Kinda glad that I actually have my mobile service wtih AT&T anyway, so this isn’t really a big deal for me.
UPDATE by David K.
But that those of you who do may find interesting.
One of Brendan’s chief complaints about the iPhone seems to be that he couldn’t connect it to his lapper and use it as a modem.
If I’m reading this right, that seems to have been fixed by some enterprising computer person.
I’m really just posting this for those of you who actually know how to do that kind of thing. I don’t know how/if/why it works.
On news from AT&T that only 146,000 iPhones were activated during the opening sales push on the new device, Apple stock took a $8.81 hit today.
Then again, there’s better news in the linked article. Seems like there’s better evidence to support my prior assertion that seems to confirm that a 3G iPhone is almost here. From the article, it sounds like November.
Sweet. If the stock is currently in the crapper at $134 bucks a share, what’s it going to do when it’s in all out rampaging bull mode?
Hey, maybe I should start a wicked rumor…
Ok. I think I will.
I just got off the phone with a friend of mine who’s been an employee of AT&T (and all its predecessor mobile-phone incarnations) for a long time, and he knows LOTS of people.
We had spoken just before the iPhone release a couple of weeks ago, and talked about the technology of the AT&T towers with EDGE (2.5G) and full-on 3G.
Today, we spoke of the iPhone again. This time, the 3G capability was discussed, in terms that made me actually think I should continue to wait to purchase the iPhone. From confidential sources, deep within the belly of the AT&T beast, it seems that a pre-Christmas, December 2007 release of the 3G enabled iPhone is an almost guarantee.
Don’t know if price point will change, or if they will have any added features beyond 3G, but this detail is a pretty big deal. I don’t think it’s going to be something that will be upgradeable for users of iPhone 1.0.
Anyway, take it for what it’s worth, but for me, I think I may be waiting a few more months before taking the iPhone plunge.
That’s how many Apple sold on the device’s opening weekend. Wow.
In other news, the replacement for my broken AirPort Express is ready for pickup at the Knoxville Apple Store. Hurrah!
Why, just why in the world would anyone pay over retail price for an iPhone? Seriously. I decided to check out the eBay listings for the iPhone, and there are tons of them listed for sale, in lots from one to eight phones.
I also decided to check the Apple website, to check on availability of iPhones at the various Apple Stores across the nation. There were only a handful of stores nationwide that didn’t have them. All together, I counted 24 stores nationwide that were currently sold out. Of that number 18 were in California. The rest were in Las Vegas, Miami, Atlantic City, and Austin, Plano, and Southlake, Texas. Of those stores that were sold out, there were available phones in separate LA, Miami, and Austin stores.
So why, I ask you, would anyone in their right mind pay between $800.00-$5,000.00 each, when they could get them for $499/$599? Some folks clearly don’t get this whole supply/demand thing. Guess they thought it was another Playstation 3 or something.
UPDATE Apparently the Knoxville Apple Store (or someone claiming to be the Knoxville Apple Store) is putting all of the “scalpers-to-be” in their place on Knoxville Craigslist.
UPDATE by David K.
Then there is this nut-job who is hoping someone will opt for his $30,000-$50,000 auction for an iPhone including personally delivering it to your door within 16 hours of the auction ending. Um. Yeah. Anyone think that paying 50x the cost of it is worth getting one within 16 hours when there are still Apple Stores with them in stock and people selling it for overnight service to you for under $1000 if you really want to have it? Yeah me neither.
Here are my photos of the iPhone’s debut at the Knoxville Apple Store in West Town Mall.
My thoughts on the wee gadget? Overall, I agree with Dane: “It’s really rather addictively fun to play with. The touch screen thing is fantastic, beyond any other touch sensitive device IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve ever used. Flicking around stuff is fun, and really fast and feels very natural.”
That opinion seemed to be shared by most everyone at the store; the atmosphere was really electric at the table where people were playing with the iPhones. One person after another expressed a mixture of delight, glee, stunned amazement, etc. at how awesome the little gizmo is. I must have heard some variation on the sentiment, “I really wish I could afford one of these,” a half-dozen times. (Clearly, I wasn’t the only person who showed up just to play with the iPhones even though I had no intention of buying one.)
Alas, the biggest sticking point for me all along — well, aside from the price, the fact that I’m under contract with Sprint (though I guess it’s possible to sell your contact), and the inability to use it as a modem — remains a sticking point: as good as the touch-sensitive keyboard is, and as quickly as you get better at using it after even a few minutes, I still don’t think it would ever become possible to type as fast as I can on a regular cell-phone keypad in T9w mode. Moreover, without tactile feedback, it almost certainly wouldn’t ever become possible to type without looking, which I do all the time on my current phone. If you’re accustomed to sending short text messages and writing brief e-mails from your phone while not doing anything else that you need to look at, this is not a big problem. If you’re accustomed to composing and publishing a dozen 256-character blog posts on your phone during the course of a football game you’re attending, it’s a somewhat more serious concern. :)
That said, the phone is so cool that it might very well, at some point, be worth the small sacrifice of dealing with the limitations imposed by the non-tactile virtual keyboard.
However, I don’t think I’ll ever get an iPhone unless and until it can be used as a modem. The slowness of typing with the virtual keyboard — this short post took a good 10 minutes to type (though I’m sure I’d get somewhat faster with time) — only reinforces the importance of being able to still use my laptop for blogging, e-mail, etc., while I’m on the go and it’s convenient to do so. No way does the iPhone’s own web access, while excellent for a phone, totally replace that. In other words, at least for a power user, the iPhone does not “remove the need to carry around your whole computer” in all circumstances. In some circumstances, yes, but not all. Phone-as-modem must be added at some point, or the iPhone will not be a viable option for me. And I’m not alone. A very quick search found tons of bloggers complaining about the same issue. See, for example, this post: “Because the iPhone currently canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t be used as a USB modem, it is useless for me. Sure, the video and audio features are cool. Sure, the user interface makes me drool with envy. But all that canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t hold a candle to letting me work when IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m out in the boonies. Staying connected means more than just accessing the Internet from my phone. I need a phone that can get my laptop online as well.” This is not a trivial issue, and no rationalization regarding the “target audience” can mask the fact that a non-negligible segment of potential users will be unable to seriously consider buying an iPhone until this feature is added. Its absence is, simply put, a total deal-breaker for many people. Are you listening, Apple?
I had a few other pet peeves as I played with the phone, which I’ll talk about after the jump. (Don’t get me wrong — I really like the thing, and most of these gripes are admittedly nitpicky. But you already know the good stuff, as it’s been widely publicized, so I’m trying to add something new to the discussion by mentioning these pet peeves.)
First, though, here’s a rather lengthy video of me playing with an iPhone. To be honest, I’m not sure if it will be of much interest, but for those who want to get a feel for what it’s like… well, I’d suggest you just go to an Apple Store and see for yourself :), but if you don’t want to do that, you can watch my video. Around 9 minutes and 15 seconds in, you can see me log into the WordPress interface (I excluded the part where I enter my password, obviously) and type up a post, so any potential WP-using iPhone bloggers can get a sense of what it would be like to blog via iPhone. Enjoy!
NOTE: My typing speed in this video is a bit slower than my typing speed when using the iPhone normally. I was slowed down by the unnatural angle at which I had to stand and hold the thing in order to keep it on camera.
Speaking of video clips, in the post below, you can view my footage of the Apple Store opening the doors at 6:00 PM.
Anyway, like I said, after the jump, my pet peeves. :)
The clock has just struck 6:00 PM in San Francisco, where Gizmodo is livecasting the iPhone’s debut:
UPDATE: Meanwhile, here’s my video of the Apple Store at West Town Mall in Knoxville opening its doors just over three hours ago:
The pregnant wife calls. :) Liveblog over, but stay tuned for more photos and observations later.
Here's a photo of the below post as I was typing it. It took the better part of ten minutes to type. Pet peeve: there is no period on the main screen of the virtual keyboard. You have to go to the screen with numbers, symbols, etc. to type a period.
I’m typing this via the regular WP interface, accessed via Safari on the iPhone. Seems to work fine. The typing does take some getting used to, but I have gotten significantly better in my maybe 20 minutes of use. Hard to type really fast, though, and probably impossible to do no-look typing. Still, a very cool device. People here seem overwhelmingly impressed — blown away, even.
I knew posting a picture of Glenn's site as seen on an iPhone in Knoxville would get me a link. :) Here's a shot my own site on the iPhone's screen in vertical mode. Again, photo taken with my boring old Sprint phone (which seems to be better at close-up shots than the iPhone’s camera, but maybe there’s a macro setting on the iPhone that I haven’t discovered yet).