Interview: John Gruber on the iPhone

Daring Fireball author on why iPhone is the greatest gadget ever made

John Gruber

John Gruber is the author of Daring Fireball, consistently one of the most savvy and intelligent Apple commentary sites on the web. No Apple fanboy, Gruber is a voice of well-researched sanity and moderation in the ongoing imagined battle between those that love and those that hate everything Apple does.

Is the iPhone as important a device as the hype suggests?

"Yes. I think it's simply the single greatest consumer electronics gadget ever made."

What will the iPhone's place in the market be in five years' time?

"I think it will be at a very strong position atop the market. (And if not the 'iPhone' proper, then some sort of iPod running the same OS. The iPod touch could replace the iPhone if, five years from now, there's some sort of very-long-range wireless IP networking available that would allow Apple to offer everything the iPhone offers but without the phone carriers.)"

Which features is the iPhone missing, and which do you never use?

"The biggest missing feature is 'enough RAM'. 128MB simply isn't enough. A future iPhone with, say, 1GB of RAM, would make things like background processing possible. I pretty much use all the iPhone's main features. I don't use the Stocks app very often."

How has the iPhone changed the way you engage with your mobile?

"It's changed everything for me. I never regularly accessed the web from a handheld device before. Now I read email and many websites every day from my phone. When I'm travelling, I can now go entire days without using my laptop."

What can Apple do to maintain the iPhone's momentum?

"Keep pushing ahead technically. Faster CPUs, more storage space, more RAM. Then write software that takes advantage of those hardware advances. Also, continue nurturing the third-party iPhone developer SDK and marketplace. The more software people buy for the iPhone today, the more likely their next phone will be another iPhone."

What will be its lasting legacy?

"The iPhone was the first phone that brought what we used to think of as 'desktop quality' software to a handheld platform. Software where you just say, 'Wow, that's a great user experience', not merely 'Wow, that's a great user experience for a handheld'."

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