Thoughts on the iPhone

If you've known me for any longer than 5 minutes, you know that I am a phone whore. I like the small form factors, the feature robustness, the pervasiveness of portable technology, the pace of new models being released – I love mobile devices.

If you use a cell phone, you're probably used to your interface. You've used it often enough while trying to make calls or send text messages that you've merely gotten used to it. In general, cell phone interfaces are abysmal. They lack key visual clues. They often lack a straightforward way to accomplish a straightforward task quickly. Guess what? It's a mobile phone – things should be fast and intuitive. If I wanted to spend 10 minutes trying to figure out how to send a picture to a friend, I'd do it in front of a computer, not my phone.

A lot of people have been saying for a long time that if Apple were to enter the mobile handset market, they would turn the whole industry on its ear.

Now, Apple has done exactly that. 

My personal thoughts, as they occurred to me during today's keynote: 

  1. I wish they'd stop talking about the AppleTV
  2. Whoa, is that a phone?
  3. Holy cow – this trumps almost all of the features from the K790a I almost bought. Except the camera.
  4. I bet a lot of folks at Moto and Nokia are upset right about now. And so are their shareholders.
  5. Hey, wait, I'm already a Cingular subscriber! 
  6. How much does it cost. When can I get one? 
  7. Stop yapping and tell me how much it costs and when I can get one!
  8. Ouch. That's a lot of clams. And June is so far away.

So, to me, it seems like Apple basically took a good long look at the existing smartphone market, and said,  (in a very typical Apple style) "Nah, let's try something else." So they scrapped all of the conventional wisdom, and built their own gadget from the ground up. Some noteworthy specs:

  • 2MP camera (this would be a lateral move for me – I had planned on upgrading to the SE K790a's 3.2 MP camera with AF.)
  • Integrated Wi-fi
  • Quad-band GSM/EDGE (850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz bands – this is a WORLD phone!)
  • 4GB or 8GB storage
  • All touch-screen interface – no buttons. Killer. This item hearkens back to the original point I was making at the beginning of this post: Apple has pretty much re-invented the phone interface. Multi-touch support, which means you can have more than one finger doing different things at the same time. To top it all off, it's so pretty, just like real OS X. For the most part, everything looks fairly intuitive, and more closely resembles what I feel a mobile device's interface should be.
  • Accelerometer – it knows when it's oriented as landscape or portrait and automatically adjusts the display to suit. Magic.
  • Proximity detector – turns off the touchscreen when it's next to your face (so you don't accidentally hang up on people or send the phone into some crazy application.)
  • 3.5 in. screen – apparently super high quality. I believe it – c'mon, it's Apple. 
  • Runs OS X – this amazes me. What kind of architecture powers this little thing?
  • Handles Desktop-class applications, natively (again: I'm amazed.) 
  • Bluetooth 2.0 with EDR and A2DP – also things I would have gotten in the K790a, and in this day and age, I can't imagine a phone without bluetooth. 
  • Everything else…

And there you have it. I'll be placing 20 dollars a week into an envelope, and in 25 weeks, I'll be buying one of these.

June or bust!

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