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If you and your iPhone are out of Wi-Fi range, don't expect to browse www.nytimes.com at anything approaching broadband speeds.
It's been fewer than ten days since the iPhone was announced, and already the Web is awash with punditizing about whether it will be the greatest thing since the Mac itself or if it'll be D.O.A.
Our considered opinion is that it'll be one fine phone, albeit one - initially, at least - that's hampered by the Cingular tie-in. Yes, Cingular is a reputable, if sometimes hard-to-deal-with, phone company, but the mere Cingularity of the deal isn't what's disappointing - it's the fact that, as announced, the iPhone will be limited to Wi-Fi (fine and dandy) and Cingular's EDGE data service (not fine, not dandy).
EDGE, although technically a "3G" data service, is usually considered to be less capable than the more-popular EV-DO data service. There's also no doubt that it's less capable than the BroadbandConnect service that Cingular itself is rolling out.
EDGE is, to be blunt, not fast enough to make the iPhone the "breakthrough internet device" that Apple claims it will be. When the iPhone is within Wi-Fi range, all will be well and good; when it's out of Wi-Fi range and forced to rely on EDGE, you'll find yourself wishing your iPhone could take advantage of either EV-DO or BroadbandConnect as you wait for Interent-based services to sluggishly make their way to your iPhone's gorgeous display.
Let's hope something changes before the iPhone debuts in June - or, as one analyst avers, all those patents that Steve talked about enforcing may be what keep the iPhone from seeing serious competition.
By that's just one opinion - and there are plenty more to be found in today's news. According to one analyst, the fact that "the teardown specialists at iSuppli" have calculated that the iPhone will generate margins in the 50-percent range will make it "the next gold mine for Apple." Others worry that it could cannibalise [Apple's] existing iPod business." One sniffs that "Steve Jobs blew his iPhone keynote" by raising expectations too high (among other reasons), while another refers to Apple's "dangerous comtempt," saying that the "iPhone's willful disregard of the global handset market will come back to haunt Apple." Yet another disses the iPhone as being "not for business," while yet yet another admits to being a bit disappointed, both with the iPhone and the Apple TV.
My, my, my...
Our take: Nice phone. But remember, it's a version-1.0 product (remember the original iPod and it's lack of EQ, crumb-collecting FireWire port, and other problems?). Don't sell Apple short when it comes to continuing to perfect its offerings. That said, it would be nice to get a real 3G phone, and not one tied into a two-year contract with what could best be described as 2.75G service.
Work on that, would you please, Steve?