The iPhone Revolution

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Fans of the iPhone lined up at Apple and AT&T stores all around the country on Friday hoping to be among the first to snag the new iPhone 3G S. The newest addition to Apple's popular line of phones that I told you might be coming a couple of weeks ago.

Apple loves to keep their new products a secret until the very last possible moment before release. But judging from the information that trickled out before this announcement, Apple isn't having much success keeping anything a secret anymore. Almost all the new features of the new phone were leaked and passed around the Internet prior to the announcement that it even existed. 

So what were the Apple fans drooling over? Basically a very similar phone to the one that was already available. All things considered, the iPhone 3G S is mostly a minor improvement over the existing iPhone. It looks exactly the same and the bulk of the new functionality comes with the new iPhone 3.0 OS software that any iPhone owner can upgrade to for free. What the new iPhone 3G S has is a faster processor, more RAM, a better camera, a compass, video recording and editing software, and voice commands. Better, yes, but not revolutionary like the original iPhone release. Then again, considering the devotion of the the Apple faithful, it didn't need to be. 

Now luddites might be wondering: Why would anyone need a video camera on their phone? And that's a valid question -- if these gadgets were just phones. They're not. Cell phones -- especially the iPhone -- have become portable Internet devices that are changing the world. Literally. It is certain that that our knowledge of the events unfolding in Iran right now would be much more limited if it weren't for things like cameras on phones. They have become the primary means of communication both internally in Iran and with the outside world. In the past it was easy for a regime to prevent information from leaking out by just shutting out foreign media but now every person with an Internet connected camera phone is a reporter who can transmit information in real time to the rest of the world. 

So laugh all you want at the geeks lining up for their new toys at the Apple store. Yeah, there is a bit of a herd mentality going on there, no doubt. But the technology is allowing the herd to communicate with and think for itself in ways that were never possible before. And that's the real revolution.

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