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Posted on: 27-Sep-2007

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Results from a three month marathon test
As they say, it was the best of times, it was the worst of times, which describes my three months with Apple’s iPhone. It’s thin, sleek, and the latest must-have gadget for anyone who wants to be techno-cool. The radically new touch screen works so well for some apps and very badly for others. For example, it’s a much better Internet tool than any other phone I’ve worked with, but it’s terrible for e-mail, and this bipolar nature is simply the cost of doing something radically new. So if e-mail is super critical to you, don’t get rid of your Blackberry™. But it is so far ahead of any other phone when it comes to the Internet, it really comes down to choosing what’s best for you.
What’s right about the iPhone
  • Integration of the phone with the iPod
  • You only have to carry one thing.
  • Start-up using the Internet and iTunes was super easy.
  • WiFi
  • YouTube
  • Google Maps
  • Stock tracker
  • The software is extremely good and very intuitive.
  • It’s the best portable photo album ever.
  • It’s cool and beautiful.
What’s wrong with the iPhone
  • WiFi turns out to be disappointing, since most access points are locked. But when it can connect it’s really fast.
  • Touch screen commands are often confused: for example, trying to move across a page in the web application often executes a click on a link because these are single tap, instead of double tap operations.
  • Thermal-based touch screen doesn’t always work. Cold finger won’t operate it, which the Genius bar told me was to spec. But I did find a work-around: warming your fingers under your arm is enough to make it work again. It’s really problematic when it’s cold outside, making me wonder if they tested it outside California.
  • Apple claims it’s the full Internet, and it’s far closer than any phone I’ve ever used. But a lot of web sites – Flickr for instance – do not run well on it, as some essential features don’t come up.
  • 8-gigs is just not enough to make it your main iPod. I find I still need a 60-gig Classic for trips and a Nano for specials like books and university classes.
  • It doesn’t port to TVs with your old cables and I’ve not been able to get an answer from Apple on this.
  • Can’t use conventional headphones without some surgery to the plugs.
What they missed with the iPhone
  • Lack of an integrated database.
    • This is so simple, but no cell phone maker has cracked it
    • Please make it so the calendar and map programs are linked to the address book and vice versa. It’s so simple to do.
  • Selling a conversion plug that can be rewired to headsets you already own like Shure’s offering for the Palm Treo™. If Apple doesn’t want to carry it, license it to Radio Shack. I know this is nit-picking, but some have hundreds invested in these things.
Best user experiences
  • Being one of the first to have one
  • The cool bag and box it came with.
  • Having easy and quick access to maps almost beats having a GPS.
  • Touch screen is really cool and is worth the troubles.
  • Listening to the iPod feature, getting a call, and having the phone seamlessly transition from audio to phone and back.
  • Build quality.
Worst user experiences
  • Feeling of being a fool for being one of the first to buy and then having them dump prices.
  • The Apple Genius Bar.
  • No wallet to protect the screen when you first buy it.
  • Touch screen and vertical-only keyboard makes e-mail almost useless for active users.
  • Mic’s hard edges catches on things like collars, yanking the ear-bud out.
All in all, I won’t give my iPhone up. But, it’s not the revolutionary product that the Mac and iPods were. At the end of the day, it’s just another phone.

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About weQuest:
weQuest's are written by G Dan Hutcheson, his career spans more than thirty years, in which he became a well-known as a visionary for helping companies make businesses out of technology. This includes hundreds of successful programs involving product development, positioning, and launch in Semiconductor, Technology, Medicine, Energy, Business, High Tech, Enviorntment, Electronics, healthcare and Business devisions.

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