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Walt Mossberg Reviews the iPhone

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the hands-on-early dept.

Communications 564

WSJdpatton writes "Walt Mossberg tested the iPhone for two weeks, in multiple usage scenarios, in cities across the US. His verdict is that, despite some flaws and feature omissions, the iPhone is on balance a beautiful and breakthrough hand-held computer. Its software especially sets a new bar for the smart-phone industry, and its clever finger-touch interface, which dispenses with a stylus and most buttons, works well, though the lack of physical buttons can be a hindrance." Digital Daily has a roundup of early iPhone reviews.

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Other reviews (5, Informative)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 6 years ago | (#19657923)

David Pogue, New York Times [nytimes.com]

- "so sleek and thin, it makes Treos and BlackBerrys look obese."
- After walking around with the iPhone unprotected for 2 weeks, no marks on it. Glass smudges are easily wiped off.
- 700 megabytes is occupied by the phone's software
- Making calls can be a 6 step process if phone is off.
- Web, Email is superior
- Battery Life Test: 5 hours video, 23 hours audio. Note: did not turn off Wi-Fi and other features as Apple suggests.
- Typing was OK. Difficult at first, but learned to "trust" the keyboard. "The BlackBerry won't be going away anytime soon."
- Cites AT&T network as iPhone's biggest downfall. Cites Consumer Reports survey which ranks AT&T network as last or second to last in 19 out of 20 major US cities.
- AT&T's EDGE cellular network: "excruciatingly slow"
- Slideshow of photos [nytimes.com] taken with iPhone
- Video Review [nytimes.com]

Steven Levy, Newsweek [msn.com]

- bottom line is that the iPhone is a significant leap
- The iPhone is the rare convergence device where things actually converge.
- e-mail looks more like you're working on a computer than a clunky phone
- YouTube videos work great on Wi-Fi, but can display in a lower quality when you're not at a hotspot and are using AT&T's EDGE network
- unless I did a lot of video watching or Web browsing, [the battery] could generally last the day
- I've been jamming it in my pocket with keyrings, coins and pens, and so far it's nearly as good as new.

Edward Baig, USA Today [usatoday.com]

- Apple's iPhone isn't perfect, but it's worthy of the hype
- The revelation is that it's also comfortable to hold and touch.
- I expected to miss the tactile feel that a physical keyboard provides. I didn't.
- You can hold a conference call with up to five people.
- No voice recognition or voice dialing
- halfway decent internal speakers for listening if you set the thing down
- iPod games are not compatible with iPhone
- our company tech department raised questions about the security settings Apple required with our Microsoft Exchange servers.
- Battery life didn't prove to be a big problem in my unscientific tests

Walt Mossberg, Wall Street Journal [wsj.com] (the submitted article's highlights):

- Our verdict is that, despite some flaws and feature omissions, the iPhone is, on balance, a beautiful and breakthrough handheld computer. Its software, especially, sets a new bar for the smart-phone industry, and its clever finger-touch interface, which dispenses with a stylus and most buttons, works well, though it sometimes adds steps to common functions.
- largest, highest resolution screen of any smart phone they've seen, most internal memory
- Impressive battery life and thin
- Feels solid
- Regarding the touch keyboard: "After five days of use, Walt -- who did most of the testing for this review -- was able to type on it as quickly and accurately as he could on the Palm Treo he has used for years."
- Can't use T-Mobile SIM cards
- Wi-Fi capability doesn't fully make up for the lack of a fast cellular data capability
- Multitouch: "effective, practical and fun"
- No way to copy/paste text
- Microsoft's Exchange system support
- Voice call quality was good, but not great
- Can't record video
- No Adobe Flash support
- Songs can't be set as ringtones
- Apple says it plans to add features to the phone over time, via free downloads, and hints that some of these holes may be filled
- Video review [brightcove.com]

From macrumors.com [macrumors.com] .

Looks like the consensus (of these reviews, anyway) is that, for any shortcomings of the 1.0 model (some of which will be addressed via software updates, though obviously not the things requiring new hardware), it's a "significant leap" forward in mobile phones.

Re:Other reviews (5, Funny)

j00r0m4nc3r (959816) | more than 6 years ago | (#19657973)

Songs can't be set as ringtones

Praise Jesus!

Re:Other reviews (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19658001)

But there is a specific "Ringtones" tab that was shown in a screenshot of iTunes during the iPhone introduction at MWSF 2007, so there is obviously a mechanism for manipulating/syncing new/other ringtones, even if you can't arbitrarily set your own music as ringtones.

People also forget that even though this feature may not be supported, if the OS actually resides on the (accessible, even if hidden) flash memory, as it appears to, things like this will be hacked in no time.

Re:Other reviews (2, Insightful)

Walzmyn (913748) | more than 6 years ago | (#19658055)

You know, this thing is cute and it does lots of wiz-bang stuff. So do all of these "smart phones" out there.

But what I would pay money for (not this much) is a phone I could sit on, get soaking wet with sweat (it's 95 degrees with >70% humidity here), drop on concrete, etc... and still have the thing work.

I, and most folks I know, need a phone to do two things: Make phone calls and survive my day.

my $0.02

Re:Other reviews (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19658203)

That's really interesting. You know what? There are already phones for your type out there. They've been out there forever.

But your type has been bitching and groaning since forever about what you would not buy. Great, we understand. Now go away or stfu and let us enjoy our gadgets.

Re:Other reviews (3, Interesting)

feepness (543479) | more than 6 years ago | (#19658253)

But what I would pay money for (not this much) is a phone I could sit on, get soaking wet with sweat (it's 95 degrees with >70% humidity here), drop on concrete, etc... and still have the thing work.

You know what I would pay money for? A phone that detected when someone fails to do a simple google search and then sent a few dozen volts through the intertubes and shocked the person before they could publicly bitch irritating me and making themselves look silly in the process.

http://www.mobiledia.com/news/27248.html [mobiledia.com]
br But maybe that's just me.

Re:Other reviews (5, Funny)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 6 years ago | (#19658337)

You know what I would pay money for?

I have one of those phones. What I'd really like to know tho..AArggghhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Personal review (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19658059)

Robert Beltran, Voyager Press:

- Our verdict is that, despite some flaws and feature omissions, the iPhone is, on balance, a beautiful and breakthrough handheld computer. Its software, especially, sets a new bar for the smart-phone industry, and its clever finger-touch interface, which dispenses with a stylus and most buttons, works well, though it sometimes adds steps to common functions.
- largest, highest resolution screen of any smart phone they've seen, most internal memory
- Impressive battery life and thin
- Feels solid
- Regarding the touch keyboard: "After five days of use, Walt -- who did most of the testing for this review -- was able to type on it as quickly and accurately as he could on the Palm Treo he has used for years."
- Can't use T-Mobile SIM cards
- Wi-Fi capability doesn't fully make up for the lack of a fast cellular data capability
- Multitouch: "effective, practical and fun"
- No way to copy/paste text
- Microsoft's Exchange system support
- Voice call quality was good, but not great
- Can't record video
- No Adobe Flash support
- Songs can't be set as ringtones
- Apple says it plans to add fea

Re:Personal review (5, Funny)

dwater (72834) | more than 6 years ago | (#19658187)

> Microsoft's Exchange system support

Doesn't he mean 'lack of...'?

> - Songs can't be set as ringtones

That might work for the US market, but it won't for some others (eg China).

> - Apple says it plans to add fea

Ah, great. I'm sold. My current phone has 'fea', but I had heard the iPhone didn't have it. So, I'm pleased it does, and now I'm definitely going to get one.

Re:Other reviews (5, Funny)

Fry-kun (619632) | more than 6 years ago | (#19658073)

After walking around with the iPhone unprotected for 2 weeks, no marks on it
They were lucky to stay ALIVE, walking with it unprotected

Re:Other reviews (1)

dwater (72834) | more than 6 years ago | (#19658119)

..and some comments from some nay-sayers (Apple Mac vs PC ad spoofs):

http://darlamack.blogs.com/darlamack/2007/06/n95-v [blogs.com] s-iphone--.html [blogs.com]
http://darlamack.blogs.com/darlamack/2007/06/n95-v [blogs.com] s-iphone-1.html [blogs.com]

Mildly amusing, I suppose.

Re:Other reviews (1)

dwater (72834) | more than 6 years ago | (#19658141)

darn...links got broken. Lets try again :

http://darlamack.blogs.com/darlamack/2007/06/n95-v s-iphone--.html [blogs.com]
http://darlamack.blogs.com/darlamack/2007/06/n95-v s-iphone-1.html [blogs.com]

(Looks like /. code inserts a space between 'v' and 's' in the URL for some reason...but they still work when I put URL around them.

Re:Other reviews (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19658163)

All those reviews and very little about how it works as a phone. Did it drop calls? How was the volume for you and the party you were calling?

Re:Other reviews (2, Informative)

FleaPlus (6935) | more than 6 years ago | (#19658493)

From Walt Mossberg [wsj.com] : "Voice call quality was good, but not great. In some places, especially in weak coverage areas, there was some muffling or garbling. But most calls were perfectly audible. The iPhone can use Bluetooth wireless headsets and it comes with wired iPod-style earbuds that include a microphone."

Re:Other reviews (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19658249)

And this is what Slashdot has turned into.

A blog for pathetic Apple shills. What a fucking joke.

Oh to be able to go back years ago and show people how far this site will have fallen over the coming years.

Re:Other reviews (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19658313)

I got to check out the review version a guy I know at work has.

I had to laugh when he showed it to me. After all the hype, after all the millions in marketing money and 'ahem' enticements to the media, the iPhone is nothing more than a very expensive yawn of a product.

Just imagine a product called iWater that actually isn't any better than tap water but has a very expensive bottle. And thousands of Apple fans yelling at you and 'you're just not tasting it properly'

Re:Other reviews (5, Funny)

Tax Boy (75507) | more than 6 years ago | (#19658353)

No voice dialing = deal-killer. How am I supposed to use it hands-free, especially in the car? Two-hand "multi-touch" while driving equals instant death.

I want a "jesus-phone", not a "meet jesus phone"!

The iIt - Order now! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19658375)

The iIt !!! [dynaverse.net]

You know its coming, as sure as pet rocks were a hit in the seventies. I wish I had someone to invest, I know the iIt will sell. It has an "i" in front of it, it must be good! Everyone just has to have one! You can't live without iIt!

No Flash? Halleluja! (2, Interesting)

organum (210431) | more than 6 years ago | (#19658417)

But really, I can't see why not having Flash availabe is much of a drawback. I see it primarily as adware, which is why I have it blocked by default. I suppose it would be nice if one wanted to idle some time away watching YouTube videos, but at $500+? I can't imagine.

Re:Other reviews (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19658431)

Wow, Dave is at it again, bringing us useful information. Please mod him up. He must be an IT genius.

You want me to spend a minimum of $59.99/mo. + $499 for an iPhone?

What else can you expect from a fat cat sconnie [wisc.edu] [wisc.edu] who prides himself on the BMWs he's owned [wisc.edu] [wisc.edu] and lists his top 'interest' as Apple?

CmdrTaco's Review (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19657927)

No 3G wireless. Less space than an iPod. Lame.

Break, Please. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19657931)

Could we take a break from the Iphone for a bit? At least from the front page?

Re:Break, Please. (1)

AaxelB (1034884) | more than 6 years ago | (#19657987)

Hah! Oh, man, that's rich.

Seriously, though, you may want to stay away from the internet for the next week or so. It'll be better that way.

Re:Break, Please. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19658069)

Cowboyneal, create a separated page for iPhone please.

Gayest Device Ever (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19657933)

The early reviews are in: the iPhone is the gayest device ever.

Trouncing the Apple Macintosh in both Likelyhood of gay sex, and likelyhood of owning a Mazda Miata The iPhone once again shows what being gay is all about.

really clean fingers? (-1, Troll)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 6 years ago | (#19657959)

Anyone using it in the actual real world would say after about a day that it was terrible because with the amazing "wipe your finger across it" interface, it will get all smudged up all the time. Seriously, you'd have to stop and either wash your hands every time before you use it or wash the screen every couple minutes.

Re:really clean fingers? (1)

Drakin020 (980931) | more than 6 years ago | (#19658085)

Not only that but think about those with more Oily faces than others.

Holding that big screen against your face with your shoulder. You take it off and it's covered in enough oil to cook an egg.

It sounds crazy but its true.

Re:really clean fingers? (2, Insightful)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 6 years ago | (#19658113)

Lots of us use touch screen interfaces every day without shedding tears. Why would this be different?

Re:really clean fingers? (0)

Nataku564 (668188) | more than 6 years ago | (#19658407)

Generally those touch screens aren't made of apple's signature uber-shiny plastic, that attracts dirt, oil and scratches like no other. Despite taking very good care of my iPod nano, only a year after I purchased it the screen is extremely difficult to read without the backlight on.

Re:really clean fingers? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19658471)

The iPhone screen is made of glass not plastic

Re:really clean fingers? (1)

zullnero (833754) | more than 6 years ago | (#19658543)

I certainly don't use a touch screen to make phone calls, though I've seen people's phones that have been used heavily for such. Nor do I use a touch screen for instant messaging. I use a stylus when I use a touch screen. It essentially eliminates grease on the screen, though it is far more annoying than being able to push some buttons.

Also, if I were blind, it would also be rather tricky to find those touchscreen buttons by feel. When you're lining up your fingers on the keypad, you'd just have to get lucky. With actual buttons, you can find them by touch. This also is applied to using the handheld in certain situations, such as driving (and yes, it's horribly wrong to use your handheld while driving, but that bit of wisdom certainly doesn't seem to stop 80% of smartphone users out there).

There's a lot more I can get into as well. There have been many times where customers of mine have literally demanded that their target users do NOT use the touch screen for many different reasons.

Just a bit from someone who has developed software and systems around handhelds for several years now and has to use them heavily on a regular basis. One other thing, the iPhone is a device that is almost entirely marketed towards a large segment of the Slashdot crowd. It does far more than the average person really cares about, isn't really focused at text messaging and email the way Treos and Blackberries are, and is a pain to deal with in regards to actually getting them and getting service for them. Just because you really love Apple's products, doesn't mean you're the most unbiased source of an opinion about smartphones.

Re:really clean fingers? (2)

ToasterMonkey (467067) | more than 6 years ago | (#19658285)

Why is the parent modded insightful?

Like your ear and face are any less greasy. Take out your cell right now and tell me it doesn't have ear crud on it or a face print. Do it! Now wipe your finger across it and tell me it got WORSE. Morons.

Re:really clean fingers? (-1, Offtopic)

Jeremy_Bee (1064620) | more than 6 years ago | (#19658381)

I noticed some "gaming" of the moderation here lately as well.

Posts that are little more than juvenile insults seem to be being modded as "insightful" quite a bit recently. I think some of the Engadget kiddies have carefully groomed a slashdot log-in or two so as to be able to mod up their own posts. ;-)

Even if the Engadget conspiracy isn't true, this kind of modding can only reflect someone of such low intelligence and perceptive abilities as to make them virtually worthless as a moderator anyway.

Re:really clean fingers? (2, Interesting)

i_like_spam (874080) | more than 6 years ago | (#19658511)

I don't expect to have this dirty-finger problem.

You see, I live in Minnesota, so I wear gloves 10 months out of the year!

(On a serious note, can you use these things with gloves on? Inquiring minds want to know.)

PLEASE! - GIVE IT A REST! (2, Insightful)

throatmonster (147275) | more than 6 years ago | (#19657969)

I'm as big an Apple Fanboy as any, but the daily iPhone woodies from the editors is even making ME puke. Please guys, lay off the Kool-Aide!

Re:PLEASE! - GIVE IT A REST! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19658263)

I'm as big an Apple Fanboy as any, but the daily iPhone woodies from the editors is even making ME puke. Please guys, lay off the Kool-Aide!


How the fuck did this comment get modded offtopic? Offtopic my ass. It's bang on.

I'm as sick of the iPhone advertisements (stories) on Slashdot as this guy. Probably more so. Its a fucking cellphone people, get over it. Let me guess, the next story will be a review of the iPhone by NewScientist on how it will revolutionize all our lives.

Can we stop with the ads and get back to tech news?

Problems (-1, Troll)

Breakfast Pants (323698) | more than 6 years ago | (#19657989)

Seems like so I'm seeing a lot of 'scratches easily', and 'lack of tactile feedback kills it'. We can only hope that those folks are wrong, but I'm pessimistic on this one.

Which reviews are you reading? (5, Informative)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 6 years ago | (#19658035)

Doesn't quite seem to match... [slashdot.org]

"After walking around with the iPhone unprotected for 2 weeks, no marks on it. Glass smudges are easily wiped off."

"I've been jamming it in my pocket with keyrings, coins and pens, and so far it's nearly as good as new."

"I expected to miss the tactile feel that a physical keyboard provides. I didn't."

"Typing was OK. Difficult at first, but learned to "trust" the keyboard."

"After five days of use, Walt -- who did most of the testing for this review -- was able to type on it as quickly and accurately as he could on the Palm Treo he has used for years."

"bottom line is that the iPhone is a significant leap"

"The iPhone is the rare convergence device where things actually converge."

"Multitouch: 'effective, practical and fun'"

"Feels solid"

"Apple's iPhone isn't perfect, but it's worthy of the hype"

"The revelation is that it's also comfortable to hold and touch."

"Our verdict is that, despite some flaws and feature omissions, the iPhone is, on balance, a beautiful and breakthrough handheld computer."

Re:Which reviews are you reading? (1)

Breakfast Pants (323698) | more than 6 years ago | (#19658095)

I've been reading various reviews, not various selected quotes from various selected reviews by one guy. But, whatever. I've seen a mix of both, but those negatives have weighed more than the positives overall; again, just from what I've seen.

Re:Which reviews are you reading? (1)

RalphBNumbers (655475) | more than 6 years ago | (#19658311)

You've been reading "various reviews" by people who've probably never touched an iPhone, much less scratched one or used one long enough to reasonably critique it.

Tonight four major papers' tech columnists, who've had review units to (ab)use for weeks, released their reviews [macrumors.com] .
All four of them disagree with your evaluation; saying it doesn't scratch, and stating that the virtual keyboard is at least usable and can be as quick and easy as a physical thumbboard once you get used to it.

Re:Which reviews are you reading? (1)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 6 years ago | (#19658527)

As the other person who responded to you noted - and which you would have immediately seen had you bothered to follow the link right in my post - those are from four reviews, not one, and they're from the likes of the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Times. Also, since today brings the first actual hand-on reviews ever, and these are them, I'm not quite sure where you're getting your "mix" of information.

Re:Problems (0, Troll)

sssssss27 (1117705) | more than 6 years ago | (#19658061)

I have to agree with you that scratches and the lack of a tactile feedback is reason alone for me not to want it. I text a lot and I know a lot of my generation, I'm only 21 by the way, does as well. I have a feeling texting is going to be cumbersome with this phone.

I know some company designed a haptic feedback system for touch screens that makes you think you are actually pushing a button. I wonder why Apple didn't include that in this device.

Re:Problems (1)

pete.com (741064) | more than 6 years ago | (#19658273)

If you actually read the reviews I think you will find everyone adapted to the text messaging readily.

Re:Problems (5, Informative)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 6 years ago | (#19658307)

even worse: no native IM app (you can probably do it through a website, though) and all the service plans are limited to 200 text messages per month (before extra fees kick in).

Re:Problems (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19658345)

200 is a baseline number for all the plans; more (up to unlimited) can be added as desired (for extra $$$).

Supporting data??? (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 6 years ago | (#19658501)

Are you spouting from a point of knowledge or just wild extrapolation from other devices you've seen?

The iphone has a glass front which should make it far more scratch resistant than a regular plastic touch screen.

The haptic touch screens need extra mechanics (weight, battery power,cost...). Like everything in engineering you need to make trade offs. The iphone touch screen is different from a regular touch screen. It has to be to support multi-touch. This difference should make it far better than a regular touch screen and easier to use.

Where? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19658091)

Seems like so I'm seeing a lot of 'scratches easily', and 'lack of tactile feedback kills it'.

Where?

Thanks for uploading this (1)

jackson123r (1117227) | more than 6 years ago | (#19657993)

With iPhone, making a call is as simple as touching a name or number. In addition, you can easily construct a favorites list for your most frequently made calls www.iphone-converter.org

A Total Shock! Mossberg likes an Apple Product! (1, Insightful)

tjstork (137384) | more than 6 years ago | (#19658013)

Seriously, did anyone expect Mossberg to write anything else? He's been cheering Apple since before I can remember. I think he has the logo tatoo'd on his keaster!

There is no "quota" for reviewers (2, Insightful)

Space cowboy (13680) | more than 6 years ago | (#19658099)

They get to say what they like or dislike about things. They don't have to trash 20% of all products, react favourably to another 20% and ignore the rest.

Look at what Apple's been releasing, and you can see why he reviews them well. I don't care if you don't like the company, their products have been outstanding over the last couple of years -
  • the portables increasing in market-share (I think I was told 13% recently, quite a bit up from 5%),
  • there's the iPod in all its incarnations 'nuff said
  • and now the iPhone, which actually looks pretty good as well.

As far as I can see, he's called all those pretty well.

Simon

I LIKE Apple (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 6 years ago | (#19658157)

Woah! I learned to program on an Apple II! I like Apple and cheer the resurgence Jobs has brought to them. I think he's done a fantastic job with their products and I wish them continued success. When I say what I wrote about Mossberg, tis true, he is an Apple fanboy, but, hey, that ENDEARS him to me. It's not like there are not a lot of writers that are Windows shills.

Re:There is no "quota" for reviewers (1)

Breakfast Pants (323698) | more than 6 years ago | (#19658193)

You conveniently left out his glowing review of (of all things) the Apple TV. Sure, he doesn't have a quota, but you aren't gonna see him pulling off events where he is the host of an interview with Bill AND Steve in the future if he trashes their products. So don't act like he has a complete lack of incentive.

face oil / greasy finger smears?? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19658019)

This is a serious question. I know my face tends to be a bit on the oily side and the littlest bit of grime on my fingers will leave a nice blotch on the screen.. I'm surprised I haven't seen anyone else mention this for the iphone. It's also a major PITA when I let people borrow my phone, then I have to wipe their face sludge off my phone. the Iphone looks like one giant magnet for grime.

Re:face oil / greasy finger smears?? (1)

dwater (72834) | more than 6 years ago | (#19658271)

So, it seems that it *is* a problem, but only as much of a problem as other touch screen (or non-touch screen for ear/face smears) phones. It's up to you if you consider the problem enough to not buy it...

I dunno about the rest of you... (5, Funny)

mattgreen (701203) | more than 6 years ago | (#19658031)

But when I get my hands on that sweet, sweet iPhone, I'm going to literally cry with joy. Lately, I have been unable to sleep. All I can think of is holding it and putting it in my pocket. Truly, Wednesday is going to be the best day of my life. The only problem is I have to find some friends to call on it. It is odd that none of the reviews mentioned how well the device performs in basements, as that is my primary dwelling place.

It comes out on Friday, not Wednesday. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19658293)

Friday June 29.

Re:It comes out on Friday, not Wednesday. (1)

Glytch (4881) | more than 6 years ago | (#19658363)

Silence! The appearance periods of your accursed burning day-star have no meaning in this place.

Re:I dunno about the rest of you... (2, Funny)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 6 years ago | (#19658427)

I'm personally going to use the iPhone as a "tool detector". If I see that someone actually ran out and bought one instantly, then I know all I need to know about that person. :)

Knowledge wins out (4, Insightful)

Space cowboy (13680) | more than 6 years ago | (#19658033)

So, it seems as though those people who have actually *used* it seem to *like* it. Unlike the majority of stories, posts, blogs, etc. etc. we've seen recently.

I've lost track of just how many uninformed iPhone-hater pieces I've seen over the last week. Of course, most of that is just blog-spam, and to get more clicks, you just say something controversial... As always, follow the money - then you can make a more-informed decision as to whether the opinion being espoused is worth anything.

Oh, and always ignore anything Dvorak or Enderle say...

Simon.

Re:Knowledge wins out (1)

dwater (72834) | more than 6 years ago | (#19658225)

> So, it seems as though those people who have actually *used* it seem to *like* it. Unlike the majority of stories, posts, blogs, etc. etc. we've seen recently.

Yes, they do seem to like it, but they don't seem to deny all the negative points that have been made, as far as I can tell.

Most things I've read say that the only interesting thing about it is the UI, but raise doubts about that even. The reviewers above seem to somewhat quell those doubts, but it will still be largely up to personal preference I think - some people just don't like to use touch screens and much prefer keyboards.

Like I say, the reviews I've read do seem to acknowledge the iPhone's shortcomings feature-wise.

Re:Knowledge wins out (1)

ocelotbob (173602) | more than 6 years ago | (#19658281)

Depends. Those of us who actually like their phones to be useful are criticizing the phone on the conspicuous absence of features. It's 2007, why doesn't the iPhone have features like VOIP, MMS, real 3rd party application support, etc? Seems to me that Apple sold their soul to get the iphone in, to the detriment of the end user. Apple would have been better off going on their own; perhaps then, they could have had a real chance of going somewhere with their phone.

Re:Knowledge wins out (1)

Rocko's Modurn Life (661803) | more than 6 years ago | (#19658457)

Going off on their own? What does that mean? Start their own cellphone company?
What nonsense, as if then Apple would add any of the "features" you want. What you want is mostly hardware related which Apple decided not to include. Hell, they had to push back OS X 10.5 just to get the iPhone out in time.
Your complaints remind of the complaints I heard about the iPod (no radio, no removable battery, etc.) and that product seems to have done well for itself. And regardless of the reviews and the network the phone is on, I think the iPhone will do well for itself too.
To summarize, Apple has a real chance of going somewhere with their phone.

Oh and I read your other comment. You seem to really dislike this phone. I like it but I'm not getting it. You remind me of the wolf that couldn't get the grapes in Aesop's Fables.

Re:Knowledge wins out (1)

ocelotbob (173602) | more than 6 years ago | (#19658535)

I mean sell the phone at the apple stores with out any service whatsoever, like you can with Motorola, Samsung, Nokia, etc, phones. I'm criticizing apple for not having the balls to do something different with the iPhone.

The featureset is not a horribly radical thing. I can get phones right now with all the features I listed today for a cheaper price than the iPhone, including things like VOIP, plus have more choice of service.

I will agree, I dislike this phone. It could have been a great phone, however, apple spoiled it for me and a lot of other people through downright silly moves.

And one more thing. It was a fox in the fables, not a wolf.

Re:Knowledge wins out (1)

sssssss27 (1117705) | more than 6 years ago | (#19658507)

I'm not surprised people like it, actually I'd be more surprised if people didn't like it. We really won't know how well it is until it has been in the wild for a while. That's when you'll start finding out the things that really bother people.

I'm sure it will be popular and I'm sure it will be successful but it's not for me. For the same reasons I didn't buy an iPod I'm not going to buy this. It's just too expensive and too locked down for me. Now don't get me wrong that is pretty good for the mainstream market because the less they can do the less they can break but I like a device that bends to my will and will do most things I want it to. Just like the iPod makes you use iTunes the iPhone makes it so you can't run whatever software you choose on it. It's not that it's not good it's just that this is Slashdot and well we like to make technology do whatever we want.

No SIM? (1, Informative)

mhmehkri (1004126) | more than 6 years ago | (#19658049)

Seems like SIM cannot be changed. Now what is the use of terminating cingular contract? Just end up carrying a 600$ music player that cannot make phone calls? From the article - "But the iPhone has a major drawback: the cellphone network it uses. It only works with AT&T (formerly Cingular), won't come in models that use Verizon or Sprint and can't use the digital cards (called SIM cards) that would allow it to run on T-Mobile's network. So, the phone can be a poor choice unless you are in areas where AT&T's coverage is good. It does work overseas, but only via an AT&T roaming plan."

Re:No SIM? (1)

Jeremy_Bee (1064620) | more than 6 years ago | (#19658101)

Where did you get that quote?

The last I read was that it *does* use SIMs, but that, like other phones, it is purposely "locked" so swapping out the SIM card would not work. It also supposedly also has a SIM card slot at the top of the unit the last I heard. Which is true?

If it uses SIMs but cannot be unlocked, then it's only a matter of time till some hacker turns "cannot" into "can." If it doesn't use SIMs at all then that's a pretty final solution for hackers (and extremely unfair to the consumers).

Re:No SIM? (1)

Carthag (643047) | more than 6 years ago | (#19658125)

Or until it gets sold in Europe where cell companies are required to let users unlock the SIM block.

Re:No SIM? (1)

mhmehkri (1004126) | more than 6 years ago | (#19658343)

The quote is straight from Walt's review. I was also very surprised by that part. one of the Apple's demos showed a slot near top of phone for SIM loading.

Re:No SIM? (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 6 years ago | (#19658365)

Where did you get that quote?
That is a quote from TFA linked in the slashdot story... proves you're a true slashdotter.

Re:No SIM? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19658389)

He's saying T-Mobile SIM cards don't work, not that it doesn't use SIM cards. Eventually someone will figure out how to break the SIM lock, just like every other phone out there.

Re:No SIM? (1)

beef curtains (792692) | more than 6 years ago | (#19658473)

That's correct, the iPhone cannot use the SIM cards that are used by T-mobile.

However, it DOES use the SIM cards that are used by AT&T Wireless.

The iPhone does operate on AT&T's GSM network, and requires a SIM card to do so, and said SIM card is inserted in the SIM card slot.

I'm fairly certain that what Walt was trying to say is that the iPhone is locked down, so that it will only work with AT&T's SIM cards (much like every other GSM phone purchased from AT&T Wireless).

In other words (4, Insightful)

ocelotbob (173602) | more than 6 years ago | (#19658089)

More of the same. The more I hear about the iPhone, the more I realize it's completely useless for my purposes. No real expandability, no real messaging applications, no real improvement from even phones such as the sidekick. Add a lack of ability to serve as a data modem and being tied to a crappy provider, and I would have to say no thanks.

Re:In other words (1)

dwater (72834) | more than 6 years ago | (#19658243)

I agree, mostly. I am somewhat eagerly anticipating a second version though, with more competitive features. A flash UI doesn't cut it for me...

Re:In other words (0, Offtopic)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 6 years ago | (#19658331)

Marxism is the opiate of dumbasses
- Wow, you completely misunderstood Marx's metaphor. You see, when Marx said that religion is the opiate of the masses he was talking about how believing that justice will come in the afterlife made people less likely to stand up and take action. Believing in Marxism makes people more likely to stand up and take action. Which make it not an opiate. Ergo, you fail.

All the reviews come down to this: (1)

MtViewGuy (197597) | more than 6 years ago | (#19658097)

The Apple iPhone will likely work far better in Europe, where 3G cellular coverage with higher-speed data transfer dramatically improves the usefulness of the device. Here in the USA, the iPhone's functionality will work if you're near a WiFi hotspot, which makes accessing the Internet reasonably tolerable.

I'm hoping future version of the iPhone will include support for the Verizon and Sprint networks with its vastly faster EVDO wireless data network.

Re:All the reviews come down to this: (1)

pete.com (741064) | more than 6 years ago | (#19658189)

Verizon turned down the iPhone and AT&T has an exclusive deal with Apple for 5 years.

Re:All the reviews come down to this: (2, Funny)

organum (210431) | more than 6 years ago | (#19658359)

Really?
I assumed Apple avoided Verizon because they're using a receding standard, one that's incompatible with most networks worldwide. But then, I hear a lot of businesses still cling to Microsoft, so who can say?

Re:All the reviews come down to this: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19658355)

It will work far better if and only if future revisions have 3g support. The Current version doesn't, it has EDGE which is fsking awful

Re:All the reviews come down to this: (1)

Spyky (58290) | more than 6 years ago | (#19658509)

For all those who are hoping to get an iPhone on Verizon or Sprint or whatever. Sorry, AT&T has the iPhone wrapped up for the next 5 years thanks to the exclusive agreement with Apple. It may be possible to get an unlocked GSM version from the overseas market at some point during that time (For use with tmobile or some other small us carrier that supports GSM). But it seems that it would be almost certain that Apple will not develop a CDMA iPhone. There is no overseas market for anything other than GSM (ignoring japan's totally different standard), and they are precluded from selling a CDMA device in the US for 5 years. If they don't develop a device, there is no way an iPhone can be hacked to work on Sprint or Verizon.

It is clear however that AT&T will be expanding 3G coverage in the future, and a future iPhone will support it. How long it will take is anyones guess. I'm thinking there will be a refresh and a storage boost for the iPhone before the end of the year, and the holiday season. But that's just speculation.

-Spyky

Okay, so wait for 2.0 (2, Insightful)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 6 years ago | (#19658123)

Sorry, I'm as mac fan boy as mac fan boys come, but I NEVER buy a first generation Apple product. This comes from experience with the first gen iPod (my best friend got one and had the battery issues) and personal experience with the first gen snow white iBooks. (I wanted to wait, but an upcoming trip abroad forced my hand at the time).

While Apple may have gotten things mostly right, they'll refine things and any problems will be well documented by the time the second gen rolls around.

While my old flip phone may not be super sexy, it will work until Apple gets all the bugs hammered out. Maybe by Christmas or this time next year I'll have one, but until then.

Re:Okay, so wait for 2.0 (5, Funny)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 6 years ago | (#19658321)

Not just macs. I usually avoid most 1st gen electronic products. But that's just me. I'm risk adverse. That's why I'm still in this basement.

GPS and e911 (1)

MBCook (132727) | more than 6 years ago | (#19658257)

I've gotta say, it looks nice. I'd love one. I don't care enough to switch yet, but it looks REALLY nice. I'm glad to hear that Apple did pretty well with it (as I'd hope).

That said, everyone keeps saying it lacks GPS (which is unfortunate). But I thought that part of the e911 rules that went into effect a few years ago was that all phones had to have a GPS receiver to tell the operator where the caller was. Is the location only from automatic signal strength triangulation? If they have GPS for e911, why don't more phones make it available to the user (if I'm wrong about the GPS being there, the answer to that one is obvious).

Can't wait to play with one some day though. And I really can't wait to see how other phone makers and carriers respond.

Re:GPS and e911 (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 6 years ago | (#19658341)

I don't know if the rules specified GPS exactly. All phones must have a mechanism to where they can be located but GPS is a very specific way of geo-location. To my knowledge the phones use cell towers to locate a phone rather than GPS satellites.

E911 does not mean GPS (2, Informative)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 6 years ago | (#19658405)

Sure, many handsets do use GPS to provide E911 positioning. However there are many other ways to achieve E911 positioning, such as cellular triangulation.

There are a lot of phones that even have GPS at the hardware level, but it is disabled.

Verizon... (2, Informative)

Junta (36770) | more than 6 years ago | (#19658411)

My Verizon phone does aGPS for E911, and Verizon actually does let you access it... if you bend over for them just more, which I don't, though I did do the free trial and let it expire, so I know it can work.

Re:GPS and e911 (5, Interesting)

raindog21 (1120641) | more than 6 years ago | (#19658499)

E911 has dependencies on the technology used. For GSM operators (like ATT) there are two scenarios. 1. 2G Handsets do not need GPS (or in actuality A-GPS or assisted GPS) since a network based solution can use triangulation using cell signal strength to get an accurate enough position to meet FCC rules for E911. 2. Cell-based triangulation does not work on the 3G (UMTS/WCDMA) network, so the requirement to handset makers is that you need to include a GPS chip for A-GPS (GPS position data is assisted with some network signaling from the cell tower). Unfortunately due to cost / economies of scale you do not see A-GPS in all 3G/UMTS phones yet. The network operators work around this with a temporary 'hack' where you do a handover from 3G to 2G for emergency calls. Within the next year or so you should see just about all 3G phones in US with A-GPS. GPS for location-based services (and not just E911) is another matter and is a function of the device feature set & price point.

This will really set the bar high... (0, Redundant)

stryemer (34743) | more than 6 years ago | (#19658379)

This product seems exciting for three reasons:

- Unique user interface (no styluses or thumb keyboards)

- Mobile computing that fits in your pocket

- WiFi and mobile networks enabled

Now, the rest of the industry will respond with cloned technology and drive the $499 entry point price down to what we all can afford. How can it be more perfect?

Sorry not interested. (5, Funny)

Tomy (34647) | more than 6 years ago | (#19658393)

I'm waiting for the brick-sized, brown MS Phune.

Re:Sorry not interested. (1)

wbren (682133) | more than 6 years ago | (#19658517)

Are we talking about the bricks used in construction, or the "other kind" of brown bricks? I could see MS making either one...

Another gadget (0, Troll)

death_metal (1120629) | more than 6 years ago | (#19658429)

I don't have an opinion on Apple or the iPhone, but I prefer that software innovations come before hardware because they produce less landfill. I had to laugh when I saw how the iPhone's "innovative" interface resembles what Opera, the browser [opera.no] uses for its startup screen as of version 9.22 -- a tactile, tiled favorites menu. In ten years, the iPhones will all be in landfills and Opera will be on version 18, without having contributed any landfill. Can we please stop the waste insanity? My grandchildren will have to survive on this planet and they'd like to have some open, unpolluted spaces.

Because i love being modded down... (2, Interesting)

TinBromide (921574) | more than 6 years ago | (#19658435)

The lack of g3 compatability seems to be a big hindrance to a phone that prides itself as not giving you "not the mobile internet, but the real internet". gprs is what, 56k speeds minus the 300ms pings?

I've unlocked my treo 750 phone to take full advantage of cingular's 386kbit/s g3 and occasionally get a speed of around 800kbps download.

While i suppose that the iphone was designed to color co-ordinate with a starbucks cup as you sit and browse the interweb in the coffee shop hotspot, i'll be using my treo with a clunky interface to access the mobile internet (i.e. the list of simple websites designed for gprs and below and the one that i would set the 60.0kbit/s iphone to download if i was away from a hotspot.)

Once again, apple resorts to its age old design technique: stunningly beautifuly, brilliantly intuitive, but about as useful as a 6 year old pc for what 90% of people do 90% of the time.

What I've gleaned... (4, Insightful)

catdevnull (531283) | more than 6 years ago | (#19658441)

From all I've gleaned from being at WWDC, reading the reviews, and sorting through the punditry, the most common negative themes seem to be these:

-The AT&T EDGE network sucks
-The iPhone ignores some key smartphone features (vid capture, SMS/MMS, etc.)
-The price
-No Flash support for browser
-No SDK for third-party developers (boo/hiss!)

Some of the surprises were:

-The battery life is close to the advertised numbers (well, more than expected anyways)
-The virtual keypad is actually useable but it takes a little getting used to "using the Force"
-The multi-touch thing works as advertised
-the Safari web browser lives up to the hype
-The WiFi is actually pretty good
-The iPod part kicks ass (except if you want to use it with 3rd party headphones or in your car's iPod dock)

My own opinion as a "Mac Professional" and Smartphone addict:

-If you want one, wait for rev 2--as you should with all Apple products
-If you don't want an iPhone but like some of the technology, your preferred phone will be getting updates, too
-It will be nice to merge two more devices that go with me everywhere--my smartphone and my iPod.
-The price is a bit high, but I think the market will bear it for now and the price will go down by Q4
-The missing features people are bitching about will come--some of them anyways
-An SDK will appear after Leopard is launched
-The entire market will benefit by the iPhone--and the tech will get cheaper

Firefox and TFA? (0, Offtopic)

fabs64 (657132) | more than 6 years ago | (#19658469)

Using firefox 2.0.0.4, whenever I follow the article link it crashes, same with workmate sitting next to me.

Anyone else seeing this?

EDGE Might Suck But... (5, Funny)

ZeldorBlat (107799) | more than 6 years ago | (#19658551)

The iPhone compensates by being one of the few smart phones that can also use Wi-Fi wireless networks. When you have access to Wi-Fi, the iPhone flies on the Web. Not only that, but the iPhone automatically switches from EDGE to known Wi-Fi networks when it finds them, and pops up a list of new Wi-Fi networks it encounters as you move.

So you can just set it to "linksys" and you won't even need EDGE.
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