Last Updated Aug 20, 2007 6:20 PM EDT
As David Pogue points out in his review in the New York Times, the iPhone scores big with its impressively easy-to-use user interface, scratch-free glass, full-featured web browser, and option to choose your plan from the privacy of your own home. But in some key areas, it underperforms even the "free" phones you get with a phone plan:
- It can take up to six steps to make a phone call.
- There's no ability to voice-dial.
- Text entry is challenging.
When not near a Wi-Fi hot spot, the iPhone will run on AT&T's dated EDGE broadband network, meaning that you may only see those cool, full-featured, full-text web pages after a considerable wait (Pogue found that Yahoo.com took two minutes to load on his review iPhone). Future iPhone models will likely run on AT&T's newer, much faster data network (currently available in 160 cities).
With Apple's product development and marketing acumen, it's highly unlikely that the iPhone will be a New Coke or Edsel-like flop. But the mandatory two-year service contract (with a $175 early termination fee, hefty for a non-subsidized phone) leaves plenty of time for buyer's remorse to set in -- and the high-flying exuberance those early adopters have now could plunge into an equally passionate frustration in just a few months. If this translates into lower-than-expected sales, the iPhone could cut into or even reverse Apple's iPod-fueled stock gains.