Sons of Macintosh
I've been reading your work since MacUser days. As a general thing, I agree with your observations a majority of the time. This time, however, it looks like you have an odd standard against which you've rated all things Apple. Your take on the iPhone was particularly harsh.
I agree the iPhone is not perfect. Nothing ever is. It is, however, the best phone there is for the demographic it is aimed at. Non-geeks.
There are lots of people out there who have never typed a line of code, not even so much as the command (*70, ) to turn off call waiting in the dialup number. Those folks only know what they're getting, not what they're missing; when we (old geeks) explain what they're missing they just look at us hoping for an English translation.
There are more of them than there are of us. The day of the geek as the dominant force in digital electronics is over. Nobody buys magazines anymore with a Basic Program for a spinning, multicolor beachball in the back.
The iPhone – measured against the standard of "reality," meaning, "the marketplace," – really is the Alpha and Zulu of smartphones. You can measure it by the following metrics:
Name a device against which every smartphone is measured. (hint: it isn't Centro or Pearl).
Find articles for Storm Killer, N95 Killer, Android Killer. There might be a few. Now look up "iPhone Killer." No contest.