In a slight reiteration of some of his more recent design-related riffs, this brief article by Bruce Sterling compares the iPhone to the Leatherman multitool:
Like all digital technologies, the iPhone has yet to achieve the hard-grained, Spartan elegancies of the steely Leatherman. It makes up for this with its cannibal appetite for other tools. Leathermans will disappear—I commonly give mine away—but iPhones devour other tools, digesting them into virtualized application services: phone, camera, e-mail, Web browser, text-messaging, music and video players, whole planet-girdling sets of urban Google maps, house keys, pedometer, TV remote, seismometer, Breathalyzer, alarm clock, video games, radio, bar-code scanner … the target list grows by the day.
It does indeed. Plus you can take an iPhone on a plane without anyone accusing you of being a terrorist… for the moment, at least. [via Warren Ellis]