“Stand in line? What are you crazy? I’m not standing in line.”
Eight hours later, I was standing in line. (Oops.)
Not so much standing as strolling, actually. Morbid curiosity got the better of me by the time I left the office for the weekend, and I found myself walking up 5th Avenue to take a gander at all the hubbub. I was pretty stunned to arrive on the scene a few hours after launch to find a less-than-five-minute line. Five minutes to queue up and charge through the double-file gauntlet of Apple Store employees cheering folks on at the door. “Oh, hey, what the heck…”
Mere moments later I reemerged, clutching my quarry in it’s slick satin finish bag, palms sweaty like a bad prom date.
I’ll spare the nitty gritty product review details. Suffice it to say it’s tremendously damn good. Like, “lives up to the hype” good. In fact, after a full weekend of usage, I’ll go so far as to declare the iPhone the best consumer electronics device I’ve ever purchased. Hands down. Full stop. (Note to Ed Colligan: Apple didn’t just walk in—they broke down the door, punched you in the face and stole your girlfriend on the way out.)
Like it or not it’s going to have a noticeable influence on the market, so affected parties would do well to come to grips with that fact sooner rather than later.
A Call to Action
And that’s precisely where the Web design and development community comes in.
There’s been no shortage of gnashing of teeth and tearing of beards over the SDK issue. Want to write a “native app” for the iPhone, some Cocoa goodness all your own? Sorry kids, it’s closed. (For now at least.) Adam Greenfield even goes so far as to comment, “you cannot make culture with this device.” He’s got a point.
But this time the closed model is hugely asymptotic: The iPhone is a full-on consumer of standards in every regard. Web Standards, networking standards, file standards, you name it. The SDK is a non-SDK: Make solid websites using acknowledged best practices and the iPhone well love them up.
So here’s our chance, Webfolk. Home court advantage is officially ours. Apple just dropped the sexiest client imaginable right in our laps, complete with oodles of free publicity the likes of which presidential candidates and washed up child actors only dream about. It’s a gift. A beautiful, beautiful gift for people who make websites. This is an opportunity that needs to be grabbed with both hands.
It’s time to get to work.