Reaction: Apple iPhone
So, the iPhone has been in the hands of consumers and reviewers for over a week, and there's been many reactions. Here's what I've found after reading about it, listening to podcasts, and also using it myself.
First of all, as I've already said, the lack of an SDK to make dedicated applications may enhance the reliability of the device, but it seriously hinders my like of it. I can see why they'd want to sandbox all of that in the browser, but in order to support powerful functionality, developers need access to things such as Google Gears and Adobe Air (formerly Apollo) to allow useful applications even when disconnected from the 'Net as well as Flash support.
Also, there's a number other things that are just stupid. Apple claims that the iPhone is the best iPod they've ever made, but there's a couple problems with that claim. First, it only holds up to 8GB, a bunch of which will be taken up by the OS and other data. Second, they recessed the headphone jack so that only headphones made for iPhone will work in it, unless I feel like taking a knife to my current headphones. Bad, bad idea, Apple. I'll wait for a version that doesn't lock us into iPhone peripherals. Third, although the chipset apparently supports high-end stereo Bluetooth headphones, the software does not, so the only thing you can use is one-ear Bluetooth headsets, and who wants to listen to music on that? Turning it on its side widens the web browsing experience as well as others, but only in the web browser can you get the wider, bigger keyboard as well. That might be nice to have throughout.
However, after playing with an Apple iPhone a number of times in the past week, it definitely is an amazing phone. It's the easiest phone I've ever used to browse the web (at least over WiFi) and to input text. The integration of Mail, Phone, and Google Maps throughout the iPhone is amazing, for your contacts can easily jump to Maps, calling them, or e-mailing them. Zooming, panning, and selecting areas by pinching are all really easy and the interface is very consistent and simple throughout.
There are many ways it blows my current Samsung phone out of the water, but I'm going to stick with my current phone for a while longer. First, the rumors seem to be that some of my concerns could even be resolved in a new version by the Christmas season, although I kinda doubt it. Also, I like to do lots and lots of research for a big purchase like this, so I need to spend more time reading about capabilities and features and testing it out myself. (Some people might know that I actually spent about a year and a half reading up about phones before I finally bought my Samsung i500.) One thing I love is that Apple has their iPhones set up in the store, ready to use and test to your heart's content, which is is a lot better than almost any phone store, where they almost never have the smartphones hooked up or functional. In the end, I'll probably get an iPhone, but it may be a bit before they work out the issues and I buy in.