The iPhone's Top Pros and Cons
Face it, the iPhone can only have so many folks swooning if it's got raw sex appeal. This is one device that will appeal to both genders, leaving us to ponder just what will draw people when Apple launches the phone on June 29and what everyone should be wary of.
Striking looks: And we don't just meet the slim, hot look of the case. This phone has a large, beautiful, and bright screenwhich is all the more surprising since it's a touch-screen, which is usually less vivid. The screen measures 3.5 inches across, bigger than just about anything made for the hand, and can produce as good an image as a typical desktop monitor did just a few years ago.
Friendly demeanor: This looks to be one of the easiest cellphones to get to know and use. Apple does software well and has packed nearly 30 years of experience into lists that scroll with the flick of a finger, photos that expand and shrink with a stretch of a thumb, and a screen that gets wider or taller with the twist of a wrist. In short, the iPhone strives to become one with your hands.
Smarts: The phone comes with all the elements of a smart phone, including an address book, calendar, maps, notes, and, of course, E-mail. A full-fledged Web browser comes with the system, which also is a version of the OS X that runs Apple's computers. That means it can do several things at once, such as send a photo to a friend while checking the calendar.
Good voice: The iPhone hails from the folks who brought you the iPod, and you can bet this will be the best phone yet for listening to tunes. Plus it will work with the hundreds of iPod speakers and other accessories out there, including docks built into your Mercedes or Volkswagen, and maybe even at your seat on a Boeing Dreamliner. Just be sure to turn off the wireless before take-off.
Sensitive communicator: Besides a cellphone, the iPhone has built-in WiFi and Bluetooth, which should make it easy to connect to high-speed Internet hot spots and companion devices, like headsets. The phone itself is no slacker, with the industry's first visual voice mail: Your messages show up on a list, making it easy to find the one you want to hear first.
Buff muscles: With built-in memory of at least 4 gigabytes, the phone has the heft to carry a goodly amount of music, photos, and videos.
Worldliness: The iPhone is ready to roam the globe, with its four bands of cellphone reception.
Seven reasons to be wary:
Gold-digging: Starting at $500, the iPhone is one pricey date. That's even before the cost of a monthly voice and data plan, whose prices AT&T and Apple haven't yet revealed. Analysts estimate that Apple's cost is about half of that $500, suggesting that the company is milking the early adopters.
No prenup: Purchasing an iPhone will force you to sign a two-year contract with AT&T, which will provide voice and data service. And unlike just about every other phone out there, there is no discount on the purchase price for signing that two-year agreement.
Touchiness: There's only one key, and that simply brings you back the phone's main menu. Not having a mechanical keyboard means you'll need to focus your eyes on a virtual keypad to dial a phone number or a virtual keyboard to text a message. The soft versions look responsive, but they can never perform as well as hard keys.
Lack of sociability: The iPhone won't run on AT&T's fastest data network, making it painfully slow for Web browsing or sending and receiving photos, unless you happen to be at a coffee shop with free WiFi. But the WiFi can't be used to connect to other iPhones, unlike the Microsoft Zune, nor can it sync music with a desktop computer.
Unfriendliness: Apple won't let software developers write their own programs for the iPhone, saying it wants to ensure tight security and ease of use. The phone's Safari browser can run applications developed for the Web, but that means having to connect first to the Internet, and that's slow with the iPhone unless it's within range of a WiFi network.
Questionable stamina: Apple promises eight hours of talk time, but analysts suggest that's optimisticand that using WiFi or playing videos will cut that time significantly. Plus, it appears users won't be able to change the battery, and they'll have to send it back to Apple for a new one.
Weak eye: A phone this expensive should do better than a 2-megapixel camera. It should even have an optical zoom.