Jobs warns knockoff iPhone "lacks many key features"

Steve Jobs of Apple Computer warned today that a rumoured cheap Chinese iPhone knockoff making its way toward America is an inferior product which lacks many of the important features of the iPhone. “It may look a bit like an iPhone, but when consumers discover all the great iPhone features that are missing from it, we think they’ll still line up at Apple Stores for the genuine article,” said Jobs in a released statement. Designed by software nerds, the knockoff, dubbed the “myPhone” by fans, has not yet been confirmed.

Apple released a list of features reported to be missing from the “myPhone.”

  • The iPhone has special software that assures you will always use the trusted AT&T cellular network. Lacking this software, the myPhone accepts any SIM card from any random network. Users may find themselves connected to a network that doesn’t have the reputation for service, trust and protecting the privacy of customers that AT&T has. Or its data speed which is almost double what we’re used to with dialup.
  • With the myPhone, users may be stuck without 2 years of guaranteed AT&T service and won’t get their price locked in for 2 years. AT&T’s EDGE network is so good “you won’t find yourself able to quit.”
  • The iPhone is configured to assure you the latest iTunes experience. The myPhone might function before you have installed the latest iTunes and registered your phone with it. Indeed, the myPhone lacks the protections that block it from being used without registering it with or reporting back to anybody, depriving the user of customer service and upsell opportunities.
  • The iPhone has special software that assures all applications run on the iPhone have been approved by Apple, which protects the user from viruses and tools that may make the user violate their licence agreements. The myPhone will run any application, from any developer, opening up the user to all sorts of risks.
  • The iPhone protects users from dangerous Flash and Java applications which may compromise their device and confuse the user experience.
  • myPhones don’t forbid VoIP software that may cause the user to accidentally make calls over wireless internet connections instead of the AT&T network. Quality on the internet is unpredictable, as is the price, which can range down to zero, causing great pricing uncertainty. With the iPhone, you always know what calls cost when in the USA.
  • The iPhone saves the user from receiving distracting instant messages over popular IM services, adding calm to your day.
  • Music and videos in the iPhone are protected by Apple FairPlay brand DRM. On the myPhone, which lacks the important DRM functionality, music can be freely copied to other devices the user owns, putting the user at risk of infringing copyrights.
  • The iPhone assures users will only play media files in approved formats, and not risky open source formats.
  • The iPhone protects the user from setting a song in their device as a ringtone, saving those around him from annoyance and protecting the user from violating music copyrights and performance rights.
  • The iPhone bluetooth functions have careful security management. Users are protected from using bluetooth to exchange files with other users (such files are risky) or accidentally printing or communicating with your computer. Bluetooth is only used for headsets and headphones as was intended. The myPhone lacks these important protections.
  • The iPhone only uses its internal flash drive. The user is protected against hard drives, which have moving parts and can put data at risk.
  • The myPhone battery has a removable door over it, which can get lost, or allow the battery to fall out or be stolen. The iPhone’s battery is solidly protected. Users are also assured they will use only Apple certified batteries and not subject to the risk of aftermarket batteries, which may explode, killing the user.
  • The iPhone is for sale only in the USA and primarily for use there. This encourages users to stay home in America which is good for the economy and their own peace of mind.
  • The iPhone, unlike the myPhone and all other cell phones, sells at a very solid markup for Apple, assuring Apple executives and stockholders will be happy, and the company will be around to support the iPhone for years to come. The myPhone, it is rumoured, will be purchasable in a wide variety of stores, confusing the buyer with too much choice, price wars and depriving them of the special experience of an Apple or AT&T store.
  • As a result, the myPhone lacks the Apple brand “coolness” which is built into the iPhone and every other Apple product. “Nobody’s going to have to spend days in line for a myPhone,” said Jobs. “You won’t have people thrusting them in your face all week to show you how cool they are.” Many iPhone users report their experience waiting in line was great fun, and that they met all sorts of new people.

MyPhones are predicted to sell for $350 without contract, $150 with a 2 year contract to the provider of your choice.

Update: The myPhone probably gives similar results if put in a blender

that was great

You should add this article to your front page's comedy index.

I wonder how long before this product *really* appears?

Uh...

"The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly."

I'm seeing Krupo's info. That can't be good.

Can you be more specific?

Drupal is referring to the E-mail address as what is kept private. I can't see that from an ordinary account or anon user . The URL is public. I can edit it out if need be. The E-mail is optional and only there so I can reach you if need be.

he's seeing it prefilled in

he's seeing it prefilled in the comment fields - as am I. The last poster martin b. has -bradtempleton@ as part of his email address.

Looks like a drupal bug

I can't seem to duplicate it. Let me know what browser, etc. I've tried to look at the comment form with a virgin IE and don't see it filling in the last user's E-mail like that. I've filed a bug anyway. For now don't enter your E-mail, I don't really need it.

Will the myPhone also

Will the myPhone also protect me from sending hastily composed emails? With the lack of tactile feedback, it will take a while to figure out if I've made a mistake, which will encourage a lot of proof reading! While I'm proof reading, I can ask myself if I've written everything exaclty as I mean to write it.

How about getting an email that may have been BCC'd to someone else? When I receive mail sent by the iPhone, I can be sure that it wasn't sent to anyone who's not on the recipient list. If all my friends get myPhones, who knows who they're sending emails to!!?!

Full disclosure: I'm posting this from a Blackberry, which doesn't protect me from the above OR using ssh to administrate remote network devices/servers OR write frivilous comments on blogs.

Funny post!

SSH from Blackberry?

How does one do this? That would be way cool!

Accuracy

Brad,

Normally, I find your stuff very enlightening, but this time you appear to have indulged yourself in some gratuitous Apple bashing and sacrificed accuracy for that purpose.

"Music and videos in the iPhone are protected by Apple FairPlay brand DRM. On the myPhone, which lacks the important DRM functionality, music can be freely copied to other devices the user owns, putting the user at risk of infringing copyrights.

The iPhone assures users will only play media files in approved formats, and not risky open source formats."

This is nonsense. The iPhone -- like any iPod -- will happily play pretty mp3 files and other non-DRMed formats.

"The iPhone only uses its internal flash drive. The user is protected against hard drives, which have moving parts and can put data at risk."

All you're saying is that the iPhone doesn't have a hard drive. How many smartphones or similar devices can you name that do?

"The iPhone is for sale only in the USA and primarily for use there. This encourages users to stay home in America which is good for the economy and their own peace of mind."

The iPhone is being rolled out in the USA first. So what?

"MyPhones are predicted to sell for $350 without contract, $150 with a 2 year contract to the provider of your choice."

Really? Where can I buy one?

'Apple Bashing' - stop making yourself a victim;

Alan, grow a sense of humour.

Thank you. Apple fanatics

Thank you. Apple fanatics have cost Apple more sales than Microsoft. Many people would rather be garroted than agree with proselytizers. And proselytizers never have a sense of humour.

It's a satire

So don’t expect it to be fair or serious, but there is truth in most of the points.

  • The DRM comment is really about iTMS more than the iPod. The idea that DRM is a feature the user wants is being satirized here. And no, iPods won’t play as many formats as an open computer will, because you can’t install new codecs as they become available.
  • Even 4 or 8gb is small for a video iPod at this price, but I agree that this is a legitimate engineering decision
  • If the iPhone were open, you could immediately use it in any country with any GSM carrier, and you could get local SIMs to avoid the obscene roaming charges or use VoIP where available to avoid the charges.
  • The Nokia N61, with a keyboard but not as nice a screen, sells for $350 unlocked on eBay. Typical carrier subsidy for locked phone is $200. Due to subsidy, most smartphones are sold (with a contract) for less than their manufacturing cost.

In spite of all this, while I want to be critical of the iPhone being so locked up, I do think, as I have said in other posts, that it is a fascinating device, and contains new UI elements (the really important thing about it) that are the wave of the future.

This will exist soon

This isn't a joke, there really is a project to build this. It's called the Open Source Phone. Check out http://www.openmoko.org/ for more information.

Another missing feature

I'll bet you won't get the 2.1 upgrade that is required to make it all work right either. Of course if it was a Microsoft phone, the bugs wouldn't be fixed until version 7.3

Yup, this is the OpenMoko ;)

Yup, this is the OpenMoko ;) It looks a bit like an iPhone but is as open as possible (you can't reprogram the GSM modem) - the basic developer model is $300 and can be ordered Monday (July 9th) and the next version with wifi and moar cpu power and 3d should be $450 in October.

And unlike the iPhone it has a GPS receiver.

It's the UI

The OpenMoko project and other related projects are good, I have been following them. However, we should be clear that what excited people about the iPhone (aside from Apple's great spin machine) was not the hardware, but rather the software. A phone that is all touchscreen on one side is cool, but Apple did good UI work to make it exciting. OpenMoko phones won't get the same excitement until they do this. Now, Apple having shown the way on some interesting fronts will certainly speed that up. Nothing better than getting to see millions actually play with a UI to see what works.

I remain impressed that even after Apple showed how to do it with the iPod that most of the iPod competitors did not catch on about the UI, both on the iPod and it iTMS. Years later the iPod has fans who legitimately feel it's the best, not simply the best marketed.

The other issue is carrier resistance. Carriers will not embrace, and possibly fight the OpenMoko phones. Right now most carriers have two prices for unlimited data -- 1 for a locked phone with limited apps, and a higher one for connecting a laptop, because the patterns of usage are higher. If they decided the Open phones are in the high usage group they could kill them with high data fees. That's one way the iphone's lockdown is a "feature."

Agreed... that's why people

Agreed... that's why people are buying iPhones for $500-600 when the PS3 was being mocked for costing that much. There's a lot of cachet in it and it looks new and shiny and people look past the downsides and line up and buy em...

I think people complained

I think people complained about the high PS/3 prices because it's a game console. You use it to play video games. And that's not worth more than a couple hundred dollars to most families when they can buy an X-box or Wii for a fraction of the cost. Heck, they can even buy a PS/2 and play 99% of what you can play on the PS/3. The people that bought a PS/3 are people that convinced themselves that the fancy DVD player would be worth the investment.

Now if you'll excuse me, I just finished downloading Tekken 5 from the PlayStation Network and I have a date with Jinpachi Mishima.

Quoted in apparent seriousness

Your fine satire appears to be an unreferenced source for a quote attributed to the actual Steve Jobs in this article.

music ring tones are harder than they seem, will come

You might *think* you want to just use the music in your library as a ringtone, but you are wrong. If you have a favorite song, what you really want the phone to ring with is the hook or the chorus of that song, not the whole song played from the beginning. You want the most recognizable 10-second snippet. And you'd never want this ringtone snippet to play in "shuffle" mode along with your other songs, so we can't just mix ringtones in with the other music.

Thus, Apple needs to provide an interface in iTunes and on the phone to let you manage "ringtones" as a separate information category. My guess is that the software for handling this isn't yet elegant enough to pass muster, but we'll see this feature show up as a software update before Christmas. Ideally there'd be an interface to let you pick any song in your library and identify the start and end point for playing it as a ringtone.

Nah

Lots of phones let you take any music file you can download to the phone and use it as a ringtone. Of course they only use the first part. For those that know how, they can call up an audio editor to make a version of the right length and download that.

You forgot:

* The iPhone's slick, non-tactile surface ensures that dorky and definitely uncool blind persons will never be seen with one. Your ubercool image is safe!
* The built-in, non-optional iPhone camera says that you're a free spirit. It ensures you'll never be mistaken for a nerdy government official, oil executive, or employee of any company with secrets to keep.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.