Nov. 5, 2007 -- Few celebrities received as much attention this year as Apple's first attempt at creating the perfect cell phone. The iPhone concept was introduced to the masses Jan. 9 with few details, except the promise that it would be the first phone that users would fall in love with. On June 29, the first iPhone — $599 for an 8GB phone — went on sale, and it only took 74 days until the 1 millionth phone was purchased.
The iPhone has now been in stores for only four months, and although there were some early activation hurdles, an exclusive carrier agreement with AT&T, and Apple's slow — and, at times, some would say, hostile — embrace of third party developers, there is no denying the device is fun, futuristic and fantastic.
The iPhone recently saw a price drop of $200, just in time for the holidays. For $399, users will get a revolutionary phone (visual voice mail allows you to see who called, and listen only to the messages you want to hear), a terrific wide screen iPod (the cover flow design allows you to see and touch your music), and a modern Internet device (the phone uses the same Safari browser that computers use, with no functionality removed).
The iPhone sits nicely in your hand, and it's exciting to use. The display is touch-sensitive — you use your fingers to select different programs, and to type on the screen.
Apple says, besides robust sales, the feedback from users has been positive, but they are listening to early adopters, and have already released three free software updates.
Features added since introduction include enhanced audio with a more sensitive mic and louder speakers, ability to watch video content on a TV, via a third-party cable, view e-mail attachments in landscape mode, and the ability to purchase music and ringtones from the iTunes store, directly from the phone.
Apple recently announced it would introduce support in February for third-party developers that would open the iPhone platform to even more ingenuity.
While the iPhone is not the perfect device for everyone, you'd be hard-pressed to find a person on your holiday gift list who wouldn't gladly accept the hottest tech gadget of the year with glee.