New York Magazine has an interesting profile on Steve Jobs that focuses on the new iPhone, which hits the streets June 29. I haven’t seen such lust for a tech product before, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen it for a cell phone. But for everything Apple is doing right with the iPhone, there are a few dozen things that could cause the whole wonderful experiment to implode. Like being forced to work with AT&T for starters:
For 30 years, Jobs has hewn to the conviction that Apple’s strength is that, as he puts it, the company makes “the whole banana”—hardware, software, and everything in between. This approach is no small part of the reason that the Mac was trounced in the PC market by Windows. On the other hand, it explains why Apple thumped everyone with the iPod. Whatever its virtues and demerits, however, the whole banana has been Jobs’s ideological touchstone. And now he is entering a business where success or failure will depend on the efficiency and savvy of not just another company, but of AT&T. Oy vey.
For what it’s worth, I have AT&T for my cell phone service. It’s not bad (not brilliant either). My phone is crap, but I think that’s Motorola’s fault (and that’s probably a defective deal–my wife’s phone of the same model works fine).