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If you've been following the "buzz" that the "kids" talk about during their "coke-fueled, oral sex parties," then you'll know the hottest new gadget that everyone's excited about is the Apple iPhone.

However, despite excellent references from past employers, no one here at Cracked was able to score an invite to an all-teen sex party, so we had no idea what the big deal is with this iPhone thing. This is a pretty big problem, because a little-known ruling by the Supreme Court requires Cracked to stake out unpopular positions on major topics, then back those positions up with incredibly well researched dick jokes.

So, after days of exhaustive research, we feel confident reporting that the Apple iPhone is some kind of new cell phone. And, it is definitely going to suck. Or, it is definitely not going to suck. Honestly, nobody's going to know until the people currently waiting in line outside of Apple Stores across the country (who are presumably unemployed yet have $600 to spend on cell phone) get their hands on it. Here are the 10 best reasons we could find for either of those possible outcomes.

VERDICT: NOT SUCK The feature list is seriously impressive

Aside from performing your basic cell phone duties, the Apple iPhone promises to take the place of several other devices. This isn't a new trend-cell phones have also been mediocre digital cameras for five years or so, and mediocre mp3 players for at least two. But if the iPhone does everything Apple claims it can, it will be at least a half-dozen mediocre devices all wrapped up in one:

Mediocre cell phone

Mediocre Internet browser via cell service or Wi-Fi

Mediocre mp3 player

Mediocre video player

Mediocre photo viewer

Mediocre digital camera

That's a pretty impressive list and would put every other cell phone on the market to shame. But what will really blow people's socks off is if the iPhone can transcend mediocrity and perform any of those tasks adequately. There's good reason to be hopeful; Apple has a bit of experience making adequate gadgets. They make an adequate-hell, competent-mp3 and video player you may have heard of, called the iPod.

VERDICT: SUCK Battery life

The iPod, particularly the early generations, was notorious for its ability to chew up a fully charged battery much faster than the advertised battery life. Worse than that, the lithium-ion batteries in the iPod tend to degrade over time, often becoming useless within a year or two. And, they're essentially impossible to replace. Many unwashed, conspiracy-minded denizens of the Internet suspect that Apple deliberately designed the iPod's batteries to be impossible to replace, so that consumers would be forced to purchase a new version. Sure, Internet conspiracy theorists are usually crazy and illiterate*, but as conspiracy theories go, this one at least it sounds plausible.

*except for us.

We're still waiting for our review copy of the iPhone, so we can't be 100 percent sure when we say that the battery life on the iPhone is going to be appallingly short. Having said that, we're going to say so anyway. Just looking at the feature list of the iPhone will tell you that, unless it is fueled by gasoline, this is going to be a power-hungry little monster. Judging by pictures of the unit, it once again looks like the battery won't be replaceable by users either.

Is this a bizarre oversight? A deliberate design decision? Or an open-handed slap to the groins of their customers? See verdict at right.

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VERDICT: NOT SUCK The Wi-Fi will work as promised

Here at Cracked, we're more Internet geeks than cell phone geeks, so this Wi-Fi business is the feature that really floats our boats. The ability to check one of the "big three" sites (Google, Wikipedia, Oprah.com) from any hotspot could be a very big deal indeed. The problem with the Internet service available on regular cell phone networks is that they all involve the customer bending over and letting their cell phone carrier anally violate them while their friends and loved ones watch. (It can get real expensive, is what we're saying.)

Because Wi-Fi access is often free or cheap and becoming more available by the day, this could easily turn into the iPhone's "must-have" killer app. Also, we apologize for using the term "killer app."

VERDICT: SUCK Big, easily scratched screen

Think about this: How many iPods have you seen in the wild that weren't encased in some manner of iPod condom to protect the screen? Well, check this: The iPhone is nothing but screen. That big, sexy, visible-from-space screen could be a huge liability. The iPod, in comparison, will look as tough as an ultimate fighting bear.

Cell phones have to be able to stand up to all sorts of foreign objects colliding into them: keys, loose change, anal beads, etc. Supposedly, the iPhone will feature "optical-quality" glass, which we're guessing is the same stuff they make eyeglasses out of. That should help-but then again, how often do you keep your glasses in your pocket with your keys?

Worse, it's a touch-sensitive screen. Will a poorly placed scuff mark or an accident with some rooster sauce cripple half of your keyboard?

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VERDICT: NOT SUCK The interface truly is revolutionary"¦

First, have you seen the ads? Go put on a shirt you don't mind getting drool on it, and check this shit out:

Yeah. Hol-ee shit. Do you see how quickly the iPhone switches between features? Just a couple flicks of the finger and you've gone from watching Pirates of the Caribbean to ordering a Styrofoam container of calamari. You could look at some photos of adorable tow-headed children and then quickly flip the phone around and take a call from a friend. Or you could approach adorable tow-headed children on the playground and enter their details into the phone's address book before sprinting away from the local constabulary, unburdened by a separate camera and address book.

We've forgotten what point we were trying to make here (the iPhone is made for pedophiles? That was probably it. Please use this as a pull quote, Apple.) But if the interface is half as slick as the ads make it look, this thing will be super-bad.

VERDICT: SUCK "¦unless it doesn't work.

Apple sometimes has a habit of getting a little too clever when it comes to their interfaces. The Macintosh, to this day, comes with only a one-button mouse. A user interface that works with one button is clever, but not necessarily smart. Having an extra button and mouse wheel would actually make the computer easier to use. Isn't that the whole point? Same idea with the iPod's click wheel: Stylish and clever, but wouldn't it be just a little more intuitive with a separate volume control?

Keep in mind, those are interfaces that actually work well. Remember the Newton? Apple's attempt at a PDA was infamous for its handwriting recognition system that did absolutely everything except recognize handwriting. Flash forward to today, where rumors have surfaced that the touch-sensitive keyboard on the iPhone is going to be quick and responsive-unless you try to use it for entering text.

Obviously no one's going to be using the iPhone to write a novel. But if it's a huge pain in the ass to tap out text messages, people are going to howl in anger.

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VERDICT: NOT SUCK It won't just replace cell phones. It will replace iPods. And, there's only 100 million of those out there.

Regardless of whether the iPhone is any good, it might succeed simply because of the huge volume of iPod users out there. At $499-$599, the iPhone will only be $100 more expensive than the iPod was when it first came out six years ago. No one here at Cracked knows how inflation works, so we're just going to say that that makes the iPhone half the price of the original iPod. That's a pretty good deal.

VERDICT: SUCK OK, seriously though, it is really expensive.

But if we consider the number of people who don't own iPhones-at last count, 6.4 billion-we run into one incontrovertible fact: $600 for a cell phone is a lot of fucking money for anyone whose last name isn't "Diddy." Phones at this price are almost all sold to business customers who can get their employer to foot the bill for their new "productivity enhancer." But a simple perusal of the iPhone's feature list reveals few productivity enhancers, but instead a rich selection of productivity bandits.

What company on earth is going to foot a $600 bill so some guy can watch episodes of Heroes on the bus? Follow-up question: Do they have any openings for comedy writers?

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VERDICT: NOT SUCK It's Apple. They make great products.

Apple has earned a reputation for making products that are easy to use. The Macintosh invented the concept of "usability" almost a decade before Microsoft stole it and made it unusable. The iPod took a problem nobody realized they had (having a shitload of music) and made it simple and straightforward to not only carry it around with you but manage easily.

Apple's rolling off the biggest success in their history and the history of consumer electronics. They can't fail now, can they?

VERDICT: SUCK It's Apple. They make horrible products.

Sure the Mac and the iPod have been pretty successful, but has Apple ever made any bad products?

Here's the Newton that we mentioned previously. This was Apple's PDA that didn't work, weighed as much as an Eastern-bloc car, and was released five years before anyone realized they needed a PDA.
Price: $700-$1000
And here's the QuickTake. This was the digital camera that was released before most people had computers. Capable of storing up to eight photos, the QuickTake had a maximum resolution of 640x480 pixels.
Price: $600-$750
You remember the Pippin, of course. You don't? That was the home video game system released against the PlayStation and Nintendo64 in 1995. Sadly, it failed to catch on with the youth of yesteryear, due to the trivial facts that it was expensive, slow, had a stupid name and nobody made games for it.
Price: $600
The Macintosh Portable was the "portable Macintosh" released in 1989 (portable meaning it had a handle). This 785-pound behemoth cost $6,500 dollars, which according to the Cracked inflation calculator, means it cost roughly $25 billion dollars in 2007 currency.
Price: $25 billion (2007 dollars)

The point we're trying to make is that for every success that Apple's had, they've also had a colossal failure. Or three. These failed products all have a few things in common. They were incredibly advanced for their time, often anticipating markets years before they developed. They were eye-wateringly expensive. And they didn't work.


We think it's extremely likely that 10 years from now, we'll all be using cell phones that look a lot like the iPhone. The trend toward electronic devices converging is as obvious as it is inevitable.

But, if you'll allow us to put on our prognosticating hats and look forward to the year 2017, it's very likely that these future phones won't be iPhones. For one thing, they'll only be $200, or free on a two-year contract. Plus, they'll be made by Samsung, Motorola or some Korean upstart. The iPhone will have crashed out of the market-maybe because of its price, or maybe because it never worked quite right. Apple itself will have gone out of business in 2015, after an enormous space-giraffe passing through our galaxy abruptly decided to lay an egg atop Apple's Cupertino headquarters, killing all inside.

Admittedly, we're not the most gifted futurists, so that might not all come to pass.

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