Well, it's been over 24 hours that I've had a fully activated iPhone, and I'm really liking it a lot. This despite all the well-publicized quibbles (slower AT&T data network, no Java and Flash on browser, no movies with camera, no physical keyboard, no replaceable battery, non-expandable memory, etc.)
And despite the fact that AT&T/Cingular dropped the first call I got on the device.
Networks will be networks. What can you do?
I still get better coverage in my area on the AT&T/Cingular network, than on T-Mobile, which is the carrier for my Blackberry pearl, my OTHER back-up cell-phone. (Good rationalization, don't you think?)
At this point I'm going through the practical issues of how to integrate the thing in my daily routine. It's especially tricky for me since there doesn't seem to be an easy way, YET, to download my contact and calendar info from my Outlook over a Microsoft Exchange server.
Syncing Outlook data is no problem if you have a desktop version of your Outlook info.
I'm going to try and sort that out with my Exchange hosting service next week.
I'll post more on the whole iPhone experience after I've had it all set up and working.
I'm very cognizant that even with Outlook sync via Microsoft's Activesync, which Apple is supposed to be licensing imminently, the iPhone still won't deliver a Blackberry-like "push email" experience in the current version of the hardware and software.
And especially, no OTA (over-the-air) syncing of my contact, and calendar info for now.
But using the iPhone for the last day or so, I can totally see making this my primary phone/PDA once those features are available via Apple and/or third parties, in future versions.
It's the user-interface and experience going that's really captivating in the long-term. (Engadget has a good HD video walk-through of the complete interface here, and a user-interface photo gallery here).
For now, my Blackberry 8830 on Verizon wireless, remains my primary business device, with the iPhone being the personal phone.
Now if I can only get my wife to accept me wearing TWO gizmos on my belt.
In all their dorky, geeky glory.
In the meantime, I'm liking all the continued iPhone coverage on Techmeme, Engadget, Gizmodo, and other sites. I know a lot of folks have had it with all the iPhone hype, hoopla, and over-coverage, but I for one, still can't get enough of it.
I guess the iPhone is my Anna Nicole Smith. The shoe is on the other foot.
In the meantime, if you're still in the "I'd like to learn more about the iPhone before buying one" camp, there are lots of links out there that'll give you a ton of info.
My favorite today, is from Engadget, covering a "stress test" on the iPhone.
They put the thing in a bag with a bunch of keys and stuff, shook it all up, and guess what, no scratches on the glass surface! Guess I'm returning the two sets of $15 plastic screen protectors I bought at the Apple store.
They even dropped the thing a few times from head height onto concrete, and the iPhone kept on ticking, with a few scuffs on the stainless steel. Having lost a few phones like that over the years, this post was encouraging to say the least.
Speaking of accessories, this other Gizmodo story about various AT&T stores forcing customers to buy accessories with or without their iPhones, really takes the cake.
It's such a contrast to the Apple store experience, where the employees couldn't have been friendlier and less-pressuring. In fact, they urged everyone to buy ONLY their iPhones in the main line.
And then suggest browsing the store for accessories and other stuff AFTER the iPhone purchase. They even had a separate checkout counter for accessories, and there were NEVER any strings attached.
For a lot of people around the country, I guess there isn't a choice but to deal with an AT&T store if they want to buy an iPhone in person. After all, there are only 164 Apple stores vs. 1800 AT&T/Cingular stores.
But if you have the choice, I'd recommend the Apple store wholeheartedly. It's a whole different way of doing retail, as I've pointed out before.