“Ten years after the introduction of Apple Inc.’s iPhone… it’s worth stepping back to see what we have learned,” Tyler Cowen writes for Bloomberg View. “As with most major technological innovations, it’s brought a number of collateral surprises about the rest of our world.”

“First, we’ve learned that, even in this age of bits and bytes, materials innovation still matters. The iPhone is behind the scenes a triumph of mining science, with a wide variety of raw materials and about 34 billion kilograms (75 billion pounds) of mined rock as an input to date,” Cowen writes. “Especially impressive as a material is the smooth touch-screen, and the user’s ability to make things happen by sliding, swiping, zooming and pinching it — the “multitouch” function. That advance relied upon particular materials, as the screen is chemically strengthened, made scrape-resistant and embedded with sensitive sensors.”

“I am notoriously bad with gadgets, and even my microwave oven confuses me. But I more or less figured out all the essential operations of an iPhone the very first day I got it,” Cowen writes. “Without an instruction manual. Wasn’t it bold of Apple to sell it that way?”

MacDailyNews Take:

That’s been one of my mantras – focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains. — Steve Jobs

“Names can be deceiving. The iPhone isn’t fundamentally a phone,” Cowen writes. “Instead, it’s an all-purpose communications device, music player, recorder, camera, map, adviser, software distributor and dating-enabler rolled into one. ”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Yup.

Apple really only botched one thing with the iPhone – its name.

Apple’s “iPhone” isn’t really a phone at all. It’s really a small touchscreen Mac OS X computer, a Mac nano tablet, if you will. Here’s how misnamed the iPhone is: Some people are complaining that Jobs didn’t spend enough time on the Mac in his keynote! Folks, iPhone is not only a Mac, it’s the most radical new Mac in years! What’s to stop Apple from making a 12-inch model (and larger, and smaller) one of these days (use the headset for the phone, please) and calling it a Mac tablet?

It has an iPod built in, yes, so it can be used solely as a “true video widescreen iPod,” if that’s what you want… But, the main thing about the “iPhone” is that it’s really a pocket Mac. It has email, SMS, full-featured Web browsing, and much more. But, beyond that, it is a platform that’s just sitting there waiting for Apple to sell software for it. Just imagine games with the large multi-touch display and the built-in accelerometer!

Imagine all of the other software possibilities, too…

Maybe Apple named it iPhone because of all of the free publicity and buzz that name has already garnered. Maybe they want this trojan horse to slip into the market first under the guise of being the best smartphone available and they’ll exploit its capabilities as a full-fledged platform later. Perhaps it’s easier to explain and sell as a phone first. It probably would have been even easier to just have called it iPod (6G) and listed “iPhone” as a new iPod feature – that’s how they sold video, right?

So, yeah, it can be a phone, even the very best smartphone, but it’s so much more and holds so much promise that the name “iPhone” hardly does it justice.SteveJack, MacDailyNews, January 9, 2007

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