I was expecting not to like the iPhone. And expecting to see it flop. I was wrong.
Apple has another winner on their hands (as evidenced by massive sales thus far and amazing lines unlike anything I have ever seen – including the Windows 95 launch) and the product itself delivers. Apple has demonstrated once again how to enter a saturated market, deliver an outstanding V1 product, and get people to buy it – including the non-technically savvy masses.
I personally am still using a Palm Treo 750 running Windows Mobile – as it more than adequately meets my work needs. The iPhone, given lack of ActiveSync support, is not there yet as an everyday tool for me. However, for people like my mother – it’s an amazing device – as the one I purchased just went to her as a late birthday gift (given that her birthday came a few months before iDay on June 29th).
I have been attempting to convince my mother to get a mobile phone for some time. She has historically expressed zero interest. When she mentioned that she thought the iPhone looked interesting, I thought I might have a potential winner. If not, the return policy is pretty liberal. I gave it to her – and she is hooked.
In a matter of hours she has figured out the Weather application, the Maps/traffic application, e-mail, viewing photos, playing music, sending SMS messages, navigating the Web, and, of course, placing calls. To say she is hooked is an understatement – it is her new can’t-go-anywhere-without-it (including around the house) accessory. All this from a person who has spent the better part of a decade avoiding cell phones, let alone anything resembling a PDA.
My take is that the user interface is amazing, the hardware build quality and battery life is phenomenal, and the display is the best I have ever seen on a handheld device. The one area I expected to be awful – the on-screen keyboard – is actually very friendly once you figure out how to use it properly. The only problem I see is not being able to navigate based on tactile touch. The lack of removable battery is a myth – iPods have never had removable batteries and it has not seemed to cause much of an issue.
In short: the smart phone for the masses has arrived and redefined the segment. I can’t wait to see what lower-cost, next-version offerings bring…