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Poll: Time naming the iPhone "Invention of the year"

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / November 7, 2007 5:26 AM PST

Do you agree with Time naming the iPhone "Invention of the Year"?

Yes (Please explain.)
No (Please explain.)
Don't care (Why not?)

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Apple iPhone
by gplopez / November 7, 2007 7:33 AM PST

Apple jumped over the competition and made a flexible and cool contact management, culturally relevant portable device that other cell phone manufactuirers will be chasing for the next 2-3 years. Also, the contract with AT&T while being controversial is a genius strategic move that will boost their net worth and is something only Apple could pull off. They are the #1 tech brand with the kids today which means long term profitibality is assured.

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What was the question again
by slant675 / November 7, 2007 8:19 AM PST
In reply to: Apple iPhone

Pardon gplopez, but was the award supposed to be for the best invention or the best-executed revenue generator? Everything you describe, I agree with, but it makes no sense in the context of this debate. They did a fabulous job of moving past the competition and creating an EXTREMELY innovative device, but what part of the iPhone was Apple's invention, and what's more, how does it even come close to being a "better invention" when compared to the other runners up?

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Lover and Hater
by leslie_chan / November 8, 2007 10:10 AM PST


This is the different between lover and hater and in-between. They see things different. Even **** smells good. I love this world.

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Two or Three Years
by Joyboi / November 11, 2007 6:15 AM PST

Two or Three years to catch up...take a look at the newest phones....Apple desided to let people make software for it's phone cause the other phone makers have now very simalar designs.

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Changes the game
by bjbouch / November 22, 2007 1:40 AM PST

The iPhone takes a whole new approach to the cell phone market. It's not just the device but new way of offering a complete package of features geared toward the user. Visual voicemail is an excellent example. It required collaboration between AT&T and Apple and investment from both companies. When the list price of plans was an object the collaboration paid off again by making voice and data package pricing attractive. We will see other, heritage, cell phone manufactures and providers taking this approach. The iPhone is more than a device and it has changed the industry!

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Did Apple Invent the Cell Phone
by kd4srq / November 7, 2007 11:38 AM PST
In reply to: Apple iPhone

What have I been talking into the past 8 years? A chopped liver sculpture?

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by MrGadgetman / November 7, 2007 11:56 AM PST

...Now that was funny Happy

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nope it's not invention of the year
by princessjos / November 7, 2007 10:33 PM PST

no it?s not an should just get an award for a good recopilation of different gadgets in one.
It doesn't deserve the award of the best of the best in the world because it's not being used all around the globe ( many third world countries for example). cheers everyone. Wink

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Not really an invention
by wildchatt / November 9, 2007 2:02 AM PST

I agree. Let's see...iPhones can make phone calls, text message, take pictures, capture/play videos, upload songs, be used as an MP3 player, has Internet access, GPS, Bluetooth wireless and email...but so does my Motorola RAZR. In fact, I was watching TV on it when Steve Jobs made his big introduction speech and remember thinking then "How is this big news when everything he's gushing about is in my skinny pink phone right now???"

Now that it's here, I haven't changed my mind. All that's really different is that it does MOST of what my phone does bigger and or better. There's a touchscreen instead of a keypad, the Internet is easier to browse, it can be flipped to view in widescreen and it's more like an iPod than V-cast is on my phone.

What it doesn't do better, IMHO, is make phone calls because to use the phone feature, iPhone users must subscibe to ATT wireless. Contrary to ATT's claim of "more bars in more places," T-Mobile and Verizon have consistently been named as the carriers with the best reception in more places. AT&T Wireless is usually at the bottom and has been ranked worst or second-worst in over a dozen major metropolitan areas. Being tied to ATT is likely another reason it isn't being used around the world!

An invention is something really new like the iPod. The iPhone is little more than a sexed-up smart phone with crappy reception.

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Not really an invention
by Remag1234 / November 9, 2007 11:03 PM PST

wildcatt: you were on a roll until the last line. The crappy reception is due to ATT and not the phone. Be a more specific next time.

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Bad reception
by OttifantSir / November 25, 2007 4:16 PM PST

It doesn't matter if the phone or the company providing the line for the phone is at fault. It still gets bad reception. wildcatt simply didn't care to reiterate once more what s/he had said previously.

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I agree with your post..
by DigiBitzDigitalEquipment / November 16, 2007 1:09 AM PST

Very well put.


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not available in canada
by simonshawca / November 22, 2007 2:30 AM PST

never mind third world countries... the iphone is not available in canada yet.

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by Jillnjase / November 22, 2007 4:44 AM PST
In reply to: Apple iPhone

where hv you been or what pills are you on???
Have you not been following Nokia and Skype??? get ya google working mate!!!

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This is not an invention but ....
by nazimrj / November 7, 2007 7:49 AM PST

An innovation. Just as the Japanese had done for decades, Apple has taken the best technologies offered over multiple devices, and has incorporated these into a single device operating on an open Operating system, Linux.

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by newtflagg / November 7, 2007 8:56 AM PST

Apple uses OSX, not Linux in its iPhone Wink

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here here!!!
by Jillnjase / November 22, 2007 4:48 AM PST

U r exactly correct. The word is INNOVATION!!! Big difference between invention and innovation. If they had said the innovation of the year then I might agree, but ????? i would have to question that 2 ?????? The Jury is still out!!!

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The year is not over.
by gadjitfreek / November 7, 2007 8:02 AM PST

For this year, my vote goes to the OQO Model 02, but the Nokia N810 might give it a run for its money. How about the inexpensive and user-friendly Eee PC? The iPhone was the most hyped, no doubt, but it is not the most useful device.

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Well ...
by Ken Jr. / November 7, 2007 3:45 PM PST
In reply to: The year is not over.

I got excited when I saw this post because it's the only one on the 6 pages I've read that mentioned some other product that was felt to be more deserving of the award. Those are nice little miniature PCs mentioned here but none would be my first choice.

Every few years a REAL invention comes along. For instance, the IC as we know it today was made possible when Fairchild's Dr. Hoerni invented the Planar Process. Virtually every new technological innovation since has used Planar Process manufactured ICs as the fundamental building blocks. Hard drives, LCD screens, CDs, and Digital Cameras are other important inventions used in today's wonder products. But in our current environment, most of what we call inventions are simply evolutionary products. Probably the best example of this is what many consider to be the most important invention to come along in years, IBM's Personal Computer, or PC. But think about it, the PC was simply an evolutionary product, a computer made small. It was the packaging that made it revolutionary. Well .. It's the packaging that makes Apple's iPhone revolutionary in today's environment. For that reason I would definitely pick the iPhone as invention of the year in the same manner in which I would pick IBM's PC the invention of the year for 1981.

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Not quite the same thing
by thesimulacra / November 7, 2007 10:08 PM PST
In reply to: Well ...

I don't think that's a fair comparison. The IBM PC was the first computer that a person could actually put in their house, the first computer a person could afford. The computer revolution happened because it was invented. I can tell you that 99% of the people buying iPhones already have a cell phone, they're just upgrading to something "cooler". Taking something that already existed and repackaging it is not an invention, or else EVERY new cell phone, car, refrigerator, television, and bag of peanuts is an invention too. TIME magazine shouldn't be celebrating successful marketing campaigns as if it was a scientific breakthrough. There have been plenty of more important inventions that no one has heard about, but TIME just wants to sell magazines. Same reason why they named Giuliani "Man of the Year" in 2001 instead of Bin Laden, who was obviously the person or thing who "created the most news that year".

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Well ...
by Ken Jr. / November 8, 2007 1:29 PM PST

Before the IBM PC came along there were small inexpensive computers made by Altair, Apple, Workslate, Commodore, Texas Instruments, Sinclair, and etc. I owned three of these. Even IBM had its 5100 which looked much like its later PC but cost about $9k. Then IBM decided on an operating system (DOS) that had been developed based on Gary Kindall's CP/M > Tim Patterson's QDOS > Gates' MS-DOS (purchased from Tim Patterson for $50,000) then licensed as MS-DOS. Intel's 8086 was set up as the PC's heart. IBM then gathered together a group of top designers who put together this wonder of a machine. The final genius on the part of IBM was to release its design for use by anyone who wanted to clone it. I bought some of those first IBM XT PCs for course developers in my department (my company authorized them because they were IBMs and would thus be well supported in years to come). Shortly thereafter I bought a clone of an IBM AT PC (AT had a hard drive) PC for home use. If you think about it, it was those clones that rapidly turned IBMs PC design into that almost instant international sensation.

Again, IBM's PC was simply a beautifully configured combination of stuff that had been invented or developed elsewhere. Time gave IBM its well deserved Invention of the Year award in the early '80s, and has now selected Apple's iPhone, another beautifully configured combination of stuff that for the most part had been invented elsewhere, for this year's Invention of the Year. I certainly can't think of any other product that has come forth that would be more deserving.

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Cell Phone Forum
by PKG / November 21, 2007 9:22 PM PST
In reply to: Well ...

I feel the recognition of i phone is justified. Innovation or none, originality or copy, credit goes to Steve Jobs who recognized electricity in lightening (like BF) and deserves and gets the credit!

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The Samsung sph p9200 is much better than an OQO or Nokia
by mobilesalesman / November 13, 2007 7:21 AM PST
In reply to: The year is not over.

All of the UMPC's are sadly just like the first batch, products with no purpose. The Samsung sph p9200 is the first pocket size UMPC that has a touch type keyboard so you can actually do computer work on it,what a ground breaking idea? The other computer designers need to learn what consumers want and it is not a pen input only nor a thumb input geeky device.

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More like innovation of the year...
by jkabahit / November 7, 2007 8:02 AM PST

or maybe even design of the year.

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Best marketing campaign of the year, yes
by pmgpmg / November 7, 2007 9:23 PM PST

I will vote for the "best marketing campaign of the year".

As for product, I still trust 10 time more Nokia, which
has 15 years of experience, the BEST operating system
(Symbian), and the BEST end-user APIs (se all the SDKs and
plug-ins you can get).

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If invent is a marketing campaign...
by jlcadena / November 8, 2007 7:23 AM PST

I'm agree with you.

If invent something is just have a good marketing campaign, then the release of HALO 3 should be then also named the invention of the year.

Be real.

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It is all about Marketing Campaign between Apple and Time!
by james2ue / November 8, 2007 11:55 PM PST

What is meanings of Invention?

"The act of finding out or inventing; contrivance or construction of that which has not before existed" - (My Pocket Oxford Dictionary).

Iphone is not the first generation of PDA-Smartphone-Touch Screen at all. So, the Time uses the term "Invention" has been just for Marketing Lobby.

People may improve or innovate a car from Manual to Automatic, however it was called "Invention".

Anyway, for me, Time is so crap for using that word.

Here I can suggest some vocabularies for them (Time + Apple).

"The Revolution of the Year"
"The Most Hopefulness of the Year"
"The Most Curious Cellular of the Year"

I am pretty sure that Apple has lobbied Time for this deputing title.


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what is the meaning of the word INVENTION?
by vnatar / November 7, 2007 8:05 AM PST

what is the meaning of invention?
tell me that first. if what apple did was invention...
then people like graham bell & right bros should come alive and hang themselves to death !!!

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Inventions ALWAYS build on the current state of the art
by KaplanMike / November 7, 2007 9:00 AM PST

All those criticizing the iPhone because it's not an "invention" point to classic inventors like Bell and Edison. But history shows us that inventions are rarely created out of the blue. Even Bell and Edison based their inventions on existing technologies for the most part. Doesn't make their contributions any less significant. Same with the iPhone. The "invention" part is how it brings together existing technologies in an innovative way to create something entirely new.

I'll agree that it's probably not the most significant invention of the year, which is probably sitting on some inventor's lab table, and we'll only hear about it five years from now. I don't know what other new products Time Magazine was considering, but I think from a consumer standpoint, it's hard to beat the iPhone.

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Elaborate; "...Entirely New."
by MrGadgetman / November 7, 2007 12:11 PM PST

When you say, [The "invention" part is how it brings together existing technologies in an innovative way to create something entirely new.] ...well, what is new about a touch-screen PDA that plays music and can display photos (portrait or landscape), send media and work on a digital network? Well, other than having cool transitions and animations between functions.

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