Summary: I was expecting that the early reviews of the iPhone would blow away any doubts that I had about needing a $500 ($600 for the 8GB model, $500 only buys you 4GB of storage). While Apple's marketing had failed to convince me of how much my life would be better if I had an iPhone, I was expecting that Walt Mossberg/Katherine Boehret,David Pogue, Steven Levy and Edward C. Baig would show me the error of my ways. I was wrong. The iPhone has become the iYawn.

TOPICS: iPhone, Mobility

I was expecting that the early reviews of the iPhone would blow away any doubts that I had about needing a $500 ($600 for the 8GB model, $500 only buys you 4GB of storage).  While Apple's marketing had failed to convince me of how much my life would be better if I had an iPhone, I was expecting that Walt Mossberg/Katherine Boehret, David Pogue, Steven Levy and Edward C. Baig would show me the error of my ways.  I was wrong.  The iPhone has become the iYawn.

It's not a tool, it's a shiny baubleHaving read the Mossberg/Boehret and Pogue reviews, I'm realizing that Apple had given already us enough information about the iPhone already to see the strengths and weaknesses of the iPhone.  It didn't take a genius to guess that a virtual keyboard wouldn't be as effective as a real keyboard (Pogue: "Then there’s the small matter of typing. Tapping the skinny little virtual keys on the screen is frustrating, especially at first.") and that web surfing over EDGE is going to suck no matter what kind of marketing spin Apple puts on it (Pogue: "The New York Times’s home page takes 55 seconds to appear; Amazon.com, 100 seconds; Yahoo. two minutes. You almost ache for a dial-up modem."  Mossberg/Boehret: "In addition, even when you have great AT&T coverage, the iPhone can't run on AT&T's fastest cellular data network. Instead, it uses a pokey network called EDGE, which is far slower than the fastest networks from Verizon or Sprint that power many other smart phones. And the initial iPhone model cannot be upgraded to use the faster networks.").  The battery is not user replaceable so once that starts to feel a bit old the whole phone has to go back to the Apple mothership for repair.  There's no memory card slot, no chat app, no voice dialing, no GPS, no third-party apps, no Java or Flash support, no MMS support.

Sure, these plenty to like about the iPhone.  The sleek design, the OS, the full web browser, the large screen, the fact that it's an iPod, the Word/Excel/PDF read-only support.  Sure, all that sounds nice, but it's not $500 plus a minimum of $60 per month for two years nice.  Stand-alone, the iPhone might be worth $500, but as a two year, $2,000 package, it's way overpriced, especially when you can pick up a network subsidized phone that does more than the iPhone (and does it better) for under $300.  Choose the $100 per month plan and ownership costs for the first two years goes up to a staggering $2,900.

Technically, the iPhone is a marvelous achievement, but as with the PS3, it's not just what's crammed into the gadget that matters, it's how it's implemented.  The other day I mentioned how I thought that the iPhone was a convergence device, well, these initial review back this up.  Worse still, it's a device that's works hard to convince you that the things that it can do well are actually what's important to you in a cellphone.  Of course you don't want 3G, a GPS, MMS messaging and a removable battery, what you actually want is a touch-screen iPod hybrid that allows you to view YouTube videos and surf Google Maps and be stuck with AT&T as a provider.  What makes this situation worse is that the block on running third-party apps means that you're stuck with Apple's view of what a cellphone should be and have little hope of seeing choice.  For years Apple has accused Microsoft of being inflexible and dictating to customers what they need, well, with the iPhone Apple's doing exactly the same thing.

Overall, I'm disappointed.  When I look at the iPod of the MacBook, I see real cutting-edge innovation.  Sure, you can buy cheaper but it's hard to buy better.  The iPhone lacks this cutting-edge feel and is missing key cellphone features present if phones which cost less than half the price Apple expects you to pay for the iPhone.  It's not a tool, it's a shiny bauble.


Topics: iPhone, Mobility

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  • Big Surprise

    You mean after all the previous skeptical, negative, and doubtful articles you and the other ZDNet bloggers have been spamming the Blogosphere with, you read some actual (overall positive) reviews from experts who, you know, actually GOT to use the iPhone (unlike any of your ZDNet bloggers)...and you are actually.., disappointed, and NOW you won't buy an iPhone? Stop the PRESSES!!! :p
    • Adrian is becoming a joke

      I find it funny how the FUD keeps pouring in on this site. It is very obvious that the "blogger" here is looking for hits and that's it. I love the whole, "in 2 years you'll spend two grand!" Really? Thanks for telling me what i can and can not afford. I think it is time to move on to something else Adrian. It is obvious that you hold a bias opinion. also, i think it would be wise for everyone to remember that, APPLE PLANS ON UPDATING THIS BAD BOY! Apple is accounting for sales in such a way that they can freely update the features and software with no financial liabilities. So those tired comments that Adrian feels we need to read again could be a non-issue in a short while. I say keep an open mind and try the thing out. There is a 14 day return policy so if it does not meet your expectations return it. Simple as that. Also, on many websites people are refuting Pogue's EDGE findings and stating that they are getting better times than that on their devices. If the network is capable of over 100kbps why the hell would Amazon take so long?
      • Actually, the joke is you...

        ...and your brethren. You despise this site, you insult its bloggers, you moan about each and every article that paints an Apple product is a slightly negative light and yet you keep coming back.

        Why don't you visit the nearest mac-lovers self-gratification site and stop coming here if it really bothers you that much.

        Get a clue.
        • Slightly negative!?! i Adrian is slightly negative then

          Anne Coulter is only slightly off her nut and that can't possibly be....:)

          Pagan jim
        • Scrat he does have a clue .

          This is America after all , the individual can do what the individual wants . Besides , individuals like that love to GLOAT over Microsoft's failing efforts . Me being one of them . ROTFLMAO !!!!!!!!!! Does Microsoft have an apparatus that will counter the iPhone , like the Zune was supposed to counter the iPod ? Billy boy can't steal these great ideas anymore . Anyone for a game of chess ?
          I'm Ye, the MS SHILL .
          • He has about as much of a clue as you do...

            [i]"This is America after all , the individual can do what the individual wants..."[/i]

            No you can't. You can't even gamble online because your esteemed (j/k) leader says so.

            Idiot in the first instance.

            [i]"...Besides , individuals like that love to GLOAT over Microsoft's failing efforts..."[/i]

            Failing efforts? I guess you think that the current market share that MS has is a failure, or that maybe Bill Gates is a hopeless businessman?

            Idiot in the second instance.

            [i]"...ROTFLMAO !!!!!!!!!!..."[/i]

            Idiot in the third instance

            How many times do you want to make yourself look like an uneducated fool?
          • Ummm Wait...

            Wait a min... The IPhone... revolutionary? I dont think so... http://www.htc.com/product/03-product_htctouch.htm This "Bad boy" has been out since the begining of the year in the UK and will be coming to the states this half of the year. And guess what it actualy does phone things! wow!
          • oh wait

            ...it's on my hip. This Moto Q with Windows mobile can do everything better than the iPhone (including play video's) on Sprints speedy Rev A. network. And I picked this device up for under $200 (with activation etc). So the iPhone is the thing that is just now catching up to devices that've been in the market for years with better features.
            Why does anyone think the iPhone is "cutting edge". I think the Helio is already trying to fill the void of "not a phone, but still cool"
        • great post

          its true.. and its what led me to pose the question two posts above this one ....

      • I agree , Adrian has been ANTI APPLE .

        What does anyone expect ? After all ZDNET is living in the Microsoft bubble & at the same time all there servers are running Apache and Coyote . Talk about being hypocritical . ZDNET if Microsoft's IIs server is so good , like all the IIs server adds I see here on ZDNET , why don't you all convert to Microsoft's servers already ?
        I'm Ye, the MS SHILL .
        • Again, the question must be asked...

          If you think ZDNet's bloggers are so biased against Apple, then why are you here so much?

          Do you like the pain?

          Simply stay on the Mac love-fest sites and you won't get yourself all knotted up inside ;-)
          • To spread the truth?

            Why are you on Mac related articles so much? ;-)
          • Show me the "truth" of which you speak...

            Truth from EbaymeIamworthless? I doubt it.
          • Why am I here?

            Well I also support over 100 WinTel computers (costs the organization 2x what
            Mac support costs, calculated buy service call) and am a project managers. This
            site is good for both. Yes, Adrian, particularly, is not very objective when it comes
            to Apple products. It has become so that it is now just a good laugh as he goes
            around with blinders on, not willing to see any good in an Apple product.

            I wonder what emotional synapse snaps when a WinTel user, who often has never
            spent more than a few hours working with a Mac, heres the word Apple. It is like
            they go into attack and feeding frenzy, what a hoot to watch!

            I am sure Adrian will not use an iPod, iPhone, or any other Apple product (he is
            sure they cost more than other hardware/software solutions) not realizing that
            there is a place for these products.

            No the iPhone is not business enterprise ready but it will morf into a force in the
            marketplace. That niche will begin with the young who want style, the newest
            gaget, music and video. Email, calendar, etc. will come and it will begin to enter
            the business enterprise... nrk
        • Funny how I don't see this same Bubble

          I have seen articles regarding Novell, IBM, Lotus, Linux. I have seen Stallman post from time to time. I have even seen Jeremy Allison be re-posted on here from time to time. Some blogs are exclusively about Linux, while some are exclusively about Apple. Yet for the most part, because Microsoft does dominate a large portion of the enterprise and PC market, ZDnet still seems to focus on their actions. And because of this, ZDnet lives in a Microsoft Bubble?

          I agree with Adrian, I think this iPhone is over-hyped. Ofcourse, I thought the iPod was over-hyped and didn't expect to get involved with it. I thought the Playstation 3 was under-hyped and the Wii was over-hyped. I could be very wrong. This wouldn't be the first time, as I have listed examples. However, we shouldn't complain about Adrian simply trying to sift through the marketing fog.
        • Thanks for proving yourself wrong

          [i]After all ZDNET is living in the Microsoft bubble[/i]

          So says you. Now you have to prove it.

          [i]at the same time all there servers are running Apache and Coyote .[/i]

          Wow, in your very next statement you disprove your previous statement! Good going! It makes it so much easier on us when you prove yourself wrong.

          [i]Talk about being hypocritical .[/i]

          You say that ZDNet is living in the Microsoft bubble and then when the facts prove you wrong, you say that ZDNet is hypocritical? Can I try this logic too?

          [i]ObeyMeIAmRoot is an NBMer who refuses to say anything nice about Apple. He hates Jobs and Apple and loves Microsoft. As if it wasn't bad enough to be an M$ $hill, ObeyMeIAmRoot then goes on to say nice things about Apple and bad things about Microsoft so he is [b]also[/b] a hypocrite![/i]
          • Yes it is, no it isn't - Yes it is, no it isn't - Yes it is, no it isn't-NT

        • Do you actually read his articles...I thnk if you did you would change

          ...your comment.
        • here we go again

          another poster bringing up the apple microsoft battle again.

          just the usual tactic.. when reviews dont go apple's way...

          proof again of my first post today?
      • Actually he's a realist..something the fruits don'e like