I want the iPhone – now!

iPhoneI’ve been waiting for this announcement for months! So, here I am following Mac Rumours Live from 11pm to 12:30am in India, Skyping with a fellow mac addict through the entire key note.

Can I say WOW?!!! Oh my holy good god!!! This phone is light years ahead of the competition. At least five years ahead. iPod, phone, plus internet. It has surpassed my wildest expectations.

Ok, let me be structured –

Interface/Hardware

  • The device is one giant screen. One button only – the home button.
  • The Blackberry and the Treo have keypads, this has a virtual keypad since the whole thing is interactive.
  • Touch screen. But not just touch, multi-touch (in multiple places) and ignores errors. Can scroll through songs, contacts, dial a phone number by using your fingers on the screen.
  • Forget your stylus, use what you have – your fingers.
  • 3.5-inch screen, high resolution screen, 160ppi.
  • Only 11.6mm — thinner than the Q.
  • 2 megapixel camera.
  • “Accelerator” – automatically switches orientation between horizontal and vertical.
  • Knows when you take the phone towards your ear with a “proximity sensor” – what? Wow!
  • Ambient light sensor.
  • Shrink and enlarge text by “pinching” the screen and expanding your fingers – jeez!
  • WiFi and EDGE – with auto-detect (meaning you don’t have to do anything, it just connects)
  • 8GB and 4GB. Feels small. Especially for video. And with all your contacts and tunes and video loaded, it could be tight.

OS

  • It runs Mac OS X. Forget the horrible Windows Mobile. This is the beautiful os I am used to on my laptop transported onto the phone. Excellent!
  • Because it runs Mac OS X, it can do a whole bunch of things amazingly well – photos, contacts, calendar, widgets etc. Amazing photo application.

iPod

  • Well, it is the iPod you are used to, but without the click wheel, you use your finger to scroll instead.
  • All the usual stuff – album art etc. Same for movies.
  • Amazing resolution.
  • Speaker.

Phone

  • Excellent call interface. Conference calling made easy.
  • Visual voicemail. Instead of listening to your messages sequentially, see them all on screen and jump to whichever one you want. Just like email. For this they need carrier integration.
  • Can talk and send email at the same time!
  • Multiple SMS conversations using the onscreen keyboard. iChat like interface. Predictive text of some sort.
  • Great new bluetooth headset that is as sleek as the phone.

Email

  • Supports all pop and imap emails.
  • Supports Rich HTML.
  • PUSH IMAP – hello blackberry, goodbye blackberry. Basically makes every imap email account into a blackberry account. Integration with Yahoo, push IMAP for iPhone customers will be free.

Web

  • Safari is the browser.
  • Integrated with Google and Yahoo search.
  • Integrated Google Maps.
  • Location capabilities – it will show you where you are on the Google map, you can then find nearby restaurants, shops etc. Hello geo-targeted local commerce – you are a reality for the first time, my sweet little thing.

Carrier

  • Cingular.
  • Multi-year exclusive.
  • Bad, bad move. Carrier agnostic is the way to go. Own every network, not just the locations Cingular covers well.
  • Cingular service is crap.
  • Cingular’s pricing plan is through the roof.
  • I will not switch to Cingular. Even for this phone. Bad experiences have scarred me.
  • Ah well, someone will crack the lock on it pretty quickly and I can then use it on any GSM network.

Price

  • 4GB – $499.
  • 8GB – $599.
  • This is *with* a two-year Cingular contract.
  • Hmm… feels high. Will be a barrier for a lot of people. Especially since there is no subsidizing by Cingular like they usually do. The explanation is that this is the subsidized price, but the marketing sell is missing ($599 from Apple, but only $299 with a Cingular contract blah blah).

Overall take

  • The product is unbelievable. UN-BEE-LIEVABLE!!! Blown away. Completely. With over 200 patents on this thing, this is a huge leap in innovation.
  • The storage size will increase quickly, I would think. The phone is similar in size to a video iPod, so if they can squeeze 30GB and the phone hardware in there, it would be perfection defined.
  • The business decision on carrier, I find just plain bad. Cingular, I am sure, put up tons of moolah, but for Apple, the customer experience always comes first… Let’s see how it unfolds.

Those who need to worry

  • All phone manufacturers
  • RIM (the makers of Blackberry)
  • Microsoft, who basically said yesterday that this would be very hard for Apple to pull off. Heh!
  • Cingular – since no one is excited it was announced with them. If crappy Cingular service affects iPhone sales (it will), it will be bye bye baby. Contract or no contract.

Apple is SO cool. They have truly redefined the phone. I can’t wait (after someone cracks the Cingular lock on it a week after release).

Congratulations, Apple!

Image from: Engadget

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  • http://ipatrix.com Patrix

    I agree. iPhone is an excellent product (or at least seems like it). The cost is prohibitive but that has never stopped Apple for selling it products. But one downer is that the phone is currently available only for Cingular.

  • Sumith

    Remember its Apple, first they will release this 2G GSM model and after like few months release a GSM CDMA version or a 3G phone. With Apple we just can never catch up.

    And they seem to be good at convincing that “want” and “need” are the same.

  • http://www.aparnaanand.com Anand

    I agree with Patrix. With Apple comes liberty. I dont want to be tied to a single service provider. I want freedom like GSM customers have in Europe & Asia.

  • http://4thumpire.blogspot.com/ Fourth Umpire

    Might be the first Apple product that is not ludicrously overhyped. Well, it is, but maybe not by as much as most others.

    Cingular rocks by the way. I swear by them. Occasionally at them, but mostly by them.

    Of course, I can’t view the demo on the apple site, because it crashes both Firefox and IE. Might be the quicktime plug-in that’s the problem – who makes that again? :-)

  • Shripriya

    @Patrix – clearly we are in full agreement.

    @Sumith – yes, it is true. I’m depressed that now I need to constantly upgrade my cell phone too. But, it will be interesting to see how they go in terms of deals with carriers. Not sure they need deals, but I am sure they are getting a ton of money. IF they can get Cingular to come out with a well priced plan, things could get interesting.

    @Anand – Er… right now, you don’t have liberty. You are tied to Cingular. To me, this is the only dumb move I see. Let’s see how it plays out.

    @Forth Ump – Yes, Cingular service rocks in the Bay Area. Very spotty in Manhattan. Service is terrible compared to T-Mobile. With T-Mobile, the on-hold times are insignificant. With Cingular, I regularly was on hold for north of 30 minutes. AND the plans cost 30-50% more than T-Mobile.

    In general, I can’t wait till someone hacks a way to “unlock” the phone. I can live without visual voicemail, thank you.

  • http://ckunte.com/ Chetan

    It’s worse than any currently available phone: Usability (!). Hello?!

    Apple missed this BIG one. Allow me to explain: Take out your cellphone: Notice the key number 5 or one in the middle. It has two tiny plastic projections. They actually help the disabled (esp blind). iPhone has a plane plastic surface. Nice but now way for the blind to know how they can use the phone or where to touch to get things work. Too bad.

  • http://shallowthoughts00.blogspot.com tgfi

    *drools*

  • http://vivalavi.wordpress.com Vi

    That phone sounds amazing! I just bought a new one last year but…aah!

    And Cingular rocks. I’ve had it for more than five years; I get service everywhere. It just depends on the area you live, I suppose.

  • #

    True..Great product ..looks like a huge step forward.

    But still a couple of things ..

    i still havent noticed is is there memory extension capability .I assume its a No…

    The memory of 4 or 8 gb seems kinf of low ( Pictures,Music movie apps) i assume would grow rapidly in the next few months i would defn need a lot more than that if i need to replace my 30gb ipod ..

    The price seems to be high considering its $599 (24 X 80 $ for the plan )..

    the other thing is u can run cocoa applications but suprisingly i never saw any demos for any productivity software running on it…..i would like to c it before i jump on to wagon…

    i am sure apple would defn address most of these issues seeing ipod going from 1G to 5G …i am sure there are lot of changes coming soon…

    So i going to defn wait until they come out with the 2nd genration atleast…….

    BTW the word around is though the carrier is cingular ..the customer service would be done by apple.

  • Shripriya

    @Chetan – That’s a valid point. It does not address blind users since there isn’t a tactile entry system. However, it runs OS X, which means once they unlock the iPhone (by sliding their finger across the phone), they could use voice commands instead.

    @TGFI – :)

    @Vi – I agree that Cingular coverage rocks in certain places. My concerns are about price (where Cingular’s voice and data plans are higher than T-Mob’s) and customer support, which is hellish.

    @# – Yeah, 30GB would be great (ah, we are so spoiled by Apple). And like you, despite how much I want it, I am also wary of Apple’s 1st gen products. And drop $600 and three weeks later a 3G device appears. Aargh.

    Wow, if Apple does customer support, that could be interesting…

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  • Sumith
  • Cranky Dude

    We keep forgetting all the Apple disasters. whatever happened to the Mac Mini? This thing is going to be unusable. It’s neither fish nor fowl, it’s just a major design statement. i’m sticking with my blackberry pearl which *ROCKS*.

  • Shripriya

    @Sumith – thanks for the link. Some very interesting comments there. I wonder how much of the iPhone was outsourced etc.

    @Cranky Dude – The Mac Mini was technically not a disaster. But the Newton and the Cube certainly were. We’ll have to wait and watch, but be ready to eat your words shortly!

    The thing that IS an unmitigated disaster is the business side of things. Apple has announced that they will make it hard to unlock. How stupid – if I go to India, I can’t put in my a cheaper SIM? Yuck.

    The statement that they will make it hard to unlock will bring out the hackers. More power to them. I will buy an unlocked phone on eBay :)

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  • samira

    For the Mac Addict – this isn’t to do with the iphone but i wonder if someone can help?
    I live in India and had bought a Macbook in the US. After using it in India for about 4 months, my Macbook’s battery has stopped working. Now the laptop won’t recognize the battery, and believe me, I’ve tried everything short of buying a new battery.
    Has anyone had this problem? is there anything i can do? or should i just cave and buy a new battery?

  • Shripriya

    Samira – check out the Apple support page. They have a contact number in India. Call them. You have 90 days of complimentary support and a year of repair coverage. So, you may have to pay for support, but for not the fixing of your computer. (FYI, Apple Care is generally an investment that removes these hassles).

    If you have a friend who has a Macbook try and check whether it is the battery or the computer – it could be a connection on the computer. So, if you can, test it with another battery to isolate the problem.

    Also, search the web. I found this link which has to do with the brightness setting oddly enough –

    http://kristopherjohnson.blogspot.com/2006/08/macbook-battery-problem.html

    This guys seems to have a similar problem which was fixed –

    http://www.macbookrandomshutdown.com/2006/12/16/macbook-183-i-had-the-problem-now-ok-6/

    If you do end up sending it in, back up everything! If it is your computer, Apple will replace the computer and you will likely lose all your data. Oh, and if you installed more RAM, take that out before sending it in.

    Good luck!

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  • Ricky

    seems to be a popular topic.. My big regret is that I have been told over and over again to buy Apple stock a few weeks before mac world and sell a few weeks after. I didn’t take the good advice.

  • #

    @ samira …

    Is a “X” on your Battery sign? If thats the case i would suggest you take that to your nearest apple store (not a authorised reseller ..i am not sure if there is any in india…) they would replace your battery for free…i assume its one of their silent batterry recalls.. a couple of people i know who bought their macbooks in may june of last year had the same problem(they had the white macbooks i assume the 1.8 ghz ones)..and they got their battery replaced for free with no questions asked…

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  • Philip

    I wonder who’s hands those are?
    they are very nice

  • bubbawantsyou

    “The storage size will increase quickly, I would think. The phone is similar in size to a video iPod, so if they can squeeze 30GB and the phone hardware in there, it would be perfection defined.”

    Sorry to burst your bubble but if they’re using 8gb of memory, it’s not a hard drive, and thus they won’t be able to “fit it” in the “size as a video iPod.” A hard drive takes up a ton of physical space, and it’s already friggin HUGE. The vidpods use HD storage, the mini/nano/shuffle use flash memory of some sort. So maybe if the storage on those goes way up then so will this.

    Personally I think it’s too big to be accepted. Putting a hard drive in it, making it acceptable for music use, would make it even bigger. But here’s to hoping I’m wrong.

  • Shripriya

    @Philip – ROLF. I think they belong to a hand model. That’s why those jobs exist – to look great and to make the product look great too.

    @Bubba – Thanks. Makes sense. Despite my love for the design side of the product, I am still so annoyed by their business decisions that I will have to wait anyway. Can’t buy a phone where I can’t use a cheaper SIM card internationally… so at a minimum it means waiting till they release internationally.

  • Kevin C

    Why the hell would a blind person want to drop 500 bucks on an iphone ??? are you insane ? Thats the stupidest drawback I ever heard

  • http://iphone-scene.com Jan

    The price is insane…

    … but I will buy it!

  • lisa

    Dude……this thing is so hot!!…..

    when the hell is it coming to India??

  • radhish

    yeah….hello everyone….te iphone was amazin product by apple…me waitin for tht…then i wanna knw 1 thng…..her i am using hutch…..so….even when i broght it frm USA…can i use..te hutch sim card in tht……help…reply..me..soon…becoz…in india i thnk v dont hav cellur conec…..reply..me..shripriya.

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  • eloid

    The I phone sucks dick

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  • http://www.ebcak.com Matt

    It's all in the marketing. Apple is using its image to leverage insane prices for a product like this. I think Apple is amazing when it comes to re-inventing its corporate image.

  • http://www.ebcak.com Matt

    It's all in the marketing. Apple is using its image to leverage insane prices for a product like this. I think Apple is amazing when it comes to re-inventing its corporate image.

  • http://www.ebcak.com Matt

    It's all in the marketing. Apple is using its image to leverage insane prices for a product like this. I think Apple is amazing when it comes to re-inventing its corporate image.

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  • http://cool-stuff-tech.blogspot.com/ Tech Geek

    Apple products are stylish, sleek and that and heavy marketing is what is selling these products. I love it.

  • http://cool-stuff-tech.blogspot.com/ Tech Geek

    Apple products are stylish, sleek and that and heavy marketing is what is selling these products. I love it.

  • http://cool-stuff-tech.blogspot.com/ Tech Geek

    Apple products are stylish, sleek and that and heavy marketing is what is selling these products. I love it.

  • http://goo2.be funnel

    I think the batteries on the Ipod are to week, what do you think ??