TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: The iPhone is a Breakthrough Handheld Computer

The iPhone is a Breakthrough Handheld Computer

Monty Solomon (
Mon, 2 Jul 2007 02:08:51 -0400

We Spend Two Weeks Using Apple's Much-Anticipated Device To See if It
Lives Up to the Hype; In Search of the Comma Key

June 26, 2007

by Walter S. Mossberg and Katherine Boehret
The Wall Street Journal

One of the most important trends in personal technology over the past
few years has been the evolution of the humble cellphone into a true
handheld computer, a device able to replicate many of the key
functions of a laptop. But most of these "smart phones" have had lousy
software, confusing user interfaces and clumsy music, video and photo
playback. And their designers have struggled to balance screen size,
keyboard usability and battery life.

Now, Apple Inc., whose digital products are hailed for their design
and innovation, is jumping into this smart-phone market with the
iPhone, which goes on sale in a few days after months of the most
frenzied hype and speculation we have ever seen for a single
technology product. Even though the phone's minimum price is a hefty
$499, people are already lining up outside Apple stores to be among
the first to snag one when they go on sale Friday evening.

We have been testing the iPhone for two weeks, in multiple usage
scenarios, in cities across the country. Our verdict is that, despite
some flaws and feature omissions, the iPhone is, on balance, a
beautiful and breakthrough handheld computer. Its software,
especially, sets a new bar for the smart-phone industry, and its
clever finger-touch interface, which dispenses with a stylus and most
buttons, works well, though it sometimes adds steps to common

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