back to article Apple iPhone

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 …

COMMENTS

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  1. chris

    feature, not a bug

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

  2. Sandro

    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?

  3. Daniel Dainty

    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!

  4. David Jones

    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 :)

  5. Barry Rueger

    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.)

  6. Bruce Dath

    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.

  7. Michael Tripper

    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.

  8. Adam T

    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').

  9. Daniel

    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.

  10. 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....

  11. Andrew Oyston

    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????

  12. Ryan

    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!

  13. Haku

    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.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    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?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    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!

  16. Pete

    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?

  17. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  18. Sean Aaron

    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.

  19. Colin Weiss

    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.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    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!!

  22. Jeremy

    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.

  23. M Howlign

    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".

  24. Giles Jones 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.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    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?

  26. yeah, right.

    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!

  27. zed

    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.

  28. Clay Garland

    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

  29. heystoopid

    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!

  30. the Jim bloke Silver badge

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

    so you dont get to use the chief selling point

  31. Player_16

    i got your 'iPhone' right here...

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

  32. Mary

    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.

  33. Dean Gibson

    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’?

  34. Joe Blogs

    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.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    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!

  36. Kevin Hall

    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.

  37. sleepy

    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

  38. James Pickett

    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...

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not for me...

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

  40. Paul

    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 ?

  41. Benjamin Kunz

    Shameless plug!

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

    http://wiki.openmoko.org

  42. Clay Garland

    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

  43. JayB

    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.

  44. Michael Corkery

    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.

  45. Dillon Pyron

    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.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Suspicious...

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

    ...Golem?

  47. Daniel

    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.

  48. Dean Gibson

    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. ;)

  49. 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.

  50. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  51. Clay Garland

    Yup. . . Sausage fingers.

    Yeah, I have relatively large hands. Large enough in fact, that if I lay the first knuckle of my thumb on the edge of the iPhone, the tip rests less than a centimeter from the opposite edge of the scree. Apologies for the wacky description, but I'm trying to give scope here. Needless to say, my fingers are big, but the iPhone does an incredible job of interpereting what I'm trying to say, and does an equally excellent job of fixing common spelling errors. The first message I typed from the phone was with no corrections whatsoever, I sent it as the phone interpereted it, I didn't check for errors. The second message, all I did differently was pause to access the punctuation menu which really becomes second nature after a few sessions. I really like everything about the iPhone so far. I'm never far enough away from an 802.11 network to want for fast internet access, and I love the way that the phone handles certain phone things like missed calls (it lists multiple call times), and voicemail. I'm no Apple shill, but to say that this is no better than current offerings is to be absolutely oblivious to the truth. Mark my words. This phone will change the way that we look at mobile devices forever.

  52. Mat

    re Must buy iPhone

    "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."

    Nope, still don't get it Christopher: It is our duty to protect the Apple fanboys from buying things they like? We must try stop "Clever"-ness? Stamp out choice? Bring down Apple before they go make more innovative things?

    What is it? Because it just reads to me like some people think they must take a personal crusade to debase Apple products? And the only people I'd imagine that want to do that are salesmen to rival companies, certainly not customers looking for choice.

    (ps: I'm fairly sure I did not literally mean anybody was being forced into anything - kind of was the point actually)

  53. elder norm

    You are so right

    YEP, you are right. I think you should return the phone right away. Hmm, maybe a Motorola Q phone would be better for you. I hear that the only moderatily suck. :-)

    After all, the iPhone is not perfect.

    It does not do movies (yet). And ONLY 2 mega pixals, sheeezzze, my $400 camera has 5 megapixals.

    And as for a phone, why, it only has the same range and access as my other AT&T phone, how dare they!!!!!

    I tell you, if I have to actually wait an hour for a phone (oh wait, if you had of come on Saturday, there would have been no wait) then it better give me lots of free stuff just because. So there. :-(

    So anyways, I suggest you guys send the phone back, and any macs that you might be using at the office. I say go strictly DELL Vista. Period.

    OH, and best of luck with that.

    en

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Moto keypads DO have tactile feedback

    "Tactile feedback 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;"

    Motorola, SE etc keypads DO have tactile feedback. They might be flat, but the buttons click when you press them because the button mechanism is hidden away underneath the surface.

    Touchscreens have no tactile feedback at all because they contain no moving parts.

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Title

    "Nope, still don't get it Christopher: It is our duty to protect the Apple fanboys from buying things they like? We must try stop "Clever"-ness? Stamp out choice? Bring down Apple before they go make more innovative things?"

    I fear you have misinterpreted the comment again. I was just commenting on what a great position apple are in to have people who will pay that money. I'm not trying to protect anyone from paying that amount, that is their choice, but all the apple 'big' products that have come out have been quite overpriced for what they are. But, people will pay them, so I have no problem with apple charging that - they get the people paying it, why can't they make tonnes of money from it? You wouldn't find me paying so much for these things though.

    I have nothing against apple though, just bought one of their products this evening actually.

  56. Rich

    Touch keyboard

    How's the touchkeys to use in the rain? Or on a freezing cold day? Or in a car before the lights change (yes I know you aren't supposed to, but).

  57. Stephane Lenclud

    Not a Mac maniac!?

    Clay you're saying "This phone will change the way we look at mobile devices forever." and you claim not to a Mac maniac?!? IMHO there seems to be a few innovations in terms of GUI in that phone, thinking specifically about the automatically rotating display and graphical voice mail but that hardly sounds like a revolution.

    Touch screens have been there for years on smartphones and most manufacturers do provide a stylus just in case you find it more convenient despite the fact that most applications are designed to be used with wide clumsy fingers.

    I've even heard Apple advertising that it was the first internet phone?!? Just where were they hiding since y2k? Just how did they managed to miss all those smartphones SE, Nokia, Moto and others have been spamming the market with since y2k?

    Since it's the first phone Apple ever produced I have no doubt it's lacking some essentials and is probably full of annoying little bugs/features. Even if they focus on one single device it will take them years before they have a good and mature product. That's just the nature of the beast. Smartphones are slightly more complicated than MP3 players. Fanboys bought it yesterday but will users buy it tomorrow? There is one sure thing: Apple is good at managing their brands and marketing campaigns. Read brain washing people :)

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple 'innovation'?

    My Canon digital camera automatically rotates the display depending on how you are holding it. So we can strike that 'innovation' off Apple's list too.

  59. Giles Jones Gold badge

    Apple innovation

    There is no hardware innovation in many devices, simply because so many devices use off the shelf parts. Few companies these days create loads of custom hardware. The days of custom graphics and co-processors is long gone.

    The innovation comes in how things are utilised and the software.

    The sceptics would be well advised to check out the IPhone 25 minute video on Apple's website. It shows how simple and well thought out the software is in this phone.

    Windows Mobile uses a touch screen with loads of buttons, similar to a desktop on a phone (which is a poor design paradigm for a mobile device). Apple lets you use your fingers and use gestures. Sliding your finger across an email or text to reveal a delete button. With Windows Mobile you would highlight an item and select delete from a menu or hold the stylus over the item and select delete from a popup menu.

    Apple has designed the first interface for a phone which really is designed for a phone and doesn't try to reinvent the WIMP environment for a phone.

  60. Clay Garland

    Here we go again

    You can call me a fanboy whatever. I honestly don't care. I do like Apple products, but day in and day out, I am surrounded by a Wintel world. One, Apple have never claimed that it is the first internet phone, simply the first phone that displays the internet in a fairly standards compliant manner. Second, by changing the way we look at mobile devices, I'm simply saying that while it may be lacking a feature here, or a feature there, without being biased, it is hard to fault the phone at what it does do. I can bitch for days about what I hate about my blackberry, what I didn't like about my RAZR, but I can't really do that about my iPhone. My iPhone just does what I want it to without too much of a fuss. As far as touchscreens go, sure there have been touchscreens on other devices before. Have they been made out off high quality glass??? No, they have been crappy plastic. Has a phone or any other device for that matter ever had such a high resolution screen? No. The iPhone even easily logs into my exchange web access without so much as a peep, making that AJAX Exchange app I wrote useless. I have a hard time faulting the iPhone for what it does, I don't bother faulting it for what it doesn't do, because it was aimed at the center of the bell curve, not the fringes. That's all I'm trying to say.

  61. Zuber

    Apple people need to try other products!!!

    Sorry Clay,

    But you are coming across a bit Ilove anything Apple. I've never bought anything Apple yet (come across as too propriatry to me) but maybe I'm wrong. I am however totally disloyal to big companies that make things for a profit. I'll buy what suits me, be it Windows Mobile, Symbian OS or Palm OS (Had all three).

    Anyway point is :

    "Apple have never claimed that it is the first internet phone, simply the first phone that displays the internet in a fairly standards compliant manner."

    Sorry, but Total Rubbish !!!

    I've seen devices running Palm, and Symbian and Windows Mobile over the last few years that have done an excellent job of "displaying the internet in a fairly compient manner". My current gadget a HTC Universal does a fantastic job using Opera or even the built in IE (though I am using an unofficial WM6 version). This is not even a baby step forward.

    The only PLUS here, is that with all the hype, hopefully more sites will make an effort to make themselves more compatible with mobile device browsers.

    "By changing the way we look at mobile devices, I'm simply saying that while it may be lacking a feature here, or a feature there, without being biased, it is hard to fault the phone at what it does do."

    Not sure why it would change the way I look at my Mobile devices. It does the same things (actually a few of them. Most features are missing). But it does appear to have good UI. Perhaps it will encourage others to focus more on ease of use.

    "My iPhone just does what I want it to without too much of a fuss."

    Get youself a cheap basic phone without lots of clever features. You will be able to make the same claim.

    "Have they been made out off high quality glass??? No, they have been crappy plastic."

    As most people with touch screens will tell you. Get yourself some "Crappy plastic" (screen protector) quick and stick it on. Very useful.

    and in terms of what they are made from, I don't care. As long as they provide a good durable display.

    "Has a phone or any other device for that matter ever had such a high resolution screen?"

    Buy the bucketload. Get out more.

    To be fair, maybe this is a big deal in the US. Perhaps you don't get the range of phones the rest of the word does ?

    Zuber

  62. Henry Bell

    iPhone Marketing Fast One

    I live in an area with very poor Edge reception. When I went to the local ATT store to look at the iPhone, I asked the salesman about network data speeds. He demo'd the 8 GB unit for me and the response looked very fast. After some more pointed questions he admitted that the store had installed WiFi just for this launch. I asked him if this wasn't just a bit dishonest, but he denied it saying WiFi access is pretty much everywhere. Of course, in most major metropolitan areas maybe, but this is east Tennessee.

  63. Stephane Lenclud

    Welcome to the smartphone world

    Giles Jones says "Apple has designed the first interface for a phone which really is designed for a phone and doesn't try to reinvent the WIMP environment for a phone." I'm afraid I have to disagree with that statement. There are quite a few companies out there which have been designing phones and smartphones for years. In fact they are phone manufacturers :) In case you never noticed the smartphone market is not shared between Windows and Apple. One thing I have to agree with is that Windows smartphone are no where close from well designed.

    Windows smartphones are 5.6% of the market.

    Symbian smartphones are 72.8% of the market.

    Just check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smartphone for instance.

  64. pierrenorman

    the iPhone *is* magic

    I've had my 8GB version for three days now. Some interesting points to answer the queries posted here...

    1. battery life is good compared my old motorola slvr. i get about 8 hours of constant usage on the thing. it seems every time i pull this out a crowd gathers and everyone want to use and see it for themselves. people are usually laughing and saying things "no ---king way" or "holy s---". and many are people with blackberrys on them. i don't know what the standby time is yet cuz it's rarely been in standby mode...

    2. the phone is fast, i mean really fast! you can't really appreciate it until you use it. screens snap into place with a gracious dissolve that vista or even macosx can't touch. (maybe when leopard comes out?) i loaded 2500 photos from my iphoto library and can scroll through them all in seconds. it's insane. in minutes i went through my photo library, cropped, resized and assigned photos to 50 or so contacts in my address book. a feat that's almost a ridiculous undertaking on my motorola or blackberry.

    3. call quality and reception is as good or better than my motorola slvr. also the fact that the entire phone os is still available when on a call is awesome. i'm waiting for an opportunity to get 5 people on a conference call...

    4. tactile response??? rubbish! buttons are so 20th century. get with the program people! you are the same ones who laughed at mac's gui in 1986 running xcopy.exe on your dos machines. you get a nice audible click when a character is entered. the typing is so fast and intuitive that i can almost type as fast as i can on a regular keyboard. the magnifying glass edit function rocks too. i would like to see up, down, left, right keys however... also cut, copy and paste are missing as are drag and drop.

    5. AT&T's edge network can be slow but it can also be fast. last night i was downloading youtube videos with no problem. email and the web were quick and responsive. For what i need, this is more than adequate. bear in mind, this is real email and real web. forget that crappy wap cell providers would fool you into thinking is the "internet". from what i understand the 3g variant is much more power hungry and would probably reduce battery life significantly.

    6. i do miss the flash capability. i mean, imagine homestarrunner.com in flash on the iPhone. seriously folks, that would be awesome "melonade!". i also miss my salling clicker bluetooth remote to control frontrow and itunes.

    7. MMS is missing but last night i got an MMS message and it was converted into an sms message telling me to go to viewmymessage.com with an id and password to view the image. interestingly, the image was in adobe flash! which means full flash support can't be far off. the sms implementation is awesome. it resembles the chat sms features on my motorola phone. it stores sms sessions by user so you can have multiple sms sessions going without losing track of your conversations. it's done very well. i imagine a full implementation of ichat can't be far off either...

    8. GPS would be nice to have on this phone and would bring iphone up to par with blackberrys, but since i rarely used it, i don't miss the feature on the iphone. Perhaps the next rev of the iphone will have a gps chipset. who knows? i mean i use google maps at my office and it works great and i don't have a gps there. why? cuz i know where i am. sheeesh.

    9. did i mention it's an ipod? yeah it rocks too. coverflow is awesome and so smooth that you just have to see it. you'll see little tweeks to the interface that makes you shake your head in wonder. there is so much attention to detail. people who appreciate aesthetics will marvel at this interface.

    10. visual voicemail. you will never want old crappy voicemail again. this feature alone is almost worth the price of the iphone. if you get as many calls as i do, it's not uncommon to get 20 or more voicemails a day. now i can see who's left me a voicemail and listen to it immediately without going through the other 15 prior messages.

    11. the alarm clock feature i was particularly interested in since have used my cellphones as alamclocks for the last 10 years. the iphone alarm clock function is amazing. like my motorola and blackberry i can have multiple alarms, but on the iphone i can set those alarms to occur say, only on weekdays (so i don't get woken up at 8am on saturdays) or at 8pm on fridays to wake me up before i have to dj.

    12. the call plan i signed up for included 900 anytime minutes, 1500 sms messages and unlimited data for about $75 a month. about $20 less than my current AT&T plan. the phone was $635 with tax for the 8GB version. you also cannot get phone insurance through AT&T and apple did not offer applecare for the phone which i thought was interesting... it took me under 5 minutes to acivate the phone, another 30 minutes to sync and load the phone to capacity. i have about 300 contacts, 2500 photos, 1500 songs on the device now...

    to summarize the iphone isn't without some obvious ommissions such as third party sdk, gps, movie recorder etc., but bear in mind, this is REV1! apple not only hit a home run, they won the series with their first at-bat! the movie recorder and sdk should be coming soon and some other features i'm sure will be added including flash support and perhaps native MMS. killer apps for this will be access to the terminal, vnc (or remote desktop of some sort) i'm wondering if gotomypc will work on this... hmmmm. ms office or at least some way to edit word and excel docs would be nice too. i don't miss my stylus or buttons at all. btw, i heard apple has sold 700,000 phones already? every sceptic that's used this phone has changed their mind... cheers.

  65. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: the iPhone *is* magic

    You seem to have missed out some words from your post. Here, I'll put them back in for you:

    1. ... people are usually {pointing and} laughing {at me} and saying things "{what? you paid $635 for a 2.5G phone?} no ---king way" or "holy s--- {dude, $635 for a F-CKING PHONE?!? ARE YOU INSANE???}".

  66. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    20th Century...

    "rubbish! buttons are so 20th century"

    "melonade!"

    pierrenorman - you're not from LA perchance?

  67. pierrenorman

    ignorant comments

    mr. anonymous,

    all the people i showed the phone to were my friends who are professionals (read: have money). no one ever balked at the cost of the phone or the fact that the phone is "2.5G." Why? because the typical 3G phone is cumbersome at best to do anything worthwhile online and they are at or near the iphone's price range (treo, n95, 8800 even my slvr was $300). plus $635 isn't that much to spend on a phone. i spent far more in '91 for my pioneer 3 watt car phone ($1200) not including the $300 installation and the $400-$1000 a month in service charges. cuz back then, there were no calling plans. it was $.50/min peak, $.25/min off peak.

    so please don't belittle something you know nothing about. that wasn't the point of this thread. people have some good questions. however you:

    a. weren't there.

    b. you obviously have no experience using the product.

    c. you don't place value on UI design

    d. haven't noticed it's the fastest selling consumer electronics product in history.

    and lastly:

    e. so bravely post anonymously.

    please don't just post irrelevant statements. guess what? you don't have to buy an iphone. stick with whatever you have. i promise, i won't laugh at you. go back to WoW.

    peace.

    btw, (20th Century poster) i'm not from LA. but i do know many people there...heh.

  68. Alistair MacRae

    How could anyone buy these things.

    I couldn't buy one of these. It's the price. No matter how good it is. I try not to make a habit of carrying around anything worth over £400.

    How may people will be walking along the high street texting away (full focus on the screen as theres no buttons) and suddenly someone whips it out of your hands and is running off in the other direction as fast as they can.

    I can't think of anything more expensive that you have to have with you all the time.

    You may as well wair a shirt with "ROB ME!" in bright red letters.

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