Inventor of Cellphones Says They've Become Too Complicated

I love that smartphones let me avoid cramming my pockets with extra gadgets like an MP3 player or camera. But Dr. Martin Cooper—the former lead engineer of the Motorola team that developed the first cellphone—reckons that's just phooey.

The 80 year old inventor, who has also criticized the iPhone as being overly complicated and hard to use, told a privacy conference in Madrid this week:

"Whenever you create a universal device that does all things for all people, it does not do any things well. Our future I think is a number of specialist devices that focus on one thing that will improve our lives."

I hear the basic point: jacks of all trades tend to be masters of none. And that's a valid observation. But a bunch of smartphones and mobile OSes now do a decent job of handling music, and their cameras are getting better, too. Not to forget all the goodness from Web-based services. So with the utmost of respect good sir, this isn't the 1980s, and using an iPhone (or any smartphone for that matter) is no longer like trying to program your VCR. [The Telegraph]