Friday, November 2, 2007

"iPhone is Time Magazine's Invention of the Year"

from - by Alice Turner
Lev Grossman picked the iPhone as "Invention of the Year" for Time magazine. People were already used to these goofy "inventions of the year" by Time magazine, as they picked last year YouTube. It may very well be that Time really needs a shakeup of its "awards of the year" team, maybe hiring somebody who knows what "invention" means in Grossman's place.

Sure, one can only agree with him that Apple's smartphone indeed "is pretty", "touchy-feely" and "will make other phones better". However, one can only wonder about his technical knowledge when he says such things as Apple "took OS X, its full-featured desktop operating system, and somehow squished it down to fit inside the iPhone's elegant glass-and-stainless-steel case." Quite a "mechanical" view, I say. Grossman also thinks the iPhone is "infinitely updatable" (such as the iPod, he says).

Time's "Invention of the Year" author is clearly in love with his iPhone, but his article indeed is just an exalted rant. The iPhone is no invention, to start with. It's just a better designed smartphone, and is not the best smartphone either.

R&D Magazine compiled a list of most brilliant inventions of 2007. They're talking real inventions, not design improvements of decades-old mobile phones. These include a special fabric which is soft and flexible until impacted, when it becomes rigid throughout the material, thus protecting the entire area of the body covered; a smart, radar-activated safety system by Toyota which sets off your warning lights, tightens your seatbelts, and activates a special powered headrest just before being rear-ended by another car; a no-needle blood analysis system in form of a non-intrusive small patch, and the list goes on.

Grossman's silly choice is maybe understandable, and it really shows the power of a very well designed and advertised gadget. However, the iPhone is not an invention, and, either way, it could never really be an "invention of the year". The iPhone is just a "pretty", "touchy-feely" smartphone.

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