Apple iPhone: the first reviews

Apple iPhone picture

With only a few hours left until the official North American launch of the highly desirable Apple iPhone this Friday, the first official reviews of the mobile communication device are available online.

According to the articles from Newsweek, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and USA Today, the iPhone provides some interesting facts. These include:

• A mobile version of the Mac Operating System (Mac OS X) that takes up 700 megabytes of the device’s hard drive capacity!
• You can’t cut, copy or paste text. Which is extremely bad when typing out the same messages over again.
• Music available to play in iPod mode cannot be used as the iPhone’s ringtone, not even in raw MP3 format. No additional ringtones will be sold on launch day…
• On a PC/Mac, the iPhone can sync with Microsoft Outlook Express for calendars and contact details.
• However, contact groups cannot be emailed as contact lists.
• Able to view PDF, Word and Excel documents, but unfortunately you can’t edit it.
• No support for Adobe Flash, meaning you won’t be able to view Flash videos or animation, even on the web browser!
• The camera is two megapixels but won’t be able to record video clips, only still pictures.
• Surprisingly, no MMS functionality and even voice dialling! Apple might provide these with a system update maybe…
• The battery capacity only last 300-400 charges before it runs out of juice, so you will need to send it back to Apple to get it replaced!
• Apparently, the device is very scratch resistant. Which means it won’t get the usual wear and tear you come to expect on the iPod.
• Voice quality is reasonable but not great.
• Internet access is quite slow especially on EDGE, meaning it takes around one to two minutes to download a web page.

Well, well. The iPhone seem to be quite restricted in terms of basic functions common on all cell/mobile phones. I’m shocked that you can’t even send text messages! And with the new virtual keyboard that can be ‘hit and miss’ in word auto-correction, is the mobile device be seen as a flop?

I maybe jumping the gun, but the only positives so far is the Safari-based web browser, mail client, visual voicemail and the Cover Flow-enhanced iPod functions. But is this more than enough to justified its price tag?

Despite my concerns, I am sure it will sell like hot cakes come 6.00 pm on Friday, June 29th. As for us Europeans still waiting for the price and launch date (Apple believes it will be available at the end of the year), there are rumours that we might get the second-generation iPhone with 3G built-in.

According to a Credit Suisse research note, Vodafone is the frontrunner to carry sole rights to the iPhone in Europe due to their coverage in most European markets.

If this is true, then you will have to subscribe to an expensive Vodafone contract for the iPhone. Already this is causing a big headache with AT&T in America…

Whatever the case, the iPhone will be everyone’s must have gadget of the year, despite the reviews.

See the video review below, as explained by Walter S. Mossberg from Wall Street Journal.

  • Snige66

    well that sucks. I see iphone has a “built in battery”. That sucks so much anyways but only good for upto 400 charges!!? You s**ting me right?

    no flash videos!
    Only view PDF but not edit!
    unable to play songs as ringtones!

    This is truly mad Apple. OK so some of things I cannot do with my current phone, but most of whats on the iphone are only half done. I mean no MMS? jesus that’s such a basic thing to include.

    It all seems half assed to me. And 700k just to run the thing!

    But it looks sooooo good. I was going to get one at some point, but I dont I’ll bother now. But clearly many people do, as they started camping out as early as last week!
    Frankly I’m bitterly dissapointed.

  • Yeah reading what leaf has written in the post disappointed me too. But seeing the old fogy with it and showing it the way it is, kind of turned things around for me. Also hopefully the UK will get maybe a slightly better one warms me a little. Good/bad news that its on Vodaphone. I’m with Vodaphone at the moment and they are very expensive compared to the other networks the only plus for me is that I won’t need to change network. But if its going to be a rip off, they can bend down on both knees.

    I on my phone can view and edit word and excel files ad I have to admit, in the nearly two years I’ve had the phone, I’ve rarely used the feature. The ring tones is a bummer but I can live with that.

    This phone is about looks and in that department it doesn’t disappoint.

  • can this thing take a memory card ? like a sd card or something

  • Snige66

    Nah it’s all built in. 4 or 8 gig i think.

    And seeing the iphone in action it is of sooooo good looking. Rumour is that we might only have to sign a one year contract, which is good news, though as you say Yink, vodaphone are expensive.

    I’m still furious about the battery though. It’s just madness not to be able to have a spare or the pathetic lifespan. Though I hope there are ways in which to do it ourselves like the ipod video at a later date.

  • Rumour has it that for the European release the hardware will be tweaked so it includes 3G. Also the Carphone Warehouse, Vodafone and O2 I believe will be the main networks that will support it right off the bat. I am due an upgrade this month but have been thinking about holding back even until Christmas to see if its worth it but I don’t like what I see so far.

    That is a serious restriction though what Apple have imposed, especially with the ringtones. I know my old Sony Ericsson used to do the same due to DRM issues… However Apple have taken a lighter stance recently by offering non DRM protected tunes.

    Also you will have to install iTunes if you like it or not – It is required for activation so Apple are forcing users to install such software. Great if you’re already a user but its forcing consumers hands. It annoys me though that is it fully enclosed but I suppose Apple just want to protect their hardware like with all their products. Want something changed? Send it to Apple for a handsome fee just to change the battery -_-

  • Also as noted many 3rd party headphones seem not to be compatible with the iPhone, either forcing you to press the headphone jack against the unit to work, or for you to buy a $10 headphone adapter so you can use your own set of cans with it.

    Nice of them to break an important feature for extra money…

  • Despite launching only in North America, Apple are pleased to announced that the iPhone sold around 525,000 in only two days. Most of the Apple Stores and AT&T retail outlet was sold out. In addition, there is a two to four weeks waiting list for buying the highly desirable iPhone online.

    As for web browsing, AT&T have dramatic improve the bandwidth speed so its much faster to access the web and your email.

    It’s interesting to read the different news articles on Engadget, from the processor, screenshots and swear words! Check out the tag here:

    Will I buy one? Yes, of course. It definitely lives up to the hype and the interface is truly beautiful. I can’t wait to get one at the end of the year, even though I have to switch back to Vodafone…

  • Snige66

    Well according to Stuff magazine podcast, it’s not 100% Vodafone yet. But if it does got to them, then they have the biggest chance of pursuading Apple to include 3G. They have a ridiculous amount of money, and they are pretty big on 3G ( which you would having paid millions for it ). Another bonus of Vodafone is that there will be little chance of the phone being delayed.

    What I’m not sure about is the connection fee. I the US you can get the shop to activate it there and then for $35. Or you can do it yourself……for a fee.

    Apple have also made it nigh on impossible to import one also. US citizens have to give their social sercurity no. aswell as credit card. This also means the millions of immegrants cannot have one as they wont have an s.s. no.

    Downloads for the iPhone will also come thick and fast. This means MMS may still happen. Pre production phones didn’t have Java or something else I cannot remember. Basically you couldn’t view youtube and the like, which seeing as this phone is supposed to be a revolution in mobile web browsing is a litle bit mad.

    I shudder to think how much it will cost here. Apple have gone on record in saying that they will not subsidise the cost of the phone i any way. At least at this early time. But this is the price to pay for the first early adpoters. If you want it first, then you pay the price, be it price or what it can or cant do from the off.

    Back on the 3G thing, I dont know the system in the US, and what they use for high speed connections, but how many people would be pissed if we get high speed connection just a few months after launch? And that is something Apple wont want to be seen doing, us Brits just cannot command that.

  • EDGE is more commonly used in the US while in Europe its 3G. engadget really went the whole hog with the iPhone and while I don’t agree with their paragraph or a few lines update per spot, they certainly milked the iPhone launch for some impressive hits I’m sure!

    Downloads will be the main extension to the iPhone in terms of software as Apple are still keeping the main OS closed. This is where Symbian will race ahead and it is still unknown if you will require an internet connection to use these iPhone apps. Only recently here T-Mobile have offered unlimited data with Vodafone upgrading their system. Before it used to cost far too much for data use so it’ll be interesting to hear more.

    I’ll just wait as I can upgrade my phone now, but will see how the iPhone goes. I’m sure there will be other’s out as the Sony Ericsson P1i looks nice for business use and there will be other models out in time for Christmas.

  • Snige66

    Orange also use EDGE I think. And yes, given the superb browsing the iphone gives ie no reformatted pages, what you see on a pc is what you see on the iphone, just tap any part of the screen to zoom in etc unlimited data is essential. Something which no doubt is common place in the US, where as here, it’s still very new and at an extra cost.

    There’s now way I can upgrade/change providers until early next year, so there’s a vast amount of time for the iphone to get better. But then there’s nothing no-one else couldn’t design for themselves. A flash operating system, 3G, glass touch screen, removable battery! However, nothing has beaten the ipods so far, it’ll an interesting year, for phones.

  • Even though the technology-blog Engagdet went crazy on the iPhone with many articles on the mobile device in the last few days, its interesting to read a really in-depth review on the Apple-branded product.

    Quite a long read but very informative. I’m still going to get one! 😉

  • According to an article in The Times, 02 will be the main mobile network provider for the iPhone. It will be exclusive to this network beating such rivals as Vodafone and T-Mobile.

    More news here:

    As for the price, the desirable handsets are expected to be sold for about £300 and O2 will be hoping that the lure of the fashionable phone is enough to win customers from rival networks.

    So that’s my Christmas gift sorted then!

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