I wasn’t that interested when Steve Jobs announced the iPhone at MacWorld earlier this year. Yeah, it was cool, but c’mon! $500 for an iPod and mobile phone combo? You’re not gonna sucker me in on this one, Steve. I still had the same phone I got four years ago. It still made phone calls just fine. And as an iPod, it couldn’t even hold what my 2nd generation 20 GB iPod could hold. I told myself right then I wasn’t gonna buy one. I didn’t need it. My phone and iPod worked perfectly. And with a wedding coming up, I’m sure I could put the extra $500 (plus extra monthly expenses) to good use.
Then came WWDC and the “announcement” that the SDK was AJAX. Not that I really expected a full SDK, but I did feel it was at least a little insulting to pass off web apps as an SDK. Yeah, we knew it could browse the web, Steve. How is this sweet? Okay, good, I thought. Yet another reason to avoid the iPhone.
But as June 29th approached, the hype rose. The preview articles started coming in, giving us a glimpse of what the little phone from Apple could do. The reviews gave it mostly high marks, but these guys didn’t have to pay for it out of their own pocket. Somehow I still don’t trust a review as much when they don’t have to part with their own, hard earned money.
Finally, the 29th came. People started lining up just to be the first on the block to get their iPhone. I happened to be at a doctor’s appointment near the downtown Chicago store, and as I got out at 2pm, the line wrapped around the block. I had to gawk and laugh at these silly people waiting in line. In line for what, a phone? Ha!
Then the blog reviews started coming in. It was true. Yes, this thing was nearly as cool as Jobs made it out to be. Sure, it wasn’t without it’s flaws, but it delivered at least 80%, perhaps even 90%, of what was promised. I started becoming more interested. I started rationalizing an iPhone purchase.
Sure it was expensive, but I could use a new phone. Mine was beat up. And the UI was terrible. For example, in the four years I owned the pone, I never figured out how to add someone to a quick-dial list. I was already on AT&T, so I didn’t have to worry about switching carriers or breaking a contract. I already used an IMAP mail server with server-side procmail and SpamAssassin filtering. And besides, I didn’t own a current generation smart phone. Who cares if it wasn’t 3G? Or couldn’t run 3rd party apps? It would still be leaps and bounds above my current phone.
By Saturday, there were rumors that the Apple stores were not going to sell out of the phones. In fact, you could check Apple’s web site for store availability. As if to tempt me even more, the Chicago store had ‘em in stock as of Saturday evening. So my fiancée and I decided to head up to the store on Sunday, just to see if they had ‘em. We wouldn’t get up any earlier than we normally would on a Sunday. We just wanted to see if they had ‘em in stock. We just wanted play with one, in person. But not really to buy.
This was a mistake. The second we walked into the store, the reality distortion field started kicking in. They must have been piping it in straight from Cupertino. I waited my turn to play with one of the demo phones. And as soon as I got my hands on it, within about 30 seconds, I was sold. About ten minutes later, I walked out of the store with an 8 GB iPhone. So not only did I buy one, I got the more expensive one. I walked out thinking, “What the hell did I just do?” At the same time, I couldn’t wait to start playing with it.
I won’t go into a full review right now. There’s been a lot said already. But it really is as sweet as the demos. The UI is fantastic. It’s cool. It’s fun. I’ve never had a mobile phone that was actually fun to use. I’ve merely tolerated them all. It’s true. The iPhone is a revolutionary phone. And I’m glad I own one.