iPhone Mania

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:

  1. Efficiently check and send e-mail
  2. Render Web sites quickly and with as much similarity to a computer browser as possible
  3. 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.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. markm says:

    A co-worker of mine has one (the old one) and as a new toy it’s pretty cool how you can scroll through information….but it’s not $600 worth of cool. I understand the new ones are less expensive but I suppose it depends on what you need/want.

  2. Michael says:

    I was holding out for Fic’s Neo FreeRunner, but alas now that it’s out, the reviews have been terrible. Oh well, I guess I’ll wait for an Android phone now.

  3. Bithead says:

    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?

    James; Seems clear to me the reason this stuff doesn’t get covered so much is it’s become par for the course where Apple products are concerned. they’re getting tired of dancing to Apple’s hype. Every product the release of late goes the same way. Consider the release of the various IPODS. We saw story after story about those and the opening day sales…. so often and so similar in nature that it’s like the space shuttle. The only time you hear about that is when it blows up. (A sad comparison, but there it is… comparatively nobody looks twice at the thing on the tube anymore.)

    And your second question is answered by the first answer; Hype. It’s the Prius of phones. Or maybe the cabbage patch kid of phones.

  4. Bithead says:

    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?

    James; Seems clear to me the reason this stuff doesn’t get covered so much is it’s become par for the course where Apple products are concerned. they’re getting tired of dancing to Apple’s hype. Every product the release of late goes the same way. Consider the release of the various IPODS. We saw story after story about those and the opening day sales…. so often and so similar in nature that it’s like the space shuttle. The only time you hear about that is when it blows up. (A sad comparison, but there it is… comparatively nobody looks twice at the thing on the tube anymore.)

    And your second question is answered by the first answer; Hype. It’s the Prius of phones. Or maybe the cabbage patch kid of phones.

  5. Bithead says:

    darn proxy. Sorry, JAmes

  6. Michael says:

    comparatively nobody looks twice at the thing on the tube anymore.

    On the tube, no. But those of us lucky (?) enough to live in the sunshine state can watch it live.

  7. Michael says:

    darn proxy

    You blame it on the proxy, but posting the above comment timed-out for me, but posted anyway. I think OTB is broken again.

  8. Bithead says:

    You blame it on the proxy, but posting the above comment timed-out for me, but posted anyway. I think OTB is broken again.

    Could be. Hard to say. I know when I got home things went OK.

  9. Christopher says:

    My Palm Centro is amazing! Only $99 and does EVERYthing, plus smaller and lighter that any iPhone. Awesome!