I bought an iPhone yesterday. No waiting in lines. In fact, it was a 5min shopping experience, not accounting for having to call every single store in the Boston area ahead of time to find the only one with 8Gb models.
The most interesting part of the shopping experience was finding out that the Apple sales staff use WiFi-enabled Windows CE PDAs to process transactions. That’s a little ironic.
The Gen1 iPhone will never replace my Blackberry for three simple reasons:
- AT&T’s network has poor coverage around my home.
- iPhones have no user-replaceable battery. It is not uncommon for me to go through 2-3 batteries in a single day, especially when traveling.
- I don’t expect amazing interoperability between Exchange/Outlook and the iPhone. In fact, on my machine I cannot sync contacts, calendar or email from Outlook to the iPhone.
That said, the iPhone has set the bar in terms of creating a great mobile user experience and leveraging the Web on a mobile device, both of which are topics I very much care about. I am particularly intrigued by how Apple has opened the iPhone to third parties through Safari widgets as I am a proponent of open value chains and broad-based developer ecosystems. So, for me, the iPhone is a backup phone and Web access device and a way to start experimenting with next-gen mobile Web experiences. I’ve already heard of startup teams building specialized apps for iPhones. If you are one of them, send me a link.
My plan was to spend a lot of time over the holiday weekend investigating the AJAX support in the iPhone Safari browser. I didn’t get the chance to do much today since my baby got a hold of it and was thoroughly enthralled for quite a while. It goes to show that Apple’s design appeals to all ages.