I've mentioned the idea of the specific trumping the general for UI, and the value of general purpose computing environments for providing more specialization of application and eliminating distribution barriers (and mentioned Jeff Han's multi-touch work before).
And Apple's built something real - much sooner than I expected. Lots and lots of details to follow I'm sure, but the key innovations are:
- Ubiquituous connectivity,
- Portable form factor, and
- "Hardware as software" (most importantly multi-touch)
Read about Steve's Keynote here (and the iPhone here).
There's plenty of Jobs-ian hyperbole ("the first fully usable browser on a cellphone?" the Opera guys, or the Nokia S60 browser team, or the mobile Internet Explorer team might disagree - for very good reason) but its a doozy of an event and signals a significant transformation: Apple wants to become the last mile (the UI) for everything you do. Let everyone fight over the increasing commoditization of infrastructure and networks; Apple just wants the users.
That doesn't mean they're going to get them, but I do think this is a real effort... its no iWork (like that's a real replacement for Microsoft Office) or (*cough*) Zune... in fact...
...this is what the Origami should have been...