newiphoneMy first weekend with the new iPhone was a bit frustrating, but now that the dust has settled, I’m enjoying the heck out of this latest device from Apple that is certainly going to disrupt the cell phone marketplace. There’s finally a single device that handles telephone calls, music, videos, contacts, notes and surfs the Internet with ease and the darn thing is cool.


After waiting in the summer heat outside the AT&T store last Friday, wrestling with the activation troubles over the weekend and losing all cellphone connections for three days, my iPhone finally came to life on Sunday and it’s truly a device of outstanding technological acheivement.


I couldn’t wait to get home and pop the box. Despite the fact most of the people in line were there to sell them on eBay (I did some prices approaching $900 early in the weekend), I was glad to have one of the first in Kingsport. What turned out to be a convenience though really became a hastle because when I got home, the idea of activating my new phone online via iTunes sounded great, but somewhere along the line somebody made a mistake because ATT couldn’t handle the requests.


Evidently, if you were an existing AT&T customer, your switch to new iPhone was relatively easy. However, since I was a Sprint customer, my first attempt to activate my new iPhone was ineffective. My iTunes window basically said that my activation would take a while and after biting my nails for several hours, even the websites said this transfer could take days. What a letdown. To top that off, the phone at all wouldn’t work until it was activated. My cell phone with Sprint was shut down, I couldn’t make any calls and as the hours clicked by my frustration balloned to apathy.


I finally found a new number to call ATT using my Skype account and spoke with a rep who helped activate my phone in about 30 minutes late Sunday afternoon and ever since, I can’t stop playing with the device that will become a part of my life for the next several months and it was worth the wait.


The phone is sleek and basically a black window to a world of stylish graphics and interesting visual features that turns heads anywhere you take it. The initial desktop wallpaper is a picture of Earth and there are intuitive commands that make the phone a pleasure to use. There is a single button on the black screen which activates the window and when it comes alive, there are the signature buttons for the iphone features including the phone, email, an iPod button and a Safari button for browsing the Internet.


The buttons are cool, but one of the coolest features about the phone is the way the sliders work to leaf through pages. You can use your fingertip to slide pages up or down and even sideways.


The Internet functions are fascinating too even though the web pages are a bit slow at rendering on the iPhone screen. I tried out the flip view too which is revolutionary. Instead of seeing a narrow window for web pages, a user can turn the phone sideways and see a wider view. You can even click areas and zoom in on page content. It’s certainly much better than the Treo screens and other cell phones and most web pages keep their intended designs as you surf the net.


The phone works well, but the audio seems a little low, but I may not be working the phone right yet. I also supposed you could transfer data from your old phone, but I spent the rest of the evening recording my contacts on my laptop and synching the information with my Iphone using the same process familiar to iPod owners.


There are a variety of different ring tones, a clock, a stopwatch and weather conditions for anywhere in the world. You also have access to Google maps and the ability to route directions to anywhere in the US. There’s also a calendar that syncs with the Apple iCal on board as well as neat link to You Tube which allows you to watch various YouTube videos.


The 8 gb hard drive on this iPhone seems like it’s too small and I’m certain it won’t take long to fill up the hard drive with my photos, music and movies in. It’s probably best to filter this material with only the most important items synced to the phone.


One of the most amazing features about the phone is the new camera. It’s incredibly sharp and after taking a few pictures, it’s probably the best single phone cam I’ve ever seen. The images are sharp and and don’t include the pixelation that you see on most phones.


I’m sure there are plenty of other features that will surface in the next few days as I play with my new phone and I’m certain that it’s worth the money. It’s a wonderful device with elegant styling and stocked full of features that will set a new standard. I’m still a bit concerned about ATT though and I haven’t even started to cross the bridge with Sprint with my early cancellation of that service. There was a lot of finger pointing this weekened too as to whose fault the activation delays belonged too, but fortunately, the support forums on ATT and Apple sites were helpful in my efforts to get the phone running.


Nevertheless, the phone is terrific and I can’t wait to absorb its many features into my life and work. I also look forward to desktop and software enhancements as the product continues to evolve and how competitors will respond to the new aesthetic and functional attributes to this wonder.

Dave in Line waiting for iPhone