iPhone Fever: Not Everyone Buys the Hype

"The data experience is going to be very slow. If you're on a cellular network, [using the Internet] is going to be very slow," he said, adding a typical user's experience is "not going to match the experience shown on TV."

Touch Screen Troubles

Innovative as it may seem, criticism of the touch screen is already beginning to bubble. A video is circulating on YouTube that presents a current iPhone commercial. In the YouTube version, whenever a finger passes over the ad, it leaves a smudged fingerprint behind.

Furthermore, there is the iPhone's keyboard, which will leave texting diehards and worker bees who use their phones for e-mail without the tactile touch of the keys to which they are accustomed.

"The big question, of course, is how usable the keyboard will be," NPD analyst Ross Rubin pointed out. Because the phone is touch screen, there will only be a Qwerty keyboard when needed on the screen. "It may well vary depending on the individual. For some folks it may be great. … Some folks may prefer the individual keyboard."

Apple also announced last week that it won't allow third-party developers to create software for the phone unless it is Web-based, which could leave customers with even less capabilities than they might have with a smart phone like the BlackBerry, Rubin pointed out.

'Most Anticipated Phone Since Alexander Graham Bell's'

Michael Gartenburg, the vice president and research director and Jupiter Research, calls the iPhone backlash typical.

"There's a saying in this business: You can always spot the pioneers, because they're the ones one with the arrows in their backs," Gartenburg said. "This is the most anticipated phone since Alexander Graham Bell's."

Technical bugs and complaints are a part of every new technology, according to Gartenburg, and the longer you wait the better the technology and the price will be — but don't expect deep iPhone discounts any time soon.

"The price won't come down not any time in the near future," he said. "Between now and the holidays, you'll have a hard time finding one at any price."

Like the iPod, which spawned a family of products from low-end to high-end with different capabilities (witness the iPod mini, the Nano and the Shuffle), the iPhone will spawn different versions, he said, but not immediately.

For all of its criticisms, Paul Saffo, Silicon Valley technology forecaster and lover of new gadgetry, said whatever problems the iPhone has, people who camp out in front of Apple stores Friday won't care.

"Phones are not just function, they're fashion," Saffo said. In addition to the interface, "a lot of the anticipation about the iPhone is that it's going to be the coolest fashion accessory of the season."

Still, Saffo has questions about the battery life and, for someone who travels a lot internationally, the size of the phone and its compatibility with international networks.

The predictions for iPhone aren't all bad, however. Despite his criticisms, Enderle believes that Apple does have a hit on its hands, but that the average consumer shouldn't be in line next Friday; Enderle said that he has heard next generation iPhones will be out by October and could deliver a better product at a cheaper price.

"You don't need to be the first one on the block to get these phones. Sit for a minute," he said. "Eventually I think Apple's got a winner here. It may take two or three versions to work out the bugs."

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