Geek Moment: iPhone Reviews
Just before I closed up shop for the evening, I noticed that Apple iPhone reviews started to pop-up all over the web. The WSJ has provided their take, the New York Times has a review as well as a semi-cute video, USA Today has to provide their input as well and Newsweek gives us input on their “test drive”. The consensus thus far? The long awaited iPhone isn’t perfect, but it sure does live up to the hype.
Aside from the “IT” (better known as the Segway), I believe this is one of the most hyped devices in recent memory and Apple is making sure everyone who has a trail version of the phone is happy. For example, Steve Jobs was personally calling the reporters/media folks who were reviewing the phone. Yes, I understand that part of his job is to market but that is dedication.
Consistently the reviewers are saying the engineering and design of the phone are simply beautiful. The device is easy to use and has a very subtle elegance to it. Not only does it look sexy, apparently it is easy to use as well. Just pick up and go.
Apple has taken an interesting approach with the activation of the phone. One does not have to deal with the pushy, and sometimes intimidating, cell phone sales people. You can purchase the phone at an AT&T location or an Apple store, take the device home, and activate it in the comfort of your living room all though the iTunes store. This does raise a question, however. What happens if an individual is transferring a phone number from another provider? Can that be accomplished during this process as well?
The complaints that seem to be surfacing in the reviews are consistent with what has been floating around the web for the past few months. For example, the battery life of the device can be drastically shortened depending on how much surfing/video watching you do. Also, the iPhone currently does not support Flash or Java, which means a large number of videos and content will be unavailable to web surfers.
The loudest complaint, interestingly enough, is the choice of service provider – AT & T. According to the NYT review:
“AT&T’s signal ranked either last or second to last in 19 out of 20 major cities… Then there’s the Internet problem. When you’re in a Wi-Fi hot spot, going online is fast and satisfying. But otherwise, you have to use AT&T’s ancient EDGE cellular network, which is excruciatingly slow. The New York Times’s home page takes 55 seconds to appear; Amazon.com, 100 seconds; Yahoo. two minutes.”
Apple seems to have known this was going to be an issue, so the iPhone looks for the fastest network to access in order to provide you with the best experience. If no Wi-Fi is available, the device will default to the EDGE network. To me, this is the biggest flaw with the phone – not the design or user interface but who Apple decided to partner with.
I passionately hate AT&T/Cingular/SBC. Their service, both cellular and local, has always been crap. I had trouble getting service in two major markets for crying out loud… And that is why I am not getting the iPhone.
Yes, I want the device. As a matter of fact, I was holding off on purchasing a new phone for almost a year because I wanted an iPhone. However, my hopes have been dashed for now. Maybe, as the device continues to mature, I will no longer have the ability to resist the urge but, for now, I have to pass.
Business2.com has a wrap-up as well.
Appleiphonereview.com has a “waiting in line” survival guide. =)
Interesting take – Thestreet.com’s Kevin Wassong says that the iPhone needs a 20 min video tutorial. Is the device not as easy to use as thought?