Tuesday, October 16, 2007

cart-before-horse-FUD-ism award for the [specify timeperiod]

The cart-before-horse-FUD-ism (or "I can talk FUD out of my arse") award for the [specify timeperiod] goes to Carl Howe for his post about why the iPhone doesn't need 3g.

But the question left unasked as been, "Does 3G really improve the user experience dramatically?" Most pundits would reply, "Well, of course Internet experiences improve with higher bandwidth. That's why the world went broadband." And if the pundit is having a bad day, they'll add "Duh."

Funny thing though. They're wrong. Bandwidth doesn't affect the mobile phone experience nearly as much as most people think. And in some cases, high bandwidth Internet is actually worse for the user than a low-bandwidth one.

This IMHO is possibly the worst example of cart-before-horse-FUD-ism that I've read for a long time.

Here's why: Higher bandwidth means that you have a higher capacity for transferring data, in other words you could up and download more items concurrently or up and download larger items more quickly.

You could, that's what it means, go look it up. However your ability to benefit from this may be constrained by the phone you are using.

If, as he seems to suggest, the iPhone hasn't got 3g because it couldn't cope with the bandwidth then he ought to blame the people who designed the phone, not the people who provided the bandwidth. Better still, if its true someone ought to tell Apple, because an engineer needs to be fired at once!

My Sony Ericsson k810i works in both 3g and gprs modes and listen up, it is noticeably faster to download feeds and synchronise email when it has a 3g connection. Go figure.

So you get an award, Mr Howe, for cart-before-horse-FUD-ism. What you should have said is "Apple's iPhone probably wouldn't benefit from higher bandwidth because it would show high data error rates, and its battery and processor performance aren't up to the job of coping with data arriving in those quantities." And as for the part about http, I guess you haven't heard of keep-alives.


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