We all know that the iPhone is a widescreen iPod, revolutionary phone, and breakthrough Internet device. But did you know that it’s also a UMPC done right? Even if it didn’t end up looking like my favorite concept photo (I love clamshells!), a weekend article at Digital Trends proclaims that the iPhone, in theory, "hits on almost all of the notes that Origami missed." These sour notes in the first-gen UMPC songbook include price, size, connectivity, usability, and complexity due to full-blown Windows XP, which apparently "[gets] in the way of the ‘simple’ concept of getting access to a few core applications that would drive the device like multimedia consumption and email." The iPhone, on the other hand, is the equivalent of a five-part harmony: cheaper than a UMPC (except with less power and a two-year service contract), truly pocketable, integrated WAN, simple interface, and a virtual keyboard "that works" (assuming you’re a fan of hunt-and-peck, of course).
Rob Enderle, the author, speculates that Microsoft is "probably fuming about the fact that Apple did what they couldn’t do and created a product, to Microsoft’s own spec, that could not only transform Apple’s market but Microsoft’s as well." Microsoft’s own spec? Last I checked, UMPC hardware requirements weren’t affected when the world stopped spinning after the Macworld announcement. Then again, just about every new device is being called a UMPC these days (grr!).
The one excellent (though unrelated) point Enderle makes is this: "Sony has one of the best in the UMPC class of products today, it is attractive, sleek, and it is also stable and it now has a flash drive." Punctation issues and "UMPC" misuse aside, I couldn’t agree more.