iPhone Envy

Greg Packer in NYC queue for iPhone

The smartphone for, um... The rest of us.

So sorry for this. Next time I’ll issue a man-boobs alert…

This is Greg Packer, 1st in line for an iPhone at the Apple Store in Manhattan. At 6pm local time today he will be given the privilege of signing up for a mandatory two-year contract with wireless carrier AT&T and then handing over either $499 or $599 USD and in exchange for what tech site Gizmodo is referring to as the JesusPhone.

The moniker is a half-joke at best; in an internal webcast to Apple employees yesterday CEO Steve Jobs positioned the iPhone as one of the four pillars of Apple’s business — the other three being Macs, iPods and Apple TV. And over at Apple’s officially iPhone site there is almost an hour of downloadable video showing prospective users how to use their groundbreaking device. Apple hasn’t lavished this much attention on a product since the launch of the original Macintosh in 1984.

There’s been some backlash too, most notably from this recent post on Engadget. I was particularly interested in details about the iPhone’s virtual QWERTY keyboard:

  • The keyboard was simply described as “disappointing”. Keyboarding with two thumbs often registers multiple key presses (two or three at a time) resulting in a lot of mistakes. The best way to type is with a single finger (as shown in most of Apple’s demos), but two thumbs is supposedly very difficult. After trying it for a number of days our source gave up using their thumbs.
  • “It won’t replace a BlackBerry. It’s not good for text input. It’s just not a business product.”

As someone who will only use a QWERTY device this could be a deal-breaker for me, not that it matters anyway, since there’s been no word from Rogers — technically Canada’s only GSM operator, as they now own Microcell and Fido — on when they’ll offer the iPhone, if at all.

So for now I’ll sit on the sidelines and watch how this all unfolds. I will be hopefully marking this day with a smartphone delivery of my own — More on that in a future post…


About Andrew

Mobile phones, Linux and copyright reform. Those go together, right?
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4 Responses to iPhone Envy

  1. Ed Miller says:


    I’ll bet iPhone clones (iClones?) appear for both GSM and CDMA in Canada before Apple does. After all, there are many companies out there capable of producing an overly sensitive crappy keyboard….


  2. AC says:

    Good point. I’m pretty sure I saw a BrackBerry Purl at Pacific Mall last time I was there…

    And there’s always this: http://preview.tinyurl.com/ygqm8b

  3. Tim says:

    What smartphone are you using now?

  4. AC says:

    Hi Tim,

    Currently I’m making do with a BlackBerry 8700 — a fine device but the Mac synching software for it is ABYSMALLY BAD!

    My next smartphone is a bit of a surprise for my readers here, but all the clues are there if you connect the dots…

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