Well, the new Apple, Inc., finally did it. The iPhone: a convergence device as far above existing phones/pocket PCs/multimedia players as the angels on high are unto the BSE prions lurking in a cow patch in South Dakota. But the real beauty is beneath the surface, even beneath the revolutionary interface. The wonder of the iPhone is that it offers nothing new at all.
AAPL could have done it differently. They could have made the most killer, most easy to use, most elegant Zune ever. Instead, they did the unexpected: rather than craft from first principles a hideous chimera, they mutated their existing PC platform, giving it the wings to fly in the mobile sphere. It's as if we suddenly started growing buildings in the shape of the chambered nautilus using nanotechnology.
In the early nineties, Novell fell to the standards-based Internet. Now prepare for the second mass extinction, as proprietary data networks and the software that runs on them become nothing more than a brief, ugly memory. The Web, in all its glory, on a mobile device. WiMax ascendant (don't forget that Apple tried to jump start citywide wireless networking back in the day). WAP obsolete.
This revolution will be posted on GooTube.