Daily question: Smartphones bad for you?


Martin Cooper, one of the creators of the cellphone 35 years ago at Motorola, recently gave a keynote at the Embedded Systems Conference where he offered “a list of complaints against the wireless industry that ranged from closed carrier networks to inefficient cellular antenna systems to the design of smart phones like the iPhone, which he argues are overly complex,” says Forbes.com.

Forbes had an interview with Cooper following his talk:

Cooper said that he had used an iPhone for a few weeks before handing it off to his grandson, saying that he couldn’t navigate its contacts and that its shape and cell service made it a sub-standard phone. “A phone that’s an Internet appliance, an MP3 player, a camera and a whole bunch of other functions doesn’t make a lot of sense,” he said. “You try to build a universal device that does all things for all people, and guess what? It doesn’t do anything very well.”

Some conflicts of interest/issues to consider:

  • Cooper’s old company Motorola doesn’t make usable smartphones
  • Cooper’s new company ArrayComm is “the world leader in multi-antenna signal processing,” just the thing needed by broadband-relays called femtocells Cooper’s promoting these days for indoors reception
  • Cooper is 80 years old
  • Cooper’s wife is the creator of the Jitterbug, limited-function voice phones targeting the elderly


Are you ready to dump your iPhone smartphone for a Jitterbug simple-phone tomorrow?

7 thoughts on “Daily question: Smartphones bad for you?

  1. Pingback: Boycott Novell » IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: February 27th, 2009 - Part 2

  2. Anyone who would state that those features ‘don’t make sense’ in 2008 is obviously waay behind the times. The fact that he cannot navigate even an iPhone makes it perfectly clear: his wife obviously created the Jitterbug especially for him.

  3. Synthmeister, that was great!

    It’s too bad Cooper doesn’t understand that I don’t need the best web browsing experience, the best stereo (er, MP3 player), or the best camera all in my pocket. However, I do need adequate versions of those things available to me all the time. If I needed the BEST of something (a camera, for instance), I could plan ahead.

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