While people camped out overnight this week in anticipation of today’s iPhone day, there are reports that Apple employees have been showing off their iPhones in public. Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reported (subscription likely required) that four (and only four) journalists got an iPhone two weeks ago, and published their reviews this week
- Walt Mossberg (writing on Wed.) of the Wall Street Journal really liked the web browser: “The iPhone is the first smart phone we’ve tested with a real, computer-grade Web browser” but gave mixed reviews on other elements
- Edward Baig (also Wed.) of USA Today agreed with Steve Jobs that this was the best iPod ever, but was puzzled by the limited selection of ringtones (or the inability to use your own MP3 files). The iPhone worked with his Bose SoundDock but the proprietary headphone jack sounds like it will be a problem (particularly for people like me who hate earbuds).
- Like the others, Steven Levy (Wed.) of Newsweek thought that the iPhone worked well without the manual but the keyboard took some getting used to. He found it just the ticket for whiling away a boring road trip.
- David Pogue (Thu.) of the NY Times really liked the browser, email and voicemail, but not the lack of a video camera or memory card slot. He got 5 hours of video playback time out of the battery, but (like Baig) hated the AT&T network.
In other words, maybe all the iPhone hype isn’t hype at all. As the ball player Dizzy Dean once said, “It ain’t bragging if you done it.”Mossberg (writing with his assistant Katherine Boehret) was more realistic:
Expectations for the iPhone have been so high that it can’t possibly meet them all. It isn’t for the average person who just wants a cheap, small phone for calling and texting. But, despite its network limitations, the iPhone is a whole new experience and a pleasure to use.These bigshot columnist reports validated stuff Mike Mace and I have been saying for months. Without realizing it, Mossberg echoed the observation five months ago by Mike Mace:
- Michael Mace (blog posting, January 15): “I think it’s not a phone. It’s an entertainment-focused mobile computer.”
- Walt Mossberg (title of WSJ article): “The iPhone Is a Breakthrough Handheld Computer”
In a sense, the iPhone has already made its mark. Even those who never buy one will benefit from its advances, as competitors have already taken Apple’s achievements as a wake-up call to improve their own products.