I broke down and bought one for my wife, a longtime smartphone user, to replace her Treo 680, which isn’t very old. Palm has already released a couple newer Treos, so even at less than a year old, that little guy was a relic.
Leading up to June 29, I got more and more sick of the hype, and I think the early reviews of the iPhone reflect this same backlash. Now, after a few days, I can safely say, “wow”. I didn’t wait in line; I walked into the store on June 30 and had no trouble getting one. I set it up at home, after the minor annoyance of having to take both the iTunes 7.3 and OS X 10.4.10 updates, and we were off and running.
It works great on my home network and on other wi-fi networks. It’s been really fast on the Edge network. I have no complaints, aside from minor irritations relating to Safari as the browser and the heat it generates. Browsing around, then making a call without the headphones will get you a sweaty face.
The iPhone does everything I wanted from a handheld computer, all of which was painfully missing from smartphones (full disclosure, I’ve never used a Blackberry). No more need for mini-versions of sites to make them mobile accessible. Apple just changed the interface to compensate for the small display. Along with Surface, the iPhone is ushering in a new era of computing based around touch as the navigation mechanism. And it’s pretty sweet.
My one “huh” moment is around marketing. The iPhone is as much computer as it is phone. So, I expect that in later releases, a competitor for the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) initiative will emerge to address both children and adults who cannot afford always-on broadband and computers. The iPhone reportedly costs Apple $220 ($200 for the 4 GB) to manufacture, so in a fit of generosity, Apple and whichever lucky ISP/cell service provider wins the business, could compete with the OLPC, whose price tag rose from $100 to $175 earlier this year.
Plus, it’s much cooler and more functional, since they didn’t have a target price to make. I’m sure Apple would love to recruit the youth of the world into its army before they can touch a PC.