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No, Apple didn't send us an iPhone. Newsweek got one. And The Wall Street Journal. And The New York Times. But Jobs and Co. have a very different attitude towards El Reg. We weren't likely to get an official review unit even before our very own Ashlee Vance publicly questioned the sanity of the company's PR staff. We had to wait …

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feature, not a bug

Gmail through POP always sticks everything in a single "container" - try it through Outlook. Not iPhone specific.

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One-hand usage?

Is the iPhone usable with one hand?

I am a Treo user and do most things (Web browsing, email, phone calls, etc.) with one hand (either one). I use the stylus very rarely. I use both hands only when I have to type extensively. All that I've read about the iPhone seems to imply that you will be using your "fingers" (say, index and thumb) a lot, which means that you will need your other hand to hold the phone.

My view about the virtual keyboard vs. hardware keys is that it may be roughly as good as a traditional 12-key phone keypad (all pros and cons considered), but can't be so good as a hardware QWERTY keyboard.

So what are your impressions in these areas?

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Buttons rule.

I'd rather have buttons on my phone any day. Can't text properly without buttons. Need tactile feedback to tell your fingers that you've pressed the buttons.

Also, the POP thing that you mentioned with Gmail is just an annoying thing about Gmail. Does that all the time, always has done. Even lets you download all your spam and stuff that you've told to skip the inbox over POP which is nice.

Looking forward to hearing from you in a month!

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The iPhone won’t work without iTunes 7.3 and Mac OS 10.4.10

"The iPhone won’t work without iTunes 7.3 and Mac OS 10.4.10"

An old G4 running OS X 10.3 offered iTunes 7.3 via software update so even with 7.3 it wouldn't work? Apple's pages do state 10.4 though.. Hmm...Doesn't matter I'm in Europe :)

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So I'm tactile, sue me

"He even predicts that users will grow weary of all that screen touching and call out for more hardware buttons. "

That's almost the first things that struck me... the lack of tactile feedback. One of the strengths of most modern phones is that you can to a large degree operate them by touch, and without focusing your eyes on them to do so.

It looks as if the iPhone will more or less demand two hands and both eyes if you're to use it for most things. Moving all functions to a touchscreen is cool, but probably not the most useful.

It all rather like the auto CD player/radios that have two dozen tiny buttons, and require you to follow the action on an LED menu.

It makes one long for the days when "interface" meant two big knobs and five buttons (six if it was AM/FM.)

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Perhaps the end user could be adjusted

"Handheld PC"? "YouTube videos look even better on the phone's screen than the average PC display"? Perhaps the end user's degree of dissatisfaction is proportional to a degree to a general unfamiliarity with Apple products.

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quick note on Camera

my nokia 6275i also has qa2 MP camera and here's the deal on lighting:

It's not "good" lighting that is needed but sunlight/outdoors light. I think the CCD is set to one temperature and this is daylight. Cloudy conditions are good too - but indoor/artifical lighting will not be good unless you have a photographic light set-up - I'm sure photo pro can tell you the temp in k....I think it's 5000K or so.

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Tactile feedback...

They've grossly underestimated the importance of physical buttons. When you've been using the same phone for a long time - a regular thing now 18 month contracts are so common - you develop muscle memory of the keypad. I like being able to text while talking to someone - actually looking at them while talking instead of rudely bending over the screen, or when i'm walking and not risking getting run over.

To Be Seen ... but I clearly remember feeling like a man freed when I downgraded from my old P910i to a K800 (even though I hate the stubborn K800 keys and useless 'nipple').

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RE: Bruce

I guess you're right bruce, if this was considered a Handheld PERSONAL COMPUTER, you would be able to run your own, someone elses, software.

But, on an iphone, you HAVE to use apples software. Even in the early 80's, you have ONLY support apple software. Mac's got out of their hole when they opened their os to have 3rd party support, including their blatantly ripped off bsd source and software.

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Ed

Well,

"I wish it had faster wireless access. I’m also wishing it had a better camera."

I've never owned a computer that I didn't wish had faster wireless access, nor a camera I didn't wish was a better one, so its hardly surprising....

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feedback

OK, so you don't get much feedback when using the phone. It's a touchscreen device. Feedback and displays don't mix. Sorry, but that's life. You can't have one with the other. In the case of the iPhone, like the LG Prada, it's something you have to learn to deal with. Either that or accept you will never use a touch screen phone.

Anyway. for some reason, the idea seems to be first impressions count. I worked five years in the mobile industry, from when the only colour screen handset was the SE T68 (remember them?) and the first camera was clip on. I agree with the idea that you have to USE a product to understand its strengths and weaknesses. Shall we say that we should give the iPhone a little time to be used by real people????

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For what the iPhone is trying to do, it's too small a form factor.

You need one of these (lots of lovely tactile buttons too!)

www.theregister.co.uk/2005/09/14/o2_unveils_universal

Over two years old and still unbeaten!

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Philips Pronto

Apple maybe should've taken a leaf out of Philips' book in regards to touchscreen devices, they added more hard buttons to their latter Pronto remotes after listening to their users. I like my Pronto and am very glad of the hard buttons for the simple reason you don't have to look at the device to know which button you're pressing.

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Anonymous Coward

Portable keyboards a market opportunity

Sounds like there is a market opportunity for iPhone compatible portable USB or Bluetooth fold-up or roll-up plastic keyboards for the user who can't give up the button feel.

Has anyone tried plugging one in yet? I know there are some great roll-up waterproof models for Bluetooth such as http://sfplanet.zoovy.com/product/KBFAB01?META=bizrate-KBFAB01 or a glowing keyboard in your pocket http://crave.cnet.com/8300-1_105-1-0.html?keyword=roll-up

If iPhone runs "a version of" OS X shouldn't it recognise a USB keyboard?

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Anonymous Coward

Title

Thanks for filling us in on the day by day with the iphone. I feel like I am sharing the experience with you! It is good to see each aspect of the iPhoine...good/weird/bad so we can all see what it is like to have the latest hardware!

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RE: Perhaps the end user could be adjusted

""Handheld PC"? "YouTube videos look even better on the phone's screen than the average PC display"? Perhaps the end user's degree of dissatisfaction is proportional to a degree to a general unfamiliarity with Apple products."

Perhaps the commenter could post in sentences with meaning?

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Anonymous Coward

Ripped off? WTF?

Daniel opined - "But, on an iphone, you HAVE to use apples software. Even in the early 80's, you have ONLY support apple software. Mac's got out of their hole when they opened their os to have 3rd party support, including their blatantly ripped off bsd source and software."

Do I spot a jealous Windows user? Maybe one who's never used an Apple?

There's never been a requirement to only use apple software on Macs. The "killer application" for the original Mac was not so much the OS, but third party software, particularly PageMaker, which of course came from Aldus, not Apple.

Even the Newton, possibly Apple's most "closed" hardware ever, was (and still is) developed for by 3rd parties.

With OSX, even if Apple had "blatantly ripped off bsd", rather than using their own kernel with a BSD personality, and giving stuff back to the BSDs based on their changes, it would be fully within the requirements of the BSD license. It's not like MS have "blatantly ripped off bsd" for their TCP/IP stack for years, after all. As it is, Apple *do* feed changes back to BSD.

And honestly, who gives a toss if you have to use Apple's software on the iPhone? If it works, and works well, then that's all that really matters. It's a phone. Sure, it might be nice to be able to download new apps to it, but it's hardly *necessary*.

I won't personally be getting an iPhone, but I don't like mobile phones in general.

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tactile feedback not an issue...

It may be an issue for certain users, but it certainly hasn't hurt Motorola, Sony Ericsson and other mobile makers that have adopted flat membrane-style keypads; I don't think it will be a significant factor.

I'm out of the picture due to a new 18-month contract with 3 and Nokia 6288 upgrade, but I'll be watching the evolution of the iPhone over that time period to see if it will become something I'll want to upgrade to when the time comes.

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Don't blame it all in the iPhone

I do not think it is fair to blame the EDGE-Performance on the iPhone. We all know, and this has been said all over the net many times before that EDGE is at best a 2.5G technology. It can not sustain the data rates needed for applications like video streaming.

Who is to blame here? Apple, who is "just" making a "handset" or the carriers who had a choice between installing a new firmware on their cellphone towers thereby getting EDGE capability without any major investments or on the other hand investing in all-new infrastructure for UMTS and HSDPA, real 3G technologies?

Apple is coming out with a true 3G Handset here in Europe, which to my knowledge will support UMTS (I am uncertain about HSDPA) and will most likely perform much better when streaming media over the cellular connection. But then, the 3G communications infrastructure here in Europe is developed further than it is in the US, and the iPhone can build on that.

Regarding the WLAN Performance, that is a bit of a two-bladed sword. While it is very likely that this has something to do with the software within he iPhone, it is not necessarily so.

I have gone away from using D-LINK WLAN AccessPoints because when streaming media to my Laptop, I would frequently have to rebuffer. I now use Linksys and never had this problem.

The other things you mention, like the overly-sensitive keyboard can be worked out as Apple is getting feedback from more users. I am sure someone at apple with bigger fingers is reading your review and tries it out himself now.

The camera was an engineering and product management decision, probably based on size constraints rather than cost. But then, I consider a phone to be a phone. If I want to do high-quality photos, I pick up my EOS 5d. Yes, it is heavy and bulky, but anything you cram into a small handheld multi-purpose device will always be a compromise.

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Anonymous Coward

Missing information

Two very obvious bits of information missing from this report -- the price of the iphone and the annual cost of the wireless connection assuming reasonable average usage.

Without the costs, there's nothing to put the report into perspective and the report becomes just as useless as many company's own web sites.

Oh, and why is a train that appears to run on RAILS being referred to as a CABLE car? That surely is something you'd expect to see in mountain regions.

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Anonymous Coward

Nice device

Played around with one at my local Apple Store yesterday. I have to say, it's a beautifully designed device with a stunning interface. It could really do with a few more applications, as the ones it has will grow old quickly....and Youtube videos are pretty much only a gimmick at the moment. It runs OSX, so people can easily port existing applications (or versions there of) and there will be fewer and fewer reasons why Apple will not eventually allow people to produce their own apps for it.....certainly the global army of hackers out there will figure out a way of installing their own apps soon enough, as with the Apple TV.

All in all, a great device. So good that I had to leave the store at one point because I almost bought one. Such is the power of the reality distortion field!!

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Re: feature, not a bug

>Gmail through POP always sticks everything in a single "container" -

> try it through Outlook. Not iPhone specific.

Yes, Gmail sends sent messages down the wire to POP3 clients but my email client (Thunderbird) at least looks at the headers and threads the mails accordingly, displaying them in a nice tree. Does iPhone do that?

As for whether I want one? The answer is the same as for any other of the 'latest and greatest' phones. I have a £19 cellphone. I use it to make calls. Because it's a phone. I have a camera, which takes great pictures. I have a computer with a big hi-res screen, for reading small text on the internet (I mean, who wants to zoom in on an area of the page to be able to read it if the point size is less than 48?).

The iPhone is a fashion statement. My £19 cellphone (who's battery lasts a fortnight - I'd like to see iPhone do that!) is not. It's a phone. I like that.

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Missing functionality...

What this review is missing is details of the things that you'd expect a mobile phone to do that the iPhone doesn't. Like Multimedia Messages (MMS), and MP3 ringtones. See http://reviews.cnet.co.uk/mobiles/0,39030106,49286836,00.htm for a better review.

All in all the iPhone gives me very little over my 3 year old MDA Compact, and actually loses some of the functionality I currently have. So don't think I'll be "upgrading".

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Gold badge

3G iPhone tomorrow

Rumours are circulating that Apple will announce a 3G iPhone for Europe tomorrow (2nd July), with a release before the end of the year.

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Anonymous Coward

what about power?

I know its only a moot point, but whats the power consumption like?

Most phones are set to be just phones until you activate the mp3 player or camera etc, which drains the power quicker. So, considering that the iPhones supposed to have more features active, whats the battery life like?

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Defensive?

Sounds to me like the "must have buttons" crowd is sounding somewhat... defensive? It's amusing to watch the "it's better", "no it's not" playground mudslinging going on here and in the press. Whatever happened to IT geeks getting together a set of _personal_ requirements and then finding the toy that best meets _their_ needs, which realizing that everyone will have their own personal requirements? Sounds to me like most of those here are more style victims than geeks.

To me, the iPhone represents a choice. Finally, I have a real choice. After years of being saddled with one crippled device after another, all mostly looking and feeling the same, here comes another that's crippled in totally different ways. That's choice!

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Cable Car

It is a Cable Car, between the rails there is a channel with a cable running through it, the cable moves at a constant speed and the car has a device that grabs onto it and pulls it along to move it. they've been running in SF since 1873.

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The first

Id wager that im likely the first bloke to actually post to this thread from an iPhone as you can see I have no trouble at all typing on the keyboard an I am far mor sausage fingered than the author good day

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But Then Again!

But then again , what price a replacement battery in say 12 to 15 months time , from the recent photo blog of a user who took his brand new unit of 6 hours old apart to examine the internals , this time Apple truly designed a monster , that is not intended for any user to remove and replace something as simple as the battery!

Yes , we all know how much Apple stole from the 1st gen Ipod's and the infamous brothers hit internet movie detailing that saga!

You pays your money , takes your choices and leave your wallet with Apple!

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Does it come with a hands-free kit :-P

so you dont get to use the chief selling point

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i got your 'iPhone' right here...

http://blog.equinux.com/2007/06/05/equinux-finds-one-of-the-first-iphone-knockoffs/

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Re: Defensive?

"Whatever happened to IT geeks getting together a set of _personal_ requirements and then finding the toy that best meets _their_ needs, which realizing that everyone will have their own personal requirements?"

Because the people desperate for an iPhone fall into two categories. There's the people who MUST have all the latest gadgets as soon as they hit the shelf - even if the iPhone doesn't work well for them and ends up consigned to the dusty box within a fortnight, they'll still consider it a good buy. The other people are all about conformity, conformity, conformity. I refer you to Bruce's comment that the "problem" is the user, as if Apple designed completely universally accessible products and there must be something _wrong_ with YOU if you don't get on with them.

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Pedantic.....

"Id wager that im likely the first bloke to actually post to this thread from an iPhone as you can see I have no trouble at all typing on the keyboard an I am far mor sausage fingered than the author good day"

No trouble. Aside from the complete lack of punctuation and the spelling mistake on ‘more’?

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RE: Sean Aaron

"It may be an issue for certain users, but it certainly hasn't hurt Motorola, Sony Ericsson and other mobile makers that have adopted flat membrane-style keypads; I don't think it will be a significant factor."

You mean like the W950? I've got one and I miss a proper keyboard, and I'm sure I'm not the only one considering the W960 will ship with a proper keyboard. I think SE have learned the lesson from this one. (Apart from that it's an excelent phone).

FAO: Cade Metz - Always proofread carefully in case you any words out.

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Anonymous Coward

Foolish Virgins

"That's three hundred and fifty people camped out for a retail product. Apple's customers are in worse shape than its PR staff."

"An army of overly-hip Apple employees"

"Those black-shirted Apple automatons applauded me"

And Apple didn't let El Reg have an iPhone for appraisal AND didn't send free passes ... quelle surprise!!!

"I’m sure that others [complaints] will crop up. El Reg editor Andrew Orlowski says you can never draw conclusions about a phone unless you’ve used it for at least a month. He even predicts that users will grow weary of all that screen touching and call out for more hardware buttons."

Andrew seems to have a brain/mouth problem ... you have to use a product for a month ... users will grow weary of screen touching.

All you have to do is bow!

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Looks fab...

I have to say that the iPhone looks amazing but unfortunately my only criticism is it's so far out of my price range to be not even worth considering. I'm used to phones around the £100 mark - the cheaper Nokias and Sony Ericcsons tend to be what I buy and you really can discern the pedigree of Apple's phone.

I think ultimately unless the iPhone comes down in price to around the £200 mark it'll never be a mass-market device and I think attempts to Shuffle or Nano-ize the device might just end up with another cheap generic mobile phone of which there's already too much choice.

I think the only real downside is for quite a major investment I think there are quite a lot of question marks about build quality, after my 4th generation iPod I thought the thing was quite poorly made.

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Wow . . .

Why does a supremely simple device your great-grandmother could use trigger outbursts of ignorant anger? Do some Register readers derive their self-worth from being able to operate badly designed phones that baffle 95% of the population?

If anyone's interested, there's a huge number of user experience reports already:

no keyboard - takes some a few days to adapt but you end up as fast / slightly faster than crackberry.

battery life - it's fine

push email - free on yahoo.com accounts; forward via yahoo; works fine

proper MS Exchange sync - reputed to be before the end of the year (rumour only)

hands free - hook up like your iPod (including with those funny cassette player audio thingys), and it just works

radio - apparently works with the Apple FM iPod thingy

edge - bearable, but we'll get 3G in Europe

no MMS etc etc - wait for (automatic) software updates

one handed use - no problem, except for tiny hands

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Tools for the job

I'm with Jeremy. I've got a cheap (and now very old) PAYG phone that works, as well as a camera and PDA, etc. each chosen to do what it's supposed to do. I can upgrade any of them as and when required, which I frequently do with cameras. I don't want them all in one package, however smart. I'm not likely to get mugged for my phone, either...

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Anonymous Coward

Not for me...

I think I'll just stick with my new Nokia 6300 for now. Best phone I have ever owned!

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Am I missing somthing ?

I've got a Samsung e900 ,a free-on-contract (now THERES an oxymoron) jobbie. Its the Bolton Wanderers of phones, it's ok but it'll never win any awards.

However It does allow me to use gmail mobile, Opera mini, Google maps mobile and gphonesync (ugly-but-effective g-cal app)

So what, apart from a few hundred grams of really pretty Chinese plastic is iPhone giving me that I dont already have ?

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Shameless plug!

If you'd like your "iPhone" open.. you'll just have to wait a bit longer!

http://wiki.openmoko.org

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Re: Pedantic

I can easily get punctuation. I was simply trying to type as fast as humanly possible on this tiny keyboard. I've seen far worse text come from blackberry users. At any rate, I don't see any problem using the iPhone for text, email, etc. If you don't like it, don't get it, but don't knock the thing until you've actually used one for a reasonable length of time.

Regards,

Clay Garland

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Apple lovin'

Am I alone in getting annoyed with the rabid Pro Apple Brigade????

Look, some of us do understand that technically Apple have carved out a neat little market. However some of us equally still object to paying over the odds for cute pieces of fluff. We're quite happy that our boggo phones do precisely what we want (Moto V3 - nice and basic taa muchly, and cost me zip after the contract) and do not feel the need to have a pretty piece of plastic with an Apple logo on it to justify our existence.

This does NOT make us luddites or pro Microshaft!!! Can't stand Microshaft either frankly.

As for the iPhone. Over-hyped and over-priced is what I am hearing. Doesn't make it a bad piece of tech, just one that isn't worth money. Touch screens are nice for occasional use, but I want tactile feedback when pressing keys. I'm also not keen on integrating systems. I have a seperate camera because I want a camera to do a good job. I don't want to have to buy a new phone when I kill the camera.

I'm curious on battery power too. Terms like "battery life - it's fine" isn't exactly scientific. The kit is of zero interest to me if it's tied to being 24/48hrs from a charging point.

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It's the iPod all over again

it offers something that's already been done elsewhere, that isn't better than the competition, but packages it sleekly in a way that stands out, and puts a damnably shiny and fun GUI on it.

So people pay over the odds for reduced functionality, but it looks looks the job, and low tech people will probably buy in droves.

In the meantime, amongst the tech-savvy, the Appleites will fail to understand why others tear it down, as they shout incresingly loudly about why it is in fact better, while the skeptics fail to understand how so many seemingly normal peopel could buy into hype not hardware, then shout about it... ;)

All of which means Apple is doing well then.

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3G?

3G on AT&T? Sure, right now on a number of phones (well, a smallish number, single digits, okay, one hand). It's Apple's choice of chipset vendors. Qualcomm can't import, in any way, form or fashion, its 3G chips, due to an injunction obtained by Broadcom.

Had Apple chosen any other provider, we would have 3G here.

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Anonymous Coward

Suspicious...

So Clay claims to be "far mor sausage fingered than the author"...

...Golem?

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re: Ripped off? WTF?

sorry I did not get back to you sooner, a good kernel compile takes time (actually, I screwed something up and I'm within a windows envrionment at the moment)

I am a bsd/windows user myself; and a VERY early mac user. I was impressed with the neat interface back in the 80's, played some interesting shooter games, and that's about it. They had their own os at the time, almost no decent console support. And, they were extremely expensive.

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RE : Pedantic.....

"I can easily get punctuation. I was simply trying to type as fast as humanly possible on this tiny keyboard. I've seen far worse text come from blackberry users. At any rate, I don't see any problem using the iPhone for text, email, etc. If you don't like it, don't get it, but don't knock the thing until you've actually used one for a reasonable length of time."

Don't get me wrong I wasn't out to attack you as a user and I wasn't questioning the ability of the iPhone for text based applications.

I was making a point that if I were to come to the defence of the iPhone's ability I would have made sure that my message was perfect in every way.

As for the iPhone. I barely make calls on my current mobile, let alone anything else. ;)

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Mat

Must buy iPhone

As regards Jeremy's point, re-iterated later, that a phone is just a phone, a camera a camera ... I personally don't really like going out in the morning looking like a commando, with cheap phone in one pocket, pda in another, camera wedged down here and gps wrapped over there.. etc etc. All in one devices are quite nice for those of us who prefer travelling light ... It's a nice option to have.

Which reminds me - what is this: "some of us equally still object to paying over the odds for cute pieces of fluff"? I can't grasp this idea that Apple is forcing people to buy the iPhone and MUST BE resisted. If the market likes the fluff, can afford the fluff, it will buy the fluff. Otherwise the fluff will accumulate and eventually get vacuumed away. But seriously, it is okay Jay, at no point will you be forced to buy the iPhone.

WinMobile user myself, by the way, but like innovative, well built things and have never felt threatened or uncomfortable watching people buy things I don't particularly want. And that hands on dragging and expanding stuff is pretty cool.

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Anonymous Coward

Title

"If the market likes the fluff, can afford the fluff, it will buy the fluff."

Exactly. Apple are being clever, because they know that the mac fanboys will buy anything they throw at them and say "look, it's shiny!", at any price. It's a good position to be in as far as apple are concerned...

I'm also fairly sure he never gave the impression he thought he was being forced to buy it, which is clearly what you seem to have interpreted from his comments. Oh well.

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