Then of course, there's the Facebook phone, which has now achieved mythical status on the InterWebs -- thanks in large part to TechCrunch, which has for years insisted that Facebook is "secretly building a phone," despite explicit denials by Zuckerberg himself. At TechCrunch Disrupt this week, Zucky told Michael Arrington point blank:
That's always been the wrong strategy for us...It's a juicy thing to say we're building a phone, which is why people want to write about it. But it's so clearly the wrong strategy for us.
My prediction: Two months from now, someone else will publish an exclusive preview of the new Facebook phone, and the hype cycle will start anew.
Why the phone obsession? I think it has less to do with the importance of mobile phone technology to our lives and more to do with the amount of traffic generated by websites. We've become addicted to the shiny and new, and like any addiction, we've developed a resistance to it. We crave increasingly shiny products, and we want them delivered at a faster rate. Websites feed that addiction by overinflating the importance of every new gizmo that appears. When that's not enough, they just make stuff up, as noted above.
The cold, hard fact is that hardware is becoming irrelevant. It's the connectivity and the services that matter. An iPhone without a signal is pretty much a brick in your pocket. Pretty soon, that connection and those services will be delivered to all kinds of devices -- your car, your watch, a chip embedded in your skull -- and you won't even think about how it gets there.
A goldfish probably doesn't spend a lot of time contemplating water, it just swims. That's how we're going to be with data. And then it won't matter how the bowl gets filled, or whether the device we use starts with a lowercase "i" and uses icons with rounded corners.
When? Who knows. But soon I hope. Because I'm not sure how many more of these iEvents I can take.
Are you excited by the new iPhone? Post your wonderment here or share the magical moments on email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article, "Another new iPhone? Beam me up, Scotty," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the crazy twists and turns of the tech industry with Robert X. Cringely's Notes from the Field blog, and subscribe to Cringely's Notes from the Underground newsletter.