Tomorrow marks the first day you can preorder Apple’s luscious new iPhone 4, but it’s already facing scrutiny from state lawmakers. Last week, Apple CEO Steve Jobs hailed the device as the “most precise, beautiful thing we’ve ever made,” but now New York State Democratic assemblyman Felix Ortiz — who sponsored New York State’s landmark 2001 “hands-free” cell-phone law and legislation banning text messaging — tells Intel that the iPhone 4’s much-touted “Facetime” video-calling feature should be banned from the roadways.
“Any object which distracts a drivers attention while they are driving should be banned regardless of whether it is a cell phone or a new aspect of technology, including video calling,” said Ortiz in an e-mail to Intel. The lawmaker added that he and his staff are currently examining both existing and pending legislation to see if the new FaceTime advancement was already banned under New York State law. (You can see a Sam Mendes–directed Apple commercial touting FaceTime by clicking here.)
If video-calling is not already covered by existing or pending legislation, Ortiz said he “will examine the possibility of drafting legislation to outlaw video-calling while driving in the hope that it will make our roads safer.” Last week, Jobs also faced criticism over his recent claims that the new iPhone 4’s display exceeded “the limit of the human retina to differentiate the pixels,” which optical experts say is not the case.