Walt Mossberg reviews the iPhone

If you’re thinking of heading to an AT&T store and ponying up the $499 (or $599) for an iPhone on Friday, you should probably take a gander at this. Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal has had some private time with the iPhone and he’s relayed his experiences in his column.

In spite of his usually positive view of Apple products, Mossberg did notice a few quirks with the iPhone. For instance, he complains that there’s no way to cut and paste text, and that stopping music playback or changing songs while carrying out another task forces one to tap back to the device’s iPod program. Multi-touch input also requires users to switch to a different keyboard to insert commas or periods. Last, but not least, there’s no way to buy songs directly from the iPhone directly via the iTunes Store. Nonetheless, Mossberg points out that expectations for the iPhone are so high “it can’t possibly meet them all,” and he concludes that the device is “a whole new experience and a pleasure to use.”

As much a pleasure to use as it might be, the iPhone certainly won’t be cheap. Not only will users have to cough up $499 or $599 for the device itself, but as the AP reports, AT&T’s service plans for the iPhone will start at a hefty $59.99 a month. The base plan will include 450 minutes of talk time (which rolls over month-to-month), 200 text messages, and unlimited data services. There is also a $36 activation fee to get things up and running.

Comments closed
    • Detaer
    • 12 years ago

    No bluetooth stereo, no memory slot for user upgrade, no API, all stuck on top of the EDGE network…. Why didn’t they go with 3g or a more robust data network I don’t know. To quote a coworker of mine “If you haven’t been on dial up in years, get ready to remember what it is like.” That was in reference to the ATT cellphone data network.

    I really like where this device could go, it just won’t be going into my pocket until another version comes out, or the price drops by 40%.

      • adisor19
      • 12 years ago

      See, now THESE are valid arguments unlike the other ones i replied to.

      For me, the lack of 3G is my biggest complaint… that and the fact that it’s only launched in the states.. waiting to see when Robbers will announce it and for how much.

      Adi

        • hellokitty
        • 12 years ago

        Yes those are valid arguments, but people like me don’t mention them, because it’s assumed everybody knows about it ( I just mention missing apps and features, and it should be obvious to everybody what they are ).

        What people don’t expect is how bad user interface will be for most people. Ad it will scratch and break easily. ( don’t give a crap about reviews, use common sense and you can see what will happen to it in a few weeks of usage. No reviewer can test it thoroughly in a couple of days )

    • kilkennycat
    • 12 years ago

    No buy. Let the early adopters foot the development bill.

    Waiting for the US version2(?) iPhone as follows:-

    *fully bug-fixed,
    *Lots of useful Apple and 3rd-party apps
    *built-in GPS fully integrated with an internal navigation system. (That should put a shiver down Garmin or Tom-tom’s collective backs.)
    *transparently-capable full European roaming capability on one or more major European cell-networks (The EU has just passed a law severely limiting all roaming charges within the EU).
    *less than half the current price ( with a 2-year AT&T agreement.. )

    Should be here in less than a year.

    FYI. the iPhone sim-chip is built-in and not plug-replaceable. So, no “unlocked versions” and also excellent thief-protection. I suspect that the first turn-on of an iPhone confirmed as stolen will trigger a signal from the AT&T cell-network that shuts down ALL of the nifty iPhone functions. The thief will need to be an excellent micro-miniature electronics & software hacker.

    • Kurlon
    • 12 years ago

    I like my phone, it makes phone calls, thats it. Done, nada, no more. It has a speed dial list and limited browsing capability, not that I use it or care.

    Cellphones should remain cellphones, fark this do-it-all crud.

      • adisor19
      • 12 years ago

      Heh, you must have a CDMA phone where the carrier has you by the balls with a 3 year contract and forces you to use their free phone. Enjoy!

      Adi

        • rxc6
        • 12 years ago

        Stupid answer. The guy is stating HIS opinion. You know, you can be an iPhone lover and defend it without looking like an ass. Try that.

          • adisor19
          • 12 years ago

          Stupid answer from your part as well. Unless you didn’t read his entire message, allow me to quote him : “fark this do-it-all crud.” So before you accuse others of being asses, read at least the original “opinion”.

          Adi

            • moose17145
            • 12 years ago

            Ok… MY opinion is the iPhone is an overpriced POS that’s not innovative in any way, is lacking in many critical areas that other smart phones currently have. Seriously… what has the iPhone been innovative on? Seriously, the only innovative thing i have seen with this has been it’s exceptionally high price tag.

            • adisor19
            • 12 years ago

            And my opinion is you must be ignorant to claim such an opinion. That or an Apple hater.

            Adi

            • A_Pickle
            • 12 years ago

            Let’s have a feature list, then. What capabilities does it have that a competing smartphone doesn’t have?

      • PetMiceRnice
      • 12 years ago

      Yes, I remember the days when a phone was a phone and nothing more. I’m glad I’m not the only one who can recall.

        • Krogoth
        • 12 years ago

        I remember the old phones were you have to use a wheel-dial!

          • adisor19
          • 12 years ago

          Yes, in communist Romania, those were the only phones.. *shudder*

          Adi

      • kilkennycat
      • 12 years ago

      LOL and very informative too. Well worth watching.

    • Code:[M]ayhem
    • 12 years ago

    Pay $1400 for a f’in phone just to be a trend whore I really don’t think so.

    Steve Jobs wife can blow me

      • adisor19
      • 12 years ago

      Rrrrrright… you forgot the iPod in there, but i digress..

      Adi

      • indeego
      • 12 years ago

      It can easily get well over $3000 with accessories/optionsg{<.<}g

    • PRIME1
    • 12 years ago

    Is “gimmicky” a word?

    • Chrispy_
    • 12 years ago

    Pity the fool who /[

      • Corrado
      • 12 years ago

      That guy just said he got 7.5 hours of talk time out of the battery. Thats most than MOST if not ALL phones on the market today.

      • adisor19
      • 12 years ago

      Did you even attempt to READ the reviews ??? the phone was in a pocket with change + keys and got no scratches ! wow, make an effort before you bash guys!

      Adi

        • A_Pickle
        • 12 years ago

        We all know how good Apple’s reputation on “benchmarks” is…

    • alex666
    • 12 years ago

    Sure, it’s not going to be perfect, but I have no doubt that it will set the standard for ease of use, elegant design, and multi-functionality to which all subsequent multi-purpose devices will be compared. Much like the ipod did for mp3 players.

    And I do not own any macs!!

      • hellokitty
      • 12 years ago

      No, it will set standards for difficulty of use. Even the WSj guy admits you have to do extra steps just to get something done.

      There will be thousands of frustrated people who won’t be able to handle many things with this touchpad ( it looks easy in the commercial, just wait until they actually try it in real life ).

      I still think that screens will get dirty and scratch too easily and will look like crap very quickly.

        • SPOOFE
        • 12 years ago

        Those extra steps aren’t much different than the extra steps one must already take with most phones. Go read his CONCLUSION on the device to get a feel for it… unless you want to remain a slack-jawed nothing of a simpleton, in which case just keep doin’ what you’re doin’, Johnny.

          • hellokitty
          • 12 years ago

          r[

            • adisor19
            • 12 years ago

            OMG, another one with the scratches ! Guys seriously, read the reviews !! This thing has a very resistant GLASS screen and has already been put in a pocket together with keys and coins and came out unscathed.. Seriosuly, cut the crap. At least bitch on things that are actually documented as REAL like the lack of 3G.

            Adi

            • moose17145
            • 12 years ago

            Or like the fact that the first time you drop your wonderfully overpriced POS your scratch proof glass goes bye bye. But at least the shards will be not be scratched…

            • SPOOFE
            • 12 years ago

            There’s more than two things the iPhone can do. I don’t know if it’s innovative or not, but you’re certainly not making a very good case for “not”. I can only conclude your occupation is City Defense Attorney.

        • jobodaho
        • 12 years ago

        I have a hard time seeing why this guy is still here.

        • adisor19
        • 12 years ago

        Yes, you think alot of this and they’re all false. Go to an at&t or Apple store and try one. If this looks hard to use, you’ve got major problems.

        Adi

    • Hattig
    • 12 years ago

    Hmm, those web applications with AJAX will suck over EDGE if it is as slow as some people have said.

    Apple need to make them downloadable as full-screen widgets that you can run whenever you want. Then you could have IM and other stuff implemented in widgets, a bit like Meebo.

    Lack of picture messaging is a major omission – they will have to fix that before a European launch. Same with 3G, although they did avoid the Qualcomm 3G ban by going with EDGE instead.

    The 2nd or 3rd generation iPhone will be the one to go for – a more mature platform with all the necessary features, a wide set of third party online applications, maybe even downloadable iPhone widgets, 3G, higher capacities.

    • spuppy
    • 12 years ago

    Will you be able to install your own software on this? IE Skype? Is EDGE even fast enough for Skype?

    • eitje
    • 12 years ago

    I really like my blackberry pearl. so what if i can’t touch my screen to do things? i have a trackball!!

    • PetMiceRnice
    • 12 years ago

    I’m glad that I don’t need (or want) a mobile phone of any sort, but you can almost always expect a few quirks and problems with a first generation device. They don’t call certain people early adopters for nothin’.

    • boing
    • 12 years ago

    Add Turbo-3G, and I’ll might consider buying one. As for now I’m perfectly content with my Nokia N73.

    • demani
    • 12 years ago

    It’s amazing that for a device that is supposed to be meant for online communication they wouldn’t have the period on the regular keyboard. If you are going to move things fine, but keep @ and . on the main keyboard since any email address or URL is going to need that (since you can’t cut and paste from your address book).

    • sativa
    • 12 years ago

    60.00 / month for the plan really isn’t that bad.

    For blackberry users, the unlimited data plan for use with a BES (Blackberry Enterprise Server) is $45.99 above and beyond your normal plan.

      • DaveIsFera
      • 12 years ago

      That’s still an extra $14 a month (which isn’t exactly free).

        • derFunkenstein
        • 12 years ago

        no, he says it’s $45 + your normal plan

      • jobodaho
      • 12 years ago

      Yup, my cousin is paying I believe 79.99 before tax for his Motorola Q. I also don’t think he has unlimited data. When I heard $60 I said to myself “that’s not that bad.”

        • Corrado
        • 12 years ago

        I pay $39.99 for 600 minutes and free nights/weekends, 200 text messages and another $4.99 for unlimited data that I can tether to my laptop as I see fit on my T-Mobile Dash. Granted its only Edge and the Mot Q is gonna be on EVDO, and the Samsung Blackjack has HSDP speeds, but the iPhone is EDGE only so I think $60 is a bit much, but that also depends on the other parts of the plan which I admit I haven’t looked into. But overall its nto a BAD deal, its a bit expensive. But given what it is, and who makes it, I didn’t expect anything else.

        Im sure it performs beautifully but I’ll reserve final judgment on the phone itself until I actually touch one. I’m not gonna lambaste it or praise it until I have first hand experience.

    • MethylONE
    • 12 years ago

    I use Skype most of the time in town with my UMPC. So far I haven’t seen anything on this phone that would make me change.

    The lack of instant messaging is certainly a deal breaker as well.

    • Maxwel
    • 12 years ago

    The Mac Moonies will love it.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 12 years ago

      most will, but personally I’ve about had it with all the hype around this thing and the iPod. Give me a reasonable Mac tower, for crying out loud!

    • flip-mode
    • 12 years ago

    Waiting for the iPhone Shuffle

      • Lord.Blue
      • 12 years ago

      it will come out sooner than you think.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 12 years ago

      I love the idea…just hit the shuffle button and it randomly calls a contact. Sounds great for drunk dialing. 😉

      • DreadCthulhu
      • 12 years ago

      iPhone Shuffle? Let me guess, you load up your list of phone numbers, and then it calls them at random.

        • jobodaho
        • 12 years ago

        derfunk beat you by a hair.

          • derFunkenstein
          • 12 years ago

          that’s right! *flex*

    • R2P2
    • 12 years ago

    It’s understandable that the iPhone can’t do all the crazy things people hoped it would do, but no cut and paste functionality? WTF?

      • blastdoor
      • 12 years ago

      I wonder if using a touch interface to do copy/paste is difficult, particularly selecting the text you want to copy/cut.

      It seems that this device is not generally great for entering/editing text. Although, from my perspective, no device that lacks a full size computer keyboard can claim to be great for entering/editing text.

        • Mithent
        • 12 years ago

        I think I’d be a bit nervous to buy a phone with an interface that depends only on fingers on a screen without having a chance to test it first. I’m comfortable using a stylus on a PDA; using fingers gives me the impression of a slightly mushy experience.

          • blastdoor
          • 12 years ago

          I think it depends entirely on what you’re using it for. Touch interface is probably fine if you don’t want to do a lot of nuanced data entry. If the purpose of the touching is to just pan around on a web page, or to pick which song to play, then I think it’s probably fine. But there’s no way I’d try typing this comment on any phone, whether it be touch screen or itty-bitty physical keyboard.

    • blastdoor
    • 12 years ago

    I think this looks like a very cool phone. I won’t be buying one myself because I don’t want AT&T and because I am not the kind of cutting edge person who buys version 1.0 stuff. In another 2 years or so, though, I can imagine taking a serious look at the iPhone.

    In the meantime, I hope they come out with a phone-less version with more storage capacity and call it the 6g iPod. I’m much more likely to buy that this year.

    • d0g_p00p
    • 12 years ago

    Don’t believe the hype.

      • palhen
      • 12 years ago

      But this cannot all be hype. Look how shiny it is!

        • willyolio
        • 12 years ago

        forget the shininess, look at the lower-case i!

          • Smurfer2
          • 12 years ago

          With both of those features, how can I resist!! 😉

      • adisor19
      • 12 years ago

      Yet somehow, it’s the best phone out there in terms of usability and user friendliness. ( and eye candy too :D)

      Adi

        • d0g_p00p
        • 12 years ago

        Really? So I take it that you have been using one on a day to day basis to come to this conclusion.

          • adisor19
          • 12 years ago

          Me, no. The reviewers, yes. And according to them, it lives up to the hype.

          Adi

            • A_Pickle
            • 12 years ago

            You can’t install applications on it… because there ARE no applications out for it, and no one can MAKE applications for it, because there’s no SDK for it.

            With recent “intelligence” regarding the iPhone having come to light, I feel like less of an idiot for investing in my Windows Mobile-powered smartphone. It’s got a keyboard, a stylus, and a touchscreen. Oh, and a few third-party applications. 🙂

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