Well, today is the day the iPhone goes on sale. The 2nd generation sleek phone from Apple looks to be quite a bit nicer than the first, starting with improved Internet performance, and considerably better 3G battery lifetime than on any other telephone yet produced, and an open application interface for more applications. Combined with a great user interface, a friendliness toward the enterprise, and a nice feature set, it will probably make a really good PDA.
If you want to be the first on your block with one of these gadgets, you’re going to have to get up early and wait in a long line. Otherwise, stores will run out. In some cases, stores have been allocated less than 20 phones. Why is that? It’s not that this device is a surprise, or anything. And surely Apple could manufacture enough so that people needn’t have to bother with all of that hassle.
But for those few who buy hook line and sinker into the Steve Jobs Reality Distortion Field, it’s a ritual, and they love it. Surely Steve Jobs wouldn’t want to deprive his followers of that “Joy”. The Believers get to brag to the rest of us for a few days or weeks about their new gadget, and how everyone is going to copy them. They are the trend setters for the day. Of course they spent that day waiting in line. They’ll spend the next few days figuring out all of the little bugs that Apple has assuredly left lying around. And then they’ll realize, “Oh dear. GPS doesn’t work in my home,” as if they didn’t know where home was. And they’ll read their mail at the restaurant, and even off of their new toys right next to their old Apple monitors that are connected to a recent Apple of some variety.
What’s more, this phone isn’t really cheaper than the previous version. According to the Wall Street Journal, AT&T in particular has jacked up rates in order to recoup their costs (and, they hope, more).
Still the iPhone is an important innovation, if for no other reason that they have brought to the cellphone market a refreshing jolt of competition that seemed absent. Sure, LG was interesting, but aside from a few geeks, the rest of us bought Sony Ericsson and Nokia phones, both of which have had the same capabilities for what seem like eons.
So it’s iPhone Day. Perhaps celebrate by watching your Believer friends suffer. Don’t worry, Google Believers: you’re next.