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iDay: The Apple iPhone Revolution Begins

Unless you’ve been lost in the deep forests of the Amazon for the past few months you will undoubtedly already know that today is iDay – the time when Apple begins selling the iPhone which is quite possibly the single most hyped mobile phone in history.

Treonauts have been caught in this hype more than others since the iPhone is perceived to be a direct threat to the Treo and naturally emotions have been running extremely high from day one with my first post Palm Treo 680 vs. Apple iPhone Comparison back in January generating the most heated and longest comment thread ever.

The biggest disappointment for me following the original Apple iPhone Wake-Up Call has been Palm’s lethargic reaction – I have not seen or heard anything in the past six months to demonstrate that the company is listening and openly responding to the passionate outcries of its most loyal customers.  The Foleo announcement was the wrong product at the wrong time and the rumours of a forthcoming Treo 800 have also left many Treonauts underwhelmed.

Like many I feel that Palm has on the one hand simply not been listening and on the other made a lousy marketing and PR job getting the right message across to ensure that it properly defends and continues to conquer its rightful territory.  The reality is that our Treo with all its faults remains an absolutely amazing smartphone and with another record high sell-through of 750,000 units in the last quarter (announced yesterday) Palm is evidently doing something right.

Having said this, even with these record sales I just don’t believe that Palm is quite squeezing all of the juice it can from its Treo franchise.  The issue is that for every thing that the company does right there seem to be an equal number of things that it does wrong.  As we all know, 1 – 1 = 0 which may explain why the perception is increasingly that on many fronts Palm is at a standstill since it does not appear to learn and correct its mistakes quickly – thus opening more and more opportunities for competing devices such as the iPhone.

Treo vs iPhone Comparison
Treo iPhone Image ComparisonA like for like comparison of the Treo versus the iPhone is not particularly helpful since as I have pointed out before the iPhone is primarily a consumer multimedia phone and not a business smartphone. 

I will hopefully have an iPhone and some iPhone accessories in my hands early next week but in the meantime I have based this comparison on various reviews as well as video footage of the iPhone in action and also Walt Mossberg’s detailed take.

Screen + Keyboard
The most obvious difference is the fact that the iPhone uses a virtual on-screen keyboard whereas the Treo uses a full physical QWERTY keyboard as well as four program buttons, a 5Way navigation button as well as two dedicated Call Answer and End buttons which make it much easier to quickly access core functions. 

The iPhone can thus use some 80% of its front surface to accomodate a 3.5 inch 320 x 480 touchscreen to beautifully display photos, videos and Web pages but according to Mossberg “it sometimes adds steps to common functions”, such as the phone interface which “takes more taps to reach than on many other smartphones” and “the lack of dedicated hardware buttons means extra taps are needed to start using features” even annoyingly needing to “switch to a different keyboard view to insert a period or comma”.  The Treo offers a smaller 2.5” 320 x 320 touchscreen which is complemented by the full keyboard and dedicated buttons to provide faster and easier access to the most important functions.

Although in his review Mossberg repeatedly points out the relative “extra” steps required to access functions and accomplish certain tasks he nonetheless claims that the omission of a physical keyboard on the iPhone is a “nonissue”.  I personally feel that the lack of both a keyboard and dedicated hardware buttons combine to make it sufficiently harder to use on a daily basis compared to my Treo.

Software + OS + Touchscreen Interface
IPhone Phone DisplayI am happy to agree with Mossberg that the iPhone’s software “sets a new bar for the smartphone industry” and it “offers the best Web browser” available on any phone today.  In comparison, although the Palm OS is still surprisingly good it has not had a major overhaul in more years than I care to count and is quite clearly no match for the absolutely stunning, crisp and dynamic overall look & fell of the iPhone’s user interface.  Palm is now working on a revamped operating system but new Treo smartphones running it are unlikely to be released before 2008.

Having said this, for now at least, the iPhone suffers from a major drawback compared to the Treo as Apple does not offer the option to add third-party add-on software and only Web-based programs accessed via the iPhone’s built-in browser can be used.  Palm on the other hand can compete with literally thousands of established Treo software titles of all sorts.

Additionally, although Mossberg calls the iPhone’s new multi-touch interface “effective, practical and fun” he nonetheless repeatedly points to more than a few limitations including the inability to cut, copy or paste text – a pretty basic and often used function available as standard on the Treo.

IPhone MusicMultimedia
There’s no doubt that Apple is the king of digital media having defined the digital music market with its original iPod+iTunes and later also digital video.  It is now set to do so again since the iPhone includes a built-in iPod with 4 or 8GB of storage as well as a photo program to display individual pictures and slideshows.

Even with the very good Pocket Tunes (music), CorePlayer (video) and SplashPhoto applications installed on my Treo it’s evident that the iPhone provides a superior experience and much better integrated solution when it comes to multimedia playback – the huge 3.5 inch display is also a bonus in this area.

Storage
Multiple gigabytes of internal storage was appealing to me a few years ago when SD memory cards maxed out at 512MB and cost over $100 but with the current availability of 8GB SD cards for about $50 each (I use four) I am more than happy with the memory expansion capabilities that the Treo provides.  In contrast, the iPhone’s 4 or 8GB of internal storage is not bad at all but it does not provide the same level of flexibility as SD.

Battery
Ten days ago Apple released new information pointing out that its original claim of 5 hours talk time was actually low and it now projects the iPhone to have 8 hours instead as well as 6 hours internet use, 7 hours video playback and a full 24 hours audio playback.  For its part the Treo averages 4 to 5 hours of talk time.

However, although the above iPhone claims are certainly very good it suffers from the fact that it does not benefit from a removable battery which means that when the phone is dead there’s nothing that you can do unless you’re next to a power outlet.  In contrast, with the availability of standard and extended batteries the Treo can keep going for as long as you like.

Hardware
As was to be expected from Apple the iPhone delivers a gorgeous slick industrial design that clearly touches you with its beauty and elegance.  It’s ultra-thin (11.6mm vs. 21mm for Treo), offers a large high resolution display covered in glass that offers solid scratch protection as well as a side mute switch like the one that Palm famously introduced first on the Treo.  Additionally, it also includes built-in WiFi, Bluetooth 2.0 and a 2 megapixel camera.

In comparision, this is the area that Palm has stumbled on and suffered from most in the past year having made only modest product design improvements or innovations since the release of the Treo 650/700.  I personally love my Treo 680 but few people will stop to tell me how beautiful it is…  Having said this, the iPhone can also afford to be better looking since at $599 (8GB model) it is significantly more expensive than a Treo.

Conclusion
Above all the one thing that the iPhone has in buckets that I would certainly like the Treo to regain is its undeniable “coolness” factor – the fact is that the Treo is still great but it has without a doubt lost some of its edge through lack of product design, software innovation and poor marketing which all need to be urgently addressed.

Additionally, I would specifically like developers of Treo multimedia software such as Pocket Tunes, CorePlayer and SplashPhoto to get their act together to be able to deliver solutions to match the superior music, movie and photo playback capabilities of the iPhone.  I would also like to see Palm taking the lead in setting a clear software and multimedia strategy working closely with these developers to ensure the best results.

Will I get an iPhone to test? Of course.  Will I switch from my Treo and use the iPhone daily or will it end up like my old iPod gathering dust in a drawer?  I think that I’ll be keeping my Treo for some time to come but not without yearning to see innovations like those the iPhone delivers in future Treo models.  Having said this, if Apple were to release an iPhone with a full keyboard I think that my decision would be considerably more difficult.

Top 5 iPhone Wins

  • Ultra Hip & Cool
  • Amazing Multimedia
  • Stunning User Interface + Look & Feel
  • Best-of-Breed Web Browser
  • Gorgeous Product Design

Top 5 Treo Wins

  • Usability: Quick & Easy
  • Dozens of Personal + Corporate Software/Email Solutions
  • Terrific Keyboard + Dedicated Hardware Buttons
  • Thousands of Applications Available (from games to GPS)
  • Price

Treonauts are always part of a revolution


Posted by Andrew on June 29, 2007 at 03:42 PM

Treo vs. iPhone

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» Palm Treo versus Apple iPhone from Treo Today
Andrew over at Treonauts chimes in with his opinion of the new Apple iPhone.  I share his disappointment in Palms lack of response to the iPhone, despite having an entire six month notice.  Incidently, this is one of the rare times that Appl... [Read More]

Tracked on Jul 2, 2007 10:56:51 PM



Comments

1
by Dave | Jun 29, 2007 4:03:59 PM

"I think that I’ll be keeping my Treo for some time to come but not without yearning to see innovations like those the iPhone delivers in future Treo models."

And this is why the presence of the iPhone is a good thing. It will force innovation from its competitors. If Palm wishes to stay in the game, they'll HAVE to innovate, and I believe they will.

2
by John22s | Jun 29, 2007 4:36:31 PM

I ordered the Treo 650 the day it was available. I love it and will always remember it for it's "do everything" ability. I loved being able to watch movies, get email effortlessly, call people, have picture caller ID, listen to music, surf the internet, turn the phone to silent mode with the flick of a switch, jot down memos/notes with a QUERTY keyboard that is fantastic, store and share pictures through showing people in person on a fantastic 320x320 resolution display or send pictures via sms...I mean the list goes on and on with the Treo! I LOVE IT! But it is fading fast. The iPhone does have the "cool" factor. It does pretty much everything the Treo does (I feel the need to list what it doesn't do that the Treo does here: Real keyboard is very important I think, though iPhone's virtual one is cool and I can see myself getting used to it easily because I adapt well to this sort of "sport?". 3rd party apps help you conform your Treo to your likeing and that is really cool and necessary to me because it's like designing your own gadget. The newer Treo's can get fast internet connections and this is really important to me. EDGE has sucked big time...way to slow until today. Yes, Cingular/ATT upped the EDGE speed today (I still have my Treo 650) just for the iPhone release which is cool but makes me mad that for the past 2 years it has been slow because they are cheap and needed a major gadget release to bring out the full potential of the lame EDGE data network. I was getting 80ish kbps, today 180kbps in Northern Chicago. I want the fastest internet connection possible (I may go to Verizon for Rev-A, hoping Palm will put out a non-Windows Treo that can handle it soon. HSDPA would be nice(er) too on GSM networks.
Basically, I want the cool user interface in a nice package. The iPhone has this. If the iPhone goes HSDPA soon, I may jump the Treo ship. But if Palm puts out a Treo that isn't "Original Nintendo" like, I may stay a Treonaut! I want to stay a Treonaut. Please, Palm...make a perfect "gadget"!!!

3
by Mike Hardy | Jun 29, 2007 4:56:45 PM

bluetooth modem? No
3rd party apps? No
No keyboard? Whatever, people. "Trust the keyboard" my bootie, the reviews I've been reading have said two-thumbing it sucks.

Next...

Don't get me wrong, the iPhone is getting close to the same thing the treo is also only getting close to. But it's not there yet, and it's not far enough ahead of the treo to make it worth jumping. Yet.

Hopefully palm is spurred to action though. Competition is good, and maybe iPhone 2.0 is the thing...

-Mike (waiting for a superphone with usb ports and video out to replace my laptop completely...)

4
by Arthur Greenwald | Jun 29, 2007 5:44:22 PM

I have great respect for your insights but I think you're missing the big picture here. What the iPhone offers is a superbly logical interface. Its microprocessor and operating system are vastly superior to the Treo's and all that power is focused on consistent ease-of-use. Moreover, within a year, all of the shortcomings of version 1.0 will be completely resolved, most especially solutions for business users.

Sadly Palm (which ironically made its fortune creating first software then a smarter replacement for the clunky Apple Newton) appears to have nothing remotely competitive in the pipeline. Today the Treo becomes a relative dinosaur. Not just because of the iPhone. I have several friends who've thrown their hands up and dumped their Treos for newer Blackberries.

I'll wait for version 2.0 on the faster AT&T network, or maybe even a year later for iPhone 3.0 on Verizon. But I will definitely switch.

5
by DaHonay | Jun 29, 2007 6:20:15 PM

I have been a faithful Treo user since the 600... then the 650... now the 680. I am a PALM junky going back to the early days of the Palm Pilot 1000. I only keep coming back because the technology for me has always been exactly what I needed when I needed it.

That being said... I don't have a Treo 680 for it's "hip" factor. I have it for it's functionality factor (although I am still plagued with battery issues even with the extended life battery. Shrug...)

But there has always been something that has bothered me... that Palm has the WORST, MOST UNRESPONSIVE, BLASE ATTITUDE about customer service. It doesn't surprise me that they aren't responding to the inquiries and suggestions of their customers. They don't have to... we keep coming back in droves because that's what we've always done.

I, too, hope that the iPhone is a wake up for Palm and that they can once again be a leader - in both product and service - in the smartphone race.

6
by RF9 | Jun 29, 2007 6:31:27 PM

I think your article / comparison was well put and reflect the position most of us long time Treo users are in. Namely the frustration of the stagnant development of multimedia apps.
You can do a lot with music and video on a PalmOS or WM Treo, but you have to kludge it together sometimes to make it all work. Give me a "package" that just works and can be pre-installed by Palm.
And on WM, Windows media player is a joke. MS could do so much better.

There are too many deal breaker shortcomings of the iPhone, but even I wonder if in a year or two will I be wanting to get the iPhone 2.0, or 3.0? How will the market shape up?

I'm hoping Palm and MS wake up and innovate the coffee and give Apple a run for their money. I want to see mobile greatness from not-Apple.

7
by Eric | Jun 29, 2007 7:01:25 PM

Looking forward to ditching my 650. It has NEVER synced correctly to my Mac, even using MissingSync. The internet sucks on it.

iPhone will be worlds better.

8
by JOhn | Jun 29, 2007 8:36:01 PM

I've been a Palm user since the Palm III. But only because the battery in my Newton died. I've had a 600 and a 650 but I'm going to the iPhone as soon as there is an expense app available.

Palm is sucking wind huge. They are going to be as obsolete as the iPod made the walkman unless they crank up the innovation big time. The products that are coming out are re-spins on 4 year old ideas. The OS is lacking major capability - and I hate it when my phone reboots instead of managing a crashed app.

Syncing has always been problematic - and the rumors of Apple's syncing that will happen over BT when you are in range (Leopard rumor) would be huge.

We'll see, but the gauntlet has been thrown and Palm is not ready.

9
by What's in a name anyway? | Jun 29, 2007 8:50:52 PM

I can't remember which of Andrew's old blogs addressed this: many, if not most treo users do not fully utilize the power of the Treo. Not only that, I would say there is a large percentage of Treo users that don't even use 50% of Treo's capabilities (based on my own crusade at my job of turning Blackberry user's into Treo users). My own 650 could stand for more of a workout. That large void between "full Treo usage" and "actual Treo customer use" is where Palm will lose I think to a younger, media driven generation. The 680/750 model was scaled down in certain areas to address this, which in turn makes it probably the #1 Treo unit to compare with the iPhone. I haven't used the 680, however from what I remember it seems that Palm "dumbed it down" to compete with other media friendly(music, video, camera, internet, lets even throw in SMS) phones. So when I compare the 680 and the iPhone, the iPhone pulls out ahead. Outside of removable memory, there is nothing I can immediately think of the iPhone could want from the 680, while the 680 looks like it could take a number of lessons from iPhone.

Overall, Treos and iPhones are like oranges and tangerines-both are very similar but not quite the same. Not until the iPhone becomes more business friendly. In the end, I hope Palm gets off its high-horse because the iPhone just smacked the taste out of the Treos mouth - what are they going to do about it?

10
by Mark A. Weiss | Jun 29, 2007 8:52:26 PM

I purchased my 750 from Cingular last February after waiting more than a year after its introduction by Verizon. I am incredibly pleased that I waited. My phone is for business and the MS Mobile 5 and soon to be, Mobile 6 operating systems provide the power I need. As the owner of a small business, I use my phone for business, not for watching movies or TV shows. Who has the time? In addition, carrying my 8gb Nano is not a hardship for listening to music. What is important to me is the ability to connect to my Outlook Business Contact Manager software, which my Treo 750 does.

I will admit that my knowledge of the iPhone has been gained by what I have read. I have yet to hold one and use it. I may be wrong but perceive that it would be difficult to use and navigate it with one hand while on the go. One of the great benefits of the Treo is my ability to have access and use its features with my left hand while carrying books, etc. in my right. Unfortunately, it appears that design of the iPhone is trumping the Treo's practicability. Palm could create an advertisement that states the Treo will take on the iPhone for usability with one hand tied behind its back!

Is the Treo perfect? No. Is there room for improvements? Definitely. However, if given the choice of a Treo and an iPhone as each exists in the real world today, my choice would still be the Treo.

11
by Greg Swallow | Jun 29, 2007 9:08:32 PM

Ok, original 'Palm' was an IBM WorkPad, followed by a Palm IIIxe. Then I found a deal on a Clea S300, but finally Sprint had gave me a deal on a Treo 300. Went through two broken doors and three Treo 300 before I got my Treo 680 (from Cingular/AT&T since Sprint would not give a resonable deal on the Treo 700P. I have too much in PalmOS software to even think about looking at a multi-media phone that tops $500. If writing software for the iPhone could be as easy as do so for PalmOS (i.e. iziBasic) then I might look at it, but I watch no videos and don't browse the web that much. Heck I've even stopped using my iPod (my third in two years) in favor of playing music from a collection of SD sticks. What's the big deal? But, I already have a new extended battery and 8gb CF HD for my iPod, so I'll keep the Treo 680. It does all I need. The iPhone is just a l,ot of empty useless fluff.

12
by Willy Chu | Jun 29, 2007 9:40:37 PM

The clock is ticking for Palm to develop a competing device.

It is only a matter of time before 3 of the 5 "Treo Wins" are non-issues.

Re: corporate email -- Jobs has hinted that solutions will be coming soon.
Re: thousands of apps -- this is a new platform, apps will come with time. Although web apps may be a limitation, there is no intrinsic reason why real apps couldn't be developed if Apple were to allow it.
Re: price -- the biggest cost is not the initial cost of the phone, but the ongoing monthly fees. If AT&T's plan is $10/mo cheaper than the comparable Sprint or Verizon plan, in 2 years that's $240 saved right there!
Re: usability/quick and easy -- depends on what you're doing. As you mentioned, the iPhone interface is clearly better for multimedia and web browsing.
Re: terrific keyboard and hardware buttons -- same as above. I think this a difference, but not necessarily a clear cut advantage. If you like multimedia and web browsing, you gotta have a large screen and the flexibility of virtual buttons. If you're willing to give up screen size, typing on a hard keyboard will always be easier. Apple's "smart typing" is interesting. Of course, Palm could do the same thing (which would be cool), if they had some imagination.

The one BIG advantage of the iPhone is Apple's history of continually and frequently upgrading software (ex. OS 10.1, 10.2, etc) and hardware (ex. iPods). Palm development is threading water, which in this competitive business is equivalent to sinking.

13
by Blake | Jun 29, 2007 9:57:07 PM

I think it really depends what you prefer. If you're business savvy and depend on 3d party apps, on a budget, and dont care much for design, go with the Treo.

If you want a nice device that does the best web browsing, has a phone and an iPod, go with the iPhone.

One is right for one market, and one is right for another market. I can't wait to try out the keyboard.

14
by Blake | Jun 29, 2007 10:10:26 PM

Also, (I forgot to mention in previous post) a good company IMO (In my opinion) caters to the customer. However, in our case there are many customers with many appetites. So what must the Chef (Apple/Palm) do? Cater to the larger number of appetites. The market has shifted IMO. More people want a multimedia phone than a business phone. I can't think of too many high schoolers who are dying to get their hands on a Treo to sync with their Outlook. The market is bigger for media phones, and that's the route Apple took. Palm is still catering to the business user. Maybe they don't want to cater to the media side...bear in mind they won't sell as many phones overall, but still they will own the business market. But if Apple comes through with the 3rd party app talks, it would be an even bigger threat.

15
by allie | Jun 30, 2007 8:20:10 AM

iphones appear to be a lot like mac's - great product design, great cool factor ..but if you want to take care of business (vs design)..you need something else.

-no physical keyboard is a major bust. The only thing worse than typing with two thumbs has to be using one finger (no matter how good the software is). I never use the treo touch screen for typing - not even dialing numbers...it is a pain. I type email and sms from the treo often. The touch screen is perfect for everything else, but not typing.

-business apps for the treo are well developed and essential. I really do use all of the MSOffice applications on a palm OS, plus the calendar, contacts etc are hard to beat on a Palm not to mention other small utilities that get used all the time. I actually manage business with my treo when out of the office.

-You can use treo as a modem for your notebook while on the road. This really helps. I assume the iPhone will do the same someday.

-BT & BT hotsync work great with my 680..I think has more to do with my new thinkpad than with the phone.

With all of that noted, I won't be switching from my treo right now...but I do prefer managing music on my ipod. I wish Apple would use the form factor of the new iphone for next gen ipods that are small like the nano but have higher storage capacity (more than 8gb)at a reasonable price. I would buy one of those for sure!

I love my 680, and it is definitely not dumbed down at all having had the other treos...but Palm needs some serious design updating (totally unlike those proposed mockups that came out lately - yuk), slimmer, lighter, wifi, more screen, improved speakers and a much better camera, more stability in the OS.

Nuff said.

16
by Lush | Jun 30, 2007 9:49:07 AM

I have to say....I gave Palm a chance. I came here and read a lot last year and even though I thought (and still think) that Andrew is a Palm fanboy (it's okay, Andrew, we're all fanboys of something), I thought I'd give Palm a whirl. I got a 680 and have been using it on a daily basis (I'm a med student). The access to web and mail have been important for keeping in touch with my family and colleagues and for having easy access to info. However, the Palm never had the "it" factor for me. Never quite "felt" right. Additionally, it still crashes and locks up on me. I have literally no other devices that lock or crash....ever. And that includes two MacBook Pros (my wife's and mine). I'm just not willing to use a product that crashes or support such a backward company (I mean....don't get me started on why Palm has never added Wifi.)

So, I'm bidding adieu to Palm today. My wife and I both scored a couple of iPhones (no charge to us - long story). Just found a buyer for my 680 on Craigslist. Goodbye Palm. Thanks for nothing. I've heard people say for years that Apple will "finally go under", but I truly think that's true of Palm now. Sad really.

PS - the virtual keyboard was awkward at first. Now? I'm typing faster than I EVER typed on my 680. I'm sold....virtual is better than tactile and static. Give me a keyboard that changes on the fly to my needs.

17
by Mike Arnold | Jun 30, 2007 10:21:50 AM

Bye Bye treo! Your reign is now over! I have been a faithful treo user for the past 4 years. I have owned 600, 650, and 700p. Because of problems I have probaly owned and turned in over 10 treos in these models. I have been a loyal treo user and read this blog almost everyday. But it is now time to say godd bye treo! Sorry the just have been replaced by the iphone. Time to go back to work treo and come back with something better! See Ya!

18
by Andrew | Jun 30, 2007 10:23:29 AM

Lush - I think that it's pretty clear from what I have written here and elsewhere that I am a Treo fan (the device) and not necessarily by extension a Palm fan (the company). It's an important distinction. At the same time my passion and enthusiasm for the Treo does not in any way blind me to the innovations that other devices such as the iPhone may provide.

Cheers, A.

19
by Nick Sciarrone | Jun 30, 2007 10:34:29 AM

You mentioned that you use an 8GB card... Is it true that my 700w does not support a card bigger that 2GB? I thought this site was selling the 4GB card and then they were no longer on the site.
Help

20
by Tom | Jun 30, 2007 11:30:35 AM

I think the iPhone does live up to the hype. WiFi access around the house is almost worth the price. As I see it, many people could use an iPhone and get rid of their PC. That said, lack of an SD card and not synching with Outlook will keep me with my trusty Treo.

21
by Ron LaPedis | Jun 30, 2007 1:19:15 PM

I have been a high-tech product marketing manager for 8 years, a road-warrior for far more than that, and a Treo owner since the 270. I am local to Palm and have been applying for every Treo PMM position that I saw for the last 4 years but never even got a call back. Obviously whomever they are hiring just doesn't get it. Too bad....

22
by amanda | Jun 30, 2007 1:27:38 PM

Have a nice existence palm, you just lost another customer. I bought the 680 right when it came out. I can honestly say that I will probably never buy Palm again after having gotten the opportunity to truly use my iPhone.

The text input is really much better than on a hardware key oars as it's much more dynamic, and two thumb typing is a lot easier than most have said, particularly in landscape mode. On a scale from 1-10 I would honestly give the iPhone a 9.5

23
by Hank | Jun 30, 2007 6:27:05 PM

I have had a Treo 650 for about 1-1/2 years now, and owned a VIIx in the past. I love the Treo, but misplaced it recently and am using my daughter's old phone until it turns up again. (Long story.) So, I got caught up in the hype and decided to look at the iPhone last night (June 29, 2007, introduction night.)

There was no longer a line, but people were stacked two deep around the iPhone demo table. I eventually got a chance to hold it, make a phone call, and use the virtual keyboard.

The form factor is nice and it is certainly a sleek design in person. Thinner and lighter. The screen is very, very good. I made a call and the incoming voice quality was fine, although my wife could not hear me because of the loud background noise from the jabbering looky-lous and hip techno music.

I found both the phone and QWERTY virtual keyboards to be a letdown. I made at least one keying error dialing the phone, although this happens using the screen on the Treo as well.

Writing a single sentence using the note application suggests that it will be torture using the QWERTY keyboard. I typed "This is a sample note on the iPhone" and made four errors. One was corrected automatically. This area will probably get better as the software improves, but it's a real drawback on day one IMHO.

To be fair, I am a big guy (6'4") with big hands (size 12.5 gloves), and even the Treo keyboard is a challenge sometimes. I have the optional infrared keyboard, which makes extended email answers much more bearable. (Financial hint: buy stock in an AAA battery company if you have one of these.)

I'm also probably not the demographic for which the iPhone was intended. I tend to use the Treo as an email machine and calendar first, phone second, web browsing third, other apps fourth, GPS fifth, and I think I've listened to music maybe three times.

The things I liked about the iPhone:
- The design and larger screen
- Visual voicemail would be a huge advantage if I used the phone more
- The map application is excellent, much better than the Delorme GPS I use on the Treo
- ...and it's cool.

The dislikes, based on an obviously brief examination:
- Virtual keyboard not good for me due to hand size
- No external storage
- No external keyboard available yet
- Doesn't synch with older Macs
- Glass screen breakage is a concern for me
- No removable battery
- Verizon coverage better than AT&T in some parts of the country

I've got to look at the phone plan and determine the cost difference - the AT&T plan may actually be cheaper over time.

Conclusion: If I can't find my 650, I'm going to go on Craigs list to find someone selling their Treo because they love the iPhone. I can certainly see how people will love it, though.

If you do want an iPhone, please save yourself some bucks and don't get suckered into buying one at an inflated price on an auction site. The Apple afficionados mostly bought the first day and there still seems to be a supply available in the local stores. As I noted, while the traffic was heavy at 8:30 PM, the crowd had changed from must-buy-now to tire kickers. I suspect the scarcity hype is overdone.

24
by matthew | Jun 30, 2007 9:33:12 PM

regardless of how expensive and how "new" it is, i wouldnt mind working for apple right now:

http://www.thenewsroom.com/details/453262?c_id=wom-bc-mam

--matthew from the technology desk at thenewsroom.com

25
by It's all over | Jun 30, 2007 10:09:11 PM

Andy dear,

it's all over. Your pathetic excuse for a site needs to be shut down. Go get a read job, flower boy, before the Popes sets his horny sites on you and mistakes you for an alter boy.

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