The anticipation was unparalleled. Even before the iPhone came out, The Times' Joel Stein was humiliated not to have one. "It seems impossible to me that everyone hasn't gotten an iPhone and already begun mocking me as I punch away on my tiny, caveman raised-bump keyboard, calling me 'Thumbsy' or 'Helen Keller' or whatever super-clever insult iPhone users are in on that I have no idea about," Stein wrote.
Well, no sooner was the iPhone in the hands of the masses than the rumblings of discontent began. It started with hackers unlocking the device to work with wireless services other than AT&T. Then, two months after its release, Apple dropped the price by $200, angering the faithful who waited in line and paid the full price.
But is the iPhone suffering a backlash? Here's the hype and the facts about the so-called little box of magic.
"What surprises me is the degree of attachment my iPhone-owning friends and I still feel toward the thing," marveled blogger Erik Speckman on GeekFun.com. "We find ourselves using it for tasks that would be more easily accomplished at our computers, often when our computers are powered up and less than 3 feet away."
"We're just going to come out and say it," wrote Ryan Block and Chris Ziegler of engadget.com. "[The] iPhone has the most beautiful industrial design of any cellphone we've ever seen. Yes, it's a matter of taste, and while we imagine some won't agree, we find it hard to resist the handset's thoughtful minimalism and attention to detail."
"It's fast, beautiful, menu-free and dead simple to operate," wrote David Pogue of the New York Times. "You can't get lost, because the solitary physical button below the screen always opens the Home page, arrayed with icons for the iPhone's 16 functions."
Granted, Chris Sorenson, a senior executive at Microsoft, isn't predisposed to like the Apple iPhone. Still, he makes an important point: The iPhone doesn't support Microsoft Office, and that's a big problem for business people. "It's a closed device that you cannot install applications on, and there's no support for Office documents," Sorenson said. "If you're an enterprise and want to roll out a line of business applications, it's just not an option."
David Pogue of the New York Times (cited earlier as a fan of the iPhone's software) lamented the discomfort of typing on the virtual keyboard, saying, "Typing is slow going, especially for the fat of finger."
According to Andy Greenberg of Forbes.com, some security professionals allege that the iPhone lacks "executive-level security. And that, they worry, makes the iPhone a hacker's playground."
The cold, hard facts
In July, its first month on the market, the iPhone outsold all other smart phones.
ISuppli, the "applied market intelligence" firm, said Apple would sell 4.5 million iPhones this year.
Apple said it would sell 1 million iPhones by the end of September.
On Sept. 10, Apple announced that it had sold its 1 millionth iPhone, weeks ahead of schedule.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times