Apple finally launched its much rumored mobile phone at MacWorld yesterday, immediately triggering a massive worldwide drool-fest among gadget freaks. While it has been widely known that Apple has had such a product secretly in development for at least two years now, the device itself remained shrouded in mystery. Some analysts speculated the device would prove to be nothing more than a relatively simple inexpensive iPod phone, while others expected more of a Blackberry style Smartphone, done in a sleeker package. Both camps got it wrong...and right. iPhone isn't what anyone really expected.
When I first gazed upon images of the iPhone I was immediately awestruck by its unique industrial design, which oddly resembles a PDA more than a phone. We've come full circle back to tablet style form factors with large screens again. Didn't see that coming. At the same time I was also slightly disappointed. As amazingly slick looking as it is, I have a great deal of reservations about typing on a flat screen display in place of fixed keyboard input. Hardware buttons offer good tactile feedback when entering text. The idea of tapping on a smudge prone screen with my fingers doesn't exactly fill me with delight. Whether it will work or not remains to be seen since we have yet to see this scheme in action other than well staged product demos.
But Apple may be onto something with software based input. And God knows the Operating System alone will move this product in massive volumes. Everyone is talking about this device, and everyone seems to want one.
The next few months are going to be grueling!