The first time I heard about the iPhone, I think I was too busy to look too closely at it, or more likely, Steve Jobs had not given enough detail to warrant further investigation on my part. By June, though, there was plenty of buzz around the new Apple phone, and everything I saw on the Apple site looked fantastic. I’m not really certain what tipped the scales for me, but I think it may have actually been the time that Steve Ballmer uttered a big, fat lie in a video interview.
You know Steve Ballmer, he’s the Microsoft CEO that acts like a monkey and says incredibly stupid things (that, or he hopes you’re incredibly gullible). In an interview in which he was asked about the iPhone, he demonstrated his unfathomable ignorance by claiming the iPhone was the most expensive mobile phone, ever. A) Steve, you are a moron, B) the most expensive mobile phone was probably the Nokia 9000 (~$1000), cira 1997, C) even now, there are phones costing upward of $800, D) the iPhone is not (just) a mobile phone. So, Steve, thanks to your absurdly wrong claim, I am now the proud owner of a 4GB Apple iPhone.
The iPhone is truly fantastic. I have personally owned five different mobile phones, and operated dozens of others (I used to work for a company that developed mobile phone software). Not one of them is nearly as easy to use, sleek, and well designed as the iPhone. Everything about it is brilliantly designed. First there’s the packaging. Opening the box is like opening a Christmas present from a fine jeweler. The phone itself is sleek and beautiful. The graphics are the most detailed and colorful I have seen in any handheld device. The visual feedback and ease with which the phone is used are top notch. The on-screen keyboard is the best I’ve used, enabling me to quickly get up to speed with typing notes and adding contacts. Lest I forget, there’s also the desktop-like web browsing. Surfing to any page and seeing it exactly as it would appear on my desktop is wonderful. Okay, so seeing a web page on a tiny screen sounds, at first, like trying to fit a dozen adults into a Mini, but it works remarkably well. I had no trouble at all reading slashdot, CNN, and numerous other pages. I can definitely see myself using the iPhone to browse the web on a regular basis.
In case you were wondering how I got the phone, the story is very simple. On Friday I lined up at the AT&T store in Union City, just before 6pm, and waited to see how fast the line would move. After half an hour, it was pretty clear that the 15 AT&T sales associates on staff were not too interested in selling out on the first night. In 30 minutes, all of five customers made their way out of the store with their new iPhones. With over 100 people in front of me, it would take all night to get mine. The next day my family and I flew up to Oregon. By mid-afternoon I started calling every AT&T store within 20 miles of my parent’s home. The first four had sold out the day before, but the fifth still had plenty. So my dad and I drove over and picked one up—it took less than 3 minutes. Since the Apple Store was nearby, we walked over and found they had plenty of phones in stock as well. I guess no body thought to go to the Bridgeport Village to buy an iPhone. Thankfully that was the case, otherwise I’d probably not have found one anywhere near Portland.
If you’re still undecided about the iPhone, stop wasting time and buy it already. It is worth every penny, and will make your mobile experience the most pleasant it can be.