fact been arguing that the iPhone is really just a games console that makes calls for some time now. I mean, look at the facts. In the five months since July 11th, when the iPhone App Store opened up shop, some 300 million applications have been downloaded to the device. It took iTunes a year just to hit 50 million downloads, if you need a yardstick by which to measure the popularity of the iPhone against older iPods.

But it is when you look at the nature of the most downloaded iPhone applications from the 10,000 or so that are currently available that the reality of the games console claim starts to hit home. Games really do rule the roost, especially when it comes to commercial downloads, there is just no escaping the fact.

The boss of US iPhone network provider AT&T, Ralph de la Vega, has even suggested that the iPhone of the future will wake you up with coffee, display the news headlines on your TV and start the car for you. Not too far fetched when you think that there is already an iPhone Hotel where the device can order your room service food, rustle up a limo, get your dry cleaning sorted and toggle your do not disturb status.

About the Author

A freelance technology journalist for 30 years, I have been a Contributing Editor at PC Pro (one of the best selling computer magazines in the UK) for most of them. As well as currently contributing to, The Times and Sunday Times via Raconteur Special Reports, SC Magazine UK, Digital Health, IT Pro and Infosecurity Magazine, I am also something of a prolific author. My last book, Being Virtual: Who You Really are Online, which was published in 2008 as part of the Science Museum TechKnow Series by John Wiley & Sons. I am also the only three times winner (2006, 2008, 2010) of the BT Information Security Journalist of the Year title, and was humbled to be presented with the ‘Enigma Award’ for a ‘lifetime contribution to information security journalism’ in 2011 despite my life being far from over...

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GuyClapperton 12 Staff Writer

Much as I hate hype I do agree it's more than just a phone. I've had many phones with added cameras, music players etc. but not really stretched them as I could. I'd play the odd bit of music and collect my mail religiously (costing around £90 a month). The iPhone, though, makes the brilliant move - purely a cosmetic one - of showing you the phone interface only when you want to use it. If you'd rather have an iPod then it'll be an iPod. If you want an e-mail program then it's there and looks like a mail program, not a screen on a phone.

It's pure psychology and decoration rather than technology but it turns the thing into a genuine multipurpose console rather than a pureplay phone really easily.

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