Sunday, July 13, 2008

iPhone Craze

I took advantage of a great day and went for a bike ride all over Pasadena and Arcadia in Southern California. I figured I may as well see for myself what this "iPhone 3G" thing is about. And I started to wonder if this is going to be an annual ritual. Of course, this is nothing compared to the 1,500 folks who lined up outside a Softbank store with a Star Wars stormtrooper to keep them from getting too rowdy.

The Apple Store on Colorado Blvd was about 100 people deep and a few of them were ready to came ready to make this a day thing if the troubles Apple experienced yesterday repeat itself. However, it's likely they worked out the kinks and judging by the large number of people who were finally able to activate their iPhones yesterday evening, the line today should move along quite faster.

If anyone who isn't within driving distance of an Apple store and are forced to visit an AT&T store, my suggestion is to call ahead. That's what I did yesterday and, sadly, they ran out early in the day. Two stores I visited on my bike ride today also had lines. Amazingly, the people I spoke to knew the store did not have any iPhones in stock but they wanted to see if they could be put in a waiting list.

The larger issue, I hope, is the awareness that being mobile is increasingly a necessity in every aspects of life. I don't know what people will be doing with their iPhones, Blackberry Curves or Thunders, or Android phones outside of work but I do see a convergence of every aspects of mobility merge with life in general.

And I also subscribe to the idea that the smartphone market is big enough for many players. But I simply do not see this kind of excitement for any other phones right now. This should be a worrying sign to other manufacturers. I hope this will truly get them to start innovating and stop focusing on idea of killing the iPhone and take hold and embrace the idea that their smartphones has to make the lives of the mobile users easier and the information they need literally at their finger tip.

Apple,the new kid on the block that no one thinks will make it in a market with entrenched players, has brought the ease of use of the Mac, focused on the simple things that made the iPod a success, embraced the idea of Life 2.0 and put all that into the iPhone.

Whether you're a mobile warrior who care for the iPhone or not, the attention Apple has brought to the smartphone industry benefits everyone and quickens the pace of innovation.

One last thing, please call ahead to make sure your local AT&T store has the iPhone in stock or not. I do not anticipate the kind of shortage the iPod experienced in the past. Personally, I think it's good to wait a couple of weeks to let this first batch of iPhones fly off the shelf. There's already reports of a warm tint on some of the screens.

UPDATE: The warmer tint on the new iPhone was purposely done. See
Gizmodo/Engadget/Appleinsider for more information.

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