Re: The *other* G4 Cube feature
>Vendor lock-in may be a feature but it still isn't one to encourage.
True, but then I didn't see any standards organisations, or consortia of companies, even trying to create something similar. And hey, I made a point of praising the concept, not the implementation.
I am looking at a wired remote control unit for a Sharp Minidisc player, circa 1999. It has a 3.5 mm tip ring ring sleeve jack, flanked on either side by two more contacts. The unit mirrored the complete player display, and most of its controls, via three toggle switches (the equivalent of nine buttons) plus a lock button. AIWA and Sony had their own way of doing the same at the time. Almost a decade and half later, three is still no standard for a wired remote control headset.
The closest that you can get (other than Bluetooth solutions which come with the faff of charging up yet another device), available from a wide range of manufactures (from B&W to Sennheiser) and from any highstreet or supermarket, is Apple's - be it a headset or a speaker dock. You might have have thought that the Open Handset Alliance, or even Google, might have taken a lead on this, but no. Hell, they quite happily never used twice the same power connector until the EU kicked them. There are even Android handset vendors such as Sony and Samsung making speaker docks for iPhones, but not for their own handsets.
The issue is that there isn't the monetary incentive for consortia to design really nice solutions (there is no competitive advantage if your rivals are using the same), so they tend to settle on 'good enough'.