iPhone: the good, the bad and the ugly

The blogosphere is currently exploding with opinions on Apple’s latest gadget: the iPhone. Before reading what other bloggers think of the iPhone, I want to produce my very own unbiased opinion first. Here’s my take on the iPhone:

The good

Safari on the iPhone Web tablet. I was surprised to hear the iPhone would also serve as a web tablet with Wifi connectivity. This is great news for people not wanting to carry their laptop computer around when they travel or for the casual geek who needs his daily fix of slashdot at the cafe.
iPod Shuffle iPod functionalities. The iPhone being backed up by the iPod brand will be a sure success. The iPod has already proven its point in the music industry and it is currently the most famous music player around. Adding all of the iPod functionalities in the iPhone will surely boost its sales.
iPhone to run OS X OS X. While I personally dislike the OS X operating system for its over-user-friendliness, I think it makes a great operating system for a casual user. The integrated web browsing capabilities of the iPhone will be very well-supported by OS X, and the operating system leaves to door open for all kind of marvelous software.

The bad

Apple XCode Closed to independent developers. Apparently, the iPhone will be closed to independent software developer. That means one thing: less software available. If this is true, we’ll see how fast Apple and licensed developers can release new applications for the iPhone.
Fries Greasy touch screen. I dislike touch screens. They get all dirty with finger grease. The only touch screens I find acceptable are those that use a stylus like on a Palm or on a Nintendo DS, but they are annoying to carry and I don’t see myself dialing a phone number with a stylus. I will miss the keypad on the iPhone.
iPhone launches first on Cingular Cingular only (initial launch). I was hoping the iPhone would launch as an unlocked phone, bringing the cellular phone market into a new era. Apple had the power to do it. Locked cell phones are only beneficial to carriers and are currently a real pain for users.
No 3G on the iPhone? No 3G? From what I’ve seen of the iPhone, it will only support EDGE, a relatively slow data transmission technology. Whether EDGE is considered 2G or 3G depends on the carrier and is up for another debate. A phone of this caliber should at least offer the latest data transfer technology available for downloading music over cellular networks, such as W-CDMA. I hope they manage to slip the feature in before the phone launches next June.

The ugly

Despite the fact that the iPhone is not the revolution I was hoping for, and despite all its drawbacks, I still want one. It looks slick, it offers a lot of functionalities and it combines three things I like: the internet, music and communications. However, I will not spend $599 on a device I can only use with one carrier. I’ll wait until an unlocked version is available.

 

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