It’s the night a million Mac fans have been waiting for – the launch of the iPhone.
I’ve been pondering whether I would get one ever since it was initially shown off at Macworld.
I finished work today after 6pm (the launch time) and walked up Broadway past an AT&T. I bumped into a couple of colleagues who had been lining up but had given up after the store had run out of 8GB models (apparently they only had 20 in stock.) They wanted to get one, and I wanted to see the line outside the Apple Store in Soho (which is only a 5 min walk from my apartment) so we walked up there instead.
We got there around 7pm and the line was around the corner, but only about 10 minutes in time. Once inside, the Steve-Jobs-clones were organised perfectly. There were 2 demo desks setup downstairs and a fast moving line to actually buy them upstairs. My colleagues went straight for the purchase option and were done lining up and buying in less than 5 minutes.
Still reticent I decided to spend some time trying it out. The good things about it:
- It’s a great design. Pretty small, feels very solid, easy to hold, very lightweight.
- The touch-based user interface works well, especially considering this is a first-of-a-kind device.
- The screen is great. Bright, clear, huge for a phone.
- It’s just wonderful to use – it really does put every other phone out there to shame
The not so good:
- EDGE really is pretty slow. I tried using Maps – it works ok but not great. To really push it I tried Flickr which of course was dog slow. I loaded up the front page of Meebo (which would allow using an instant messenger, an app which the iPhone doesn’t have natively) but didn’t want to log in on a shared device so I don’t know how it works.
- Some weird text functionality is lacking. Selecting chunks of text, no cut/paste.
Then the other things I didn’t like which I already knew:
- No push email – if you regularly check for updates this could kill your battery life.
- only 8GB – not enough to be an iPod replacement for me
- $600 for the handset and no rebate on the $60/month plan, and only 200 texts/month? I can afford this, but that’s damned pricey, especially since I’m going to want to replace my (now dead) 20GB 2nd gen iPod soon.
So in the end, despite the peer pressure, the hype, the Steve-Jobs-reality-distortion-field I didn’t buy one.
But there’s always tomorrow. Or maybe I should see what the 5th avenue Apple store is like at 4 am…