The iPhone was released at an opportune time. I was already waiting for something to replace my Razr. I was generally happy with my Razr (as I am with most electronic devices with the exception of a computer running Windows Vista but that is a story for another time). Probably because I read the manual before using it, I usually know what I am doing; thus, nothing disastrous has happened. This is rather miraculous since the Razr has one of the worst user interfaces out there. This applies to Motorola phones in general and is attested by many other people including friends from the Human Computer Interaction group.
However, I was also waiting for something more user friendly. It was almost impossible to use my phone for any other thing except for calling and basic SMS. Some would say that this is sufficient and yes if those are your needs then indeed it is sufficient. Nonetheless, with the current technology, I believe that there is something more that you can actually do with your phone. And that there is a way to do it without making things more complicated than they need to be. That is where the iPhone comes in.
Initially I was reluctant on getting one. After all, it is pretty expensive. And I already had a fully functional iPod that I am very happy with. However, after watching the videos (I did not even bother actually testing one hands-on when I was at the shop since I had confidence that it would work as advertised - a faith that is currently only bestowed upon Apple products) I was convinced that it would be a useful gadget to acquire; that it would make my life easier just like acquiring an secondary external monitor or the Griffin elevator.
The only thing that I am worried about is the customer service from AT&T. My previous carrier was T-Mobile and I had great experiences with their customer service. They were always friendly and provided real assistance without wasting my time or making things harder than they need be. I had heard terrible tales of bad customer service from AT&T and I was worried that I would have to suffer through that for the duration of my contract - two years mind you! I finally convinced myself that since AT&T is Apple's partner in this, it should not be too bad lest they want to face the wrath of every Apple fanboy out there ; )
On the day the iPhone launched, I tried to just casually go to the sole AT&T store that was carrying the device in my area. Needless to say, such optimistic actions were met with a line that was 50 people strong! I was last in line and did not manage to get the phone on its launch day. Surprisingly, the people who were first in line were not CS or ECE graduate students - something that you would expect from a campus town. Instead they were middle-age people who did not seem like the crowd that the iPhone would appeal to. Furthermore, these middle-age people were not just there to take a look; they came, they saw, they bought! One each. Amazing.
Fortunately, I happened to be going down to Chicago the next day and could grab one from the Apple Store off North Michigan Avenue. I was in and out in 10 minutes without any hassle. I even manage to start the activation process using the wireless connection offered in the Apple Store. And, surprisingly, I ran into very few problems activating my phone. I was even able to port my number over from T-Mobile. Calling AT&T was also surprisingly pleasant. They answered my calls professionally even in the midst of all the chaos that the iPhone has rippled.
I believe that the iPhone will actually change the way that other cell phones are created. Like my girlfriend said, this is one device that you will have to refer by name: "I am going to make a call on my iPhone" not "I am going to make a call on my cell phone". Now that is product loyalty.Tweet
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