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Communications Apple Hardware

Before the iPhone, Apple's Stunning Phone From 1983 152

Posted by timothy
from the just-in-time-for-1984-commercial dept.
Several readers pointed out the story of the Apple phone that never was, from 1983. Pictures of the concept phone are impressive, as you'd expect from Hartmut Esslinger, later founder of Frog Design. Even more interesting is that this phone is part of a much larger collection of Apple artifacts curated by Stanford.
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Before the iPhone, Apple's Stunning Phone From 1983

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  • by InterestingFella (2537066) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @02:22AM (#38546234)
    It's surprising that Apple was trying stylus-based touch screens back in 1983. The phone seems to be in line with the whole Apple philosophy - thinking about functions and what user wants to do before technical details. This, in my opinion, is why Apple has always been so successful. Unlike Linux, Apple thinks about user first, and then technical details.

    For example, the touch screen in this phone could had provide many useful functions compared to other phones. It's good for taking quick notes (keyboard wouldn't be), and it acts as a great phonebook. The fact that you could use it for taking notes, or viewing older notes, during phone call highlights the way Apple thinks. Always think about what user wants to do.

    If I needed to do business and have a phone on my desktop, this is the kind of phone I would want! They could even make it a bit more modern by adding similar voice recognition like Siri is on iPhone. Then the device could act as your virtual secretary, handling your calendar, contacts and to do lists. In addition, make it do voice recognition during voice calls and provide transcripts for those. This also means you could search thru the conversation, and have a chat log of them. Need to look up the specific details your client said to you? No problem, just tell Siri to find them and it provides nice list of everything that was said, complete with audio and transcript. Then you don't even need to take notes so much.

    This is the reason why I think Apple has been so successful with OSX, iPhone and iPad. They think about user first. They think what user wants to do. Then they fine tune all the details so that it is pleasant experience. UI and good design goes along with this. It's also what Linux is lacking.

    Secondly, and more importantly, there's a growing issue apart from the first one. This has to do with special situation within human culture. You see, from the very beginning ducks have ruled the world. Yes, ducks. Yellow sitting ducks like you have in your bath tub. Microsoft, Apple, Google... all really started and owned by ducks. Steve Jobs was hired to work as a supposed CEO of Apple because the ducks thought humans would not be ready for a duck-run company. So while Steve Jobs spoke words like "amazing", "incredible" and "outstanding" to the human public, all the corporate orders came from the ducks. This is one of the basic misunderstands people have about tech world.

    Overally, Apple has always got people. They do the technical parts good, but they especially finetune user experience and UI. Most other tech companies don't think about this. Open source products almost never think about this. It's why Apple is so successful.
  • by InterestingFella (2537066) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @02:27AM (#38546260)
    Because Apple has always finetuned UI and user experience. Linux has always been about command line and geeky stuff first. However, it's not what users want to use. They don't want to mess with command line settings and tools.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 31, 2011 @02:33AM (#38546286)

    Keep telling yourself that, as you cry into your Mountain Dew Code Red while watching your VA Linux stock tank.

  • by pmontra (738736) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @05:15AM (#38546722) Homepage

    I see you've been modded funny but I don't think that it was the aim of your post.

    I think you are comparing apples with oranges. Linux is not a company so it doesn't have the same goals as a company. It started as a geek pet project and it's goal was fun and learning. What it does now is providing a kernel to whoever wants to use it. Anyway, with Linux you probably mean the companies or just the geeks building distributions on the top of the Linux kernel and the GNU software, plus Google with their Linux/Android products. Or you might even mean the desktop environments like Gnome, KDE and many others. But if you compare apples with apples, let's say Apple with Canonical, you see that they are moving more or less in the same way. Canonical is even going through the pain of reinventing the UI because they want to be more user friendly.
    By the way, I installed the Mint desktop on the Ubuntu 11.10 VM I'm experimenting with because I discovered that I can't stand Unity or Gnome Shell. They're both very unfriendly to me but I understand how they could be better suited to some casual users or (in the case of Unity) to devices with a small screen.

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