The iPhone 3G is probably the most hyped electronic item this summer. Many die-hard Apple fans camped out for a week just to be the first ones to lay their hand on the new device. When the first-generation iPhone became available last year I wasn’t convince that a software company like Apple could create and compete successfully with other cell phone manufacturers like Samsung, LG, Nokia, and RIM. Sure, Apple created the prolific and ubiquitous iPod, but that was just an MP3 player. Cell phones are a totally different animal. But millions of iPhones later I was proven wrong. And still, I was not convinced enough to run out and get my hands on one, and I especially wasn’t going to give up my trusty Blackberry for it.
During that first year I saw countless friends, strangers, and a room mate couldn’t tear themselves from their iPhone. They claim the device, which seems to be surgically attached to their palms, to be the next best thing since sliced bread. Though the iconic omnipresent Apple brand is plastered everywhere human beings existed; in grocery lines, waiting rooms, subways, public restrooms, TV commercials, and college campuses I still never bit the bait. With my Blackberry holstered to my belt in its official Blackberry case it wasn’t going anywhere. But one day all that changed…
I was waiting at the Las Vegas airport with a friend. He was browsing away with his Wifi enabled iPhone, and I was sitting there trying to access a single webpage from my EDGE network Blackberry Curve. My weak cellular signal made my unlimited data plan useless. So I sat there reading old text messages and emails from my phone until my friend handed me his iPhone so he could go use the restroom. In my hand was the device I had so loathed because of the company that changed my beloved electronic culture from its esoteric geek-ness to a chic fashion statement, and don’t forget the annoying overzealous fan boys that get erections at the sight of a new Apple product.
Using the Safari browser was not quite what I had expected. The application was snappy and responsive. The webpages loaded up quickly (Wifi access tends to do that compared to EDGE network internet connections). Before I knew it I was pinching, flicking, scrolling, and flying through webpages I couldn’t do so on any other phone, let alone my Blackberry. I checked my work and personal emails, read blogs, and even posted comments. The excitement of being able to have the internet at my finger tips had me cowering over the device like Gollum and his One Ring. As quickly as I became accustomed to the device my friend came back and took away the iPhone. I sat there looking at him browsing away thinking to myself, “if I could just get a few more minutes with my…’Precious…’”
Months have gone by with rumors of the next generation iPhone being ready to be announced. I followed the scene reading blogs, and tech site news. Right before Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference started the iPhone hype was in full force. Fake iPhone pictures and false specs began popping up on the internet teasing the fanboys into a frenzy how Dunkin Donuts coffee and methamphetamines would affect a normal human being. Then on release-day I read every post on every tech site that had coverage of the release of the iPhone. Preliminary results had the iTunes servers going down. Waiting lines were 4-6 hours long. People couldn’t activate their new phones, and those who just wanted to update their firmware got their phones bricked, and some buyers left the stores with no cell phone service for almost the whole day. So day-1 wasn’t such a clean launch for Apple. The following day was more of the same; long lines and endless waiting but sans the downed iTunes server and activation issues. On Sunday I found myself waiting in line at the Apple store at the mall near my house. The line wasn’t too long. I was in the store within a minute or two of waiting. When I entered the store I was greeted with a happy Apple rep. He asked me how he could help me and I told him I just wanted to look at the new iPhone. While dabbling around with the device I asked the rep a few questions and I got a few vague answers. The one that surprised me the most was when I asked, ‘how can I transfer contacts from my Blackberry to an iPhone’ and the answer I got was, “Oh, there’s software for that.” It wasn’t as detailed as I liked but he answered confidently enough. I had errands to run, so I left the Apple store shortly after to get my oil changed for my car. While I waited I thought more and more about the iPhone. If I had bought the phone earlier I could be using it to browse the internet and dawdle around with the new cool iPhone apps I’ve read so much about. So immediately drove back to the store after the oil changed and picked up the phone. The process was quite fast, and within 15 minutes I was out the store with a working iPhone.
(to be continued… my iPhone 3G review. Was it worth giving up my Blackberry?)