The biggest story in wireless during the past year undoubtedly was the iPhone. As the first anniversary approaches -- it is in late June -- there's a boomlet in news and opinions about the revolutionary gadget.
InformationWeek columnist Alexander Wolfe takes on a favorite parlor game and discusses what has to happen for the iPhone to become a corporate tool and compete with the BlackBerry. Wolfe likes the iPhone, but says that it must incorporate push e-mail; increase its surfing speed and battery life; and improve the keyboard and screen. And, like many of the humans toting it around, the iPhone has to shed some weight.
This long piece documents the pro-iPhone and anti-iPhone views of two PC Magazine editors in two ways: The two face off directly and then write essays on their opinions of the seminal gadget. The duo cover speaker and music player quality, battery life, the user interface and AT&T's EDGE network, on which the iPhone exclusively operates.
Developers are not standing still as the anniversary approaches. This week, fring made a available a pre-release version of its software enabling VoIP calls on iPhones. The application was developed in conjunction with the Holon Institute of Technology in Israel. Another new application, this one written by a developer named iPhone Cake, gives the device Chinese and Western handwriting recognition functions. There are still some bugs in the application, which is in beta.
Clearly, general acceptance of the iPhone by business users is a long way off. This piece at Law.com, which originally appeared in The Connecticut Law Tribune, comments on a Wall Street Journal report that some IT departments have banned the device. The main problems are that data and applications cannot be password-protected and there is no way to remotely wipe data from a lost or stolen phone. The story confirms that lawyers prefer the BlackBerry, though it says that some firms are using Palm's Treo.
Expect to see more iPhone anniversary hype in the weeks ahead. There is a big world beyond Apple's device, of course. Here is PC World's portfolio of new and expected phones that were featured at the CTIA Wireless 2008 earlier this month in Las Vegas.