This rant was written a mere 3 months before the first iPhone was finally released. I actually did buy one on the first day it was available and was pleasantly surprised to find that Apple really had revolutionized cell phones. The changes that have happened in the cell industry since then have been amazing and delightful to watch, with genuine innovation driving hardware, software, and services to new levels. In hindsight this rant seems shortsighted in light of the changes that were right around the corner, but I like to reread it occasionally to remind myself just how truly bad things were right about then.
I've owned a cell phone for about 7 years now. I'm not a heavy cell user. I only really work my phone a half-dozen days of the year. And while mobile communication can snatch victory from the jaws of defeat on those days, I've never really felt the dread of disconnectedness when I was without it. But I do demand a certain level of technical functionality from my phones, especially since purchasing a PocketPC-based smartphone in December of 2005.