point and counterpoint … and counter-counterpoint



It started with Gruber describing the revolution he believes is happening in computing right now:

“This, to me, gets to the heart of the revolution at hand. A decade ago, my first PowerBook was a secondary machine to the desktop anchored at my desk. Now, my main machine is my MacBook Pro, but it feels a bit like an anchor now. My mobile secondary computer is my iPhone.”

This was responded to by in post from my good friend Chris Bowler:

“I couldn’t disagree more with the sentiment above. Yes, the iPhone is a game changer. Yes, it’s a revolutionary device. But a replacement for the desktop (and even if you use a laptop as your primary computer—and I do—it’s still receiving ‘desktop’ usage)? Not for this guy.”

I wanted to add my two cents. I believe that, in this case, Chris is outside of the norm. The iPhone has largely replaced my Macbook as my portable computer. I now only bring my Macbook along when I need it to assist in client troubleshooting or under some pretty extreme circumstances. Even in those cases I lament having to do so. I know I am not alone in this. I have had many conversations with other iPhone users and this is the case for them as well.

My buddy from Minnesota makes some good points on this topic. Unfortunately, I think my point was misunderstood and we actually share the same opinion. I will not argue that, for many people, the iPhone has taken the place of the laptop to perform certain tasks when away from home base.

But that’s not the point I was trying to make in my post referenced above. It’s my fault—I guess I diverted from Gruber’s point in that he was saying the iPhone is now a better option as a mobile computer. True.

I was simply referencing the fact that, for me, the iPhone will never replace the desktop, the ‘home base’ setup. There are certain tasks that I simply won’t do when I’m out and about. Yes, I can type a blog post on the iPhone, but I’d rather not. I’ll wait until I’m back at home base to do that.

The iPhone is a satellite device, just like laptops used to be. Now the laptop is the desktop. Sure, whatev. But my comfort, my greatest computing enjoyment comes from the desktop environment. And the iPhone is not going to change that.

For completeness sake.