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Technology and frustration

Functionally, the iPhone is nothing new. But if it takes off, it could herald a transformation of new media

By John Browning   131

Despite the hype, Apple’s new iPhone doesn’t do much new. Shelves already groan with devices that can email, browse the web, play music, make phone calls and send text messages. The iPhone’s claim to fame is simply that it does these things more easily and with more panache than its rivals. But if it works as promised, that could still be enough both to make money and to kickstart a transformation of media.

How? A successful iPhone would make it apparent that media can and should change. While the internet has created some world-changing new technologies—the web and email, to…

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