With the world still shaking from the amazing iPhone announcement, I’m going to take a short step back and make some real-world comments about the device. Yes, it’s a wonderful piece of engineering. The UI is gorgeous and responsive, the feature set is very solid, and the sex appeal is truly there. But what is missing and why would you want to wait for a second generation device?
The easiest answer is 3G support. We have UMTS/HSDPA in Tulsa, and I’ve seen the numbers on a laptop (1 Mb down, about 384 Kbps up). With the powerful browser in the iPhone, a 3G chipset makes sense. But that brings us to the next real question…
The battery is not user accessible. While this makes sense in an iPod that you can live without for a week while it is being replaced, most people cannot go even a few hours without their phone. So even if the battery has good battery life (unlike the Samsung Blackjack, which ships with two batteries to get you through the day), there is the possibility that many customers will want to be able to replace the battery quickly. Now, Apple can address this by equipping Cingular stores with the tools to do it so it’s not much of a concern. And charging is not even an issue, there are probably 1000 different plugs you can charge an iPod with today.
Wireless Sync, Bluetooth, iTunes. It’s no secret that Apple is testing Tiger upgrades that improve Bluetooth device syncing. My guess is that you might be able to at some point sync your iPhone over Bluetooth or 802.11 – but you can’t today with the announced feature set. But we’re talking about software, and that’s easy to add between now and June. So that is up in the air. But what about being able to buy from the iTMS while connected via WiFi with your iPhone? That would be awesome, but doesn’t seem to be in the current feature set (again, software, upgrade, done).
The final big one for me is storage. 8 MB is pretty thin, 16 MB would be my bare minimum. I do my music in ALC (lossless) and I carry about 14gb on my current 30GB iPod. I’d like to see at least a modest increase in storage. Of course, I’d really like to see the UI sans phone make its way onto a 4.5” screen version of the same thing, perhaps even an iPod table in the 6” to 7” range. That would be smokin’ hot.
But enjoy the current iPhone, it’s at least 5 years ahead of everything else out there.