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6/4/2007
10:17 AM
Alexander Wolfe
Alexander Wolfe
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iPhone Launch Commercial Raises Some Questions For Apple

Apple has confirmed that its uber-cool iPhone will go on sale on June 29, at $500 or $600 a pop (depending on the model). It's also released three TV commercials, which began airing Sunday night, on 60 Minutes. So, of course, I've got a bunch of additional iPhone questions Steve Jobs doesn't want you to ask.

Apple has confirmed that its uber-cool iPhone will go on sale on June 29, at $500 or $600 a pop (depending on the model). It's also released three TV commercials, which began airing Sunday night, on 60 Minutes. So, of course, I've got a bunch of additional iPhone questions Steve Jobs doesn't want you to ask.First, here's one of the commercials. (You can watch all three here on Apple's Web site.)

That ad is so warm and fuzzy, it almost makes me want to toss my Blackberry away. But before I do, I've got a few questions:

What's with the zero boot-up time? Does it really turn on that quickly. I know, the actual operation of the iPhone has been time-compressed for the sake of the commercial. And most people don't really care about boot time, anyway, because you only do it once a day, unless the thing locks up. Which could never happen, because this is Apple we're talking about.

Does it surf the Web that quickly? Okay, now I'm just being unfairly cranky with all these speed questions. However, in the commercial, it's loading Web site really quickly; faster than I've ever done on a desktop, in my. But, hey, my Blackberry's browser is slow as molasses, so if the iPhone is really an online speed demon, I probably do want the thing. However, here again, I'm skeptical.

What happens if I drop the thing? The iPhone looks real pretty, but also (dare I say it) pretty fragile. Not at all like the new, ruggedized G'zOne phone from Verizon Wireless, which a friend of mine yesterday proudly showed off. He assured me he could throw against the wall and it'd keep on ticking. Bet you can't do that with an iPhone!

"Can you hear me now?" What will the sound quality of actual phone calls on the iPhone be? That's always been a bugaboo for multiple-duty devices. My Blackberry is great on email, but the sound quality on phone calls sucks, unless you use a Bluetooth headset. The iPhone will be much better in this regard, right?

I realize that I'm being a bit unfair here, with all these picky questions about how such a hot new device actually performs. The iPhone will clearly connect with a huge consumer base in the general public. As for business use, I think that's beyond the iPhone's grasp at this point, because of my ongoing and still biggest problem with the thing:

Where's the hard keypad? I hate to keep harping on this, but take a look at that commercial again. The guy is tapping through his list of email, presumably to read them. So how the heck is he supposed to answer them. Until I use the thing myself, I'm not going to believe that the phone's soft keypad will be adequate. Already, it looks like one has to be very careful when activiated the major-function buttons on the phone, to touch a key head-on. Seems like the demarcation between the different soft keys will be muddy, to say the least (i.e, you think you've typed "a," but you've really hit "s").

For now, no thanks. It'll stick with my Blackberry thumb, thank you.

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