Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Does the iPhone live up to the hype?

First impressions of the iPhone are pretty damn good. After years of speculation regarding the iPhone, endless rumours and plenty of creative visualisations, the big day arrived.

Steve Jobs at Macworld in San Francisco unveiled a credible touchscreen device, with a high degree of innovation. It has 200 patents including the intriguingly named 'Accelerometer', plus Proximity sensors and Visual Voicemail. Priced at $499 for the 4GB version and a very steep $599 for 8GB Flash storage capacity.

Thankfully Engadget blogged the keynote in real time, with enough galleries to satisfy Apple's most enthusiastic fanatics. (Engadget had 10 times normal traffic during Job's keynote peaking at nearly 10 million page impressions, although there is still some confusion whether or not this takes into account page refreshes).

Mike Butcher also has an easy to digest round-up of the iPhone's key features gleaned from TUAW, Paidcontent, Crunchgear and Engadget.

In a refreshing note of balance, Ben King at Channel 4 asks "Why are we so obssessed with Apple?"

Tech Paparazzi's Verdict
: Without personally having used the the iPhone, this is mainly based on Steve's keynote: While there are always going to be detractors predicting failure it seems to exceed the hype, appearing to carry the iPod wow-factor and usability to the iPhone. Guy Kewney at the Reg thinks there will be a demand for the abandoned scroll wheel and reckons it will reappear in hardware version 1.5. But surely the scroll wheel could appear on the touchscreen in an upgrade.

Europe will have to wait until Christmas '07 or early 2008 until it ships this side of the pond.

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