Megan McArdle and Peter Suderman camped out overnight in front of a Washington, DC Apple store in order to be among the first to get one of the new iPhones. Megan assures us that this is a mere sociological exercise for her: “I feel no desperate urge to get my hands on one of the VERY FIRST 3G IPHONES, but I can’t resist a spectacle.”
My own belated foray into microblogging, mostly to finally see if I could figure out what all the fuss was about, revealed quite a frenzy among those I’m following on Twitter and FriendFeed on the subject. Many are proclaiming the death of the BlackBerry and extolling the joys of the various applications one can now buy for the iPhone.
As to myself, Meh. I basically want a smartphone to do three things, in this order:
- Efficiently check and send e-mail
- Render Web sites quickly and with as much similarity to a computer browser as possible
- Perform basic telephone functions.
My BlackBerry Curve does 1 and 3 perfectly well and is pretty lousy at 2. I gather than the iPhone is only slightly better at 2 and much worse at 1, owing to a non-tactile keyboard.
What am I missing? And why would someone not reporting on the phenomenon camp out overnight to pay full price for a phone that will almost certainly be much cheaper three months from now?
UPDATE: Late afternoon now and all everybody is Twittering about is how poorly Apple did at setting up the infrastructure for all this. Apparently, after all the waiting to get the phone, people are now having trouble getting their phones activated so that they can actually, you know, use them. Ironically, the people who get them, say, Monday may wind up having usable phones at roughly the same time as the overnight campers, minus the aggravation.