Count me among the many who scored an iPhone last night. I was monitoring the iPhone news on the Net all day, gathering last minute information. Would the iPhone bomb! Would lines be endless?
The lines were not bad. I waited until initial reports came out from the first few East coast people with phones. Did they like them? People were saying really good things. I didn't want to buy a Newton 1 again and feel like I bought into the hype and got suckered.
So, I waited until 7:10 pm before driving over to my local Apple store which is about 8 miles away in Corte Madera. When I arrived, the line was about 80 feet long. It took about 45 minutes to get to the front of the line. Then another 10 minutes waiting in a line inside the store. People were incredibly excited and maybe a little tense.
I bought the phone in about 3 minutes at the counter. They had about 6 people set up to sell iPhones. Then, there was a little spot over on the side where you could check out iPhone cases and I checked those out briefly.
I liked the red In Case case but not well enough to forego a more thorough shopping effort. I really didn't want to sully my phone with a case that couldn't possibly look as good as the iPhone itself. I did buy a clear screen protector which I have not yet applied. A couple staff were taking your cards with their little portable machines. Most staff were just standing around or outside. I am sure they were completely exhausted.
So how is it? It is absolutely the most amazing cell phone ever by a mile. It is the most cool computer ever. It will rock the cell phone space.
I had a slight delay before activation took and I was able to place calls. I need to try the phone in various environments to tell whether it is as good a call quality as my BlackBerry Pearl but the first call was fine.
During the delay when I could not make calls, after about 5 minutes, I could use other features on the phone. When I synced, I could not use the phone. It didn't sync music, photos, podcasts, video, TV shows at all. That is a separate step because all the checkboxes for those syncs start out unchecked. That is good because it means you can do exactly what you want with that.
I am getting email but I was using IMAP access to my local email account and instead they are giving me POP access. I had both accounts in my Apple Mail, but the POP was inactive and the IMAP was active. Not sure why that happened. I will ask when I go to the Apple store tomorrow for two 1-hour iPhone classes. Hopefully, they will be able to get me on IMAP access.
I downloaded the 100+ page user manual you can download from the Apple site. I've read 44 pages in the manual so far. I recommend printing the manual in color, just cause.
Flipping through the addressbook is sooooo cool. The feel is fantastic.
Surfing the web isn't perfect but MUCH better than on my BlackBerry or Treo. I'm still learning also. I will get back on web surfing after a bit more time. One nice thing is my Safari bookmarks synced. What I saw when going into safari bookmarks was everything I had in the bookmarks bar. Just what I want. Of course, I use single letters for these things to fit more and here it would have been better to see the full names. Whatever.
I am able to use Google maps. I can put in bookmarks for whatever. I am hoping I can put a lot more than the 10 bookmarks I could get in my BBP.
I am expecting all sorts of interesting web and social networking services targeting the iPhone. The iPhone could drastically alter the web towards being mobile friendly.
Congratulations to Steve Jobs for getting AT&T to be in favor of wi-fi hotspots. The first carrier on the wi-fi side of that argument. I hope we see lots more hotspots so we can use wi-fi more and the slower EDGE less.
I had to pay $600 for the phone, a $36 activation fee (that will probably appear on my next AT&T bill) and I had to add 2 years to my AT&T service contract. That's expensive. What was not expensive is the monthly charges. I will be paying the same as before. Which is $20 for the data plan, $40 for my pre-existing 1000 anytime-minutes voice plan and $10 more for 1500 SMS messages. Like everyone else, I am not crazy about Apple withholding iChat and want that changed!!! I am sure this was a hard fought concession that Apple made to get other things they wanted like the wi-fi, the $20 data plan, etc..
As usual, these are first day reports. Typically, the enthusiasm dies down a bit as time goes by and you get used to things and start taking them for granted. But right now, I think a lot of people will buy these things. And a lot more will buy when the price goes down in 9-12 months.
Good news you may not have seen. At the Apple employee meeting on Thursday morning, Steve Jobs said there would be OS X-based iPods. I am very curious to see how those will be configured. Steve will not have to compromise to please AT&T but will still be dealing with record label push-back. When do we get downloading direct from iTunes? How about an SD card slot at some point?
I am more than pleased with what Apple has accomplished with this device. There are a few big compromises like non-removable battery, no iChat, EDGE instead of 3.5 G, AT&T-only, 2-year activation required, no activation discounts. These are big but we got lots and lots of goodies in exchange so to me the deal is well worth it.