Sean Sperte

Hi Phone

23 June 2007

Will Work for iPhoneWell, here we are, less than one week away from the iPhone. It’s been a little over 5 months since it’s introduction, and the world – or, at least North America – is ready, cash-in-hand. One week from now we’ll know whether or not the affects of the Steve Jobs RDF have reached all-time highs or if what Apple has produced is truly their third “revolutionary” consumer product.

I’ve written very little about the iPhone since January’s Macworld. I’ve found myself strangely content with my Blackberry Pearl, and haven’t suffered from the usual mobile phone lust that motivates a new purchase every 3-4 months. That, along with some lingering questions about how the iPhone works, have left me unsure what I think about it. And then there are my three main problems concerns with the iPhone:

  1. Is there an easy way to type a period without having to switch to the punctuation keyboard?

    I haven’t seen one demo, video or photo that would suggest you can. Every on-screen example of typing has ended with returns; no sentences or periods. (Another similar concern is whether or not the iPhone’s on-screen keyboard works in landscape mode – or, for that matter – whether or not every app will.)

  2. Besides the Yahoo! Mail push support, is there any other way to get email pushed to the device?

    Based on the guide tour video, it looks like the only options for auto-check are: “Manual,” “Every 15 minutes,” “Every 30 minutes,” and “Every hour.”

  3. The standby screen (the one with the slide-unlock) appears useless beyond showing a picture and clock.

    There is no status information about how many unread messages, email or voicemails shows. In order to see if you have any unread email you must press the sleep/wake button (on the top) and drag the unlock-slider … ? Not good. (There is, it appears, a setting to have the iPhone audibly notify you when new email has arrived.)

The tension between want and need

Regardless of these concerns, and my peculiar contentment with my current mobile phone, I still want an iPhone – of course. Part of me wants it just to fulfill my personal brand, that I’m a fanboy who always has the latest Apple gear. I’d be lying to myself if I said I didn’t care that others I know are planning on getting one and I’m not. I care, baby. And I’m livid about it. Especially since I’m the one who introduced said others to Apple products. (Matt, you need a blog so I can link to it when I speak of you.)

There’s another part of me that wants one simply because I’m curious. I’m curious if it could (genuinely) replace an iPod and mobile phone combination. I’m curious if the mobile web really does work they way its advertised. I’m curious if I’d get better signal reception at my work. And I’m curious if having one would actually enhance my life.

I’m curious, but I doubt every one of those points.

And … I don’t need it.

I believe

I doubt it’s as good as advertised, yes, but I still believe the iPhone will revolutionize the mobile market. It will happen just like the iPod; only Apple will never gain the same marketshare it enjoys in the MP3 player space. This is obvious, of course, since they’re not even aiming to do so. The influence the iPhone will have won’t be in numbers, but in mental-space.

Mobile phone manufacturers (I’m looking at you Motorola) need to step up their game if they want to survive through the new interface-driven age that the iPhone will create. John Gruber said it best when he pointed out how the iPhone commercials are the first of their kind, touting (and showing) the phone’s user interface, not some bullet-list of features. You’d better believe the public is gonna start demanding a better experience from their devices after the iPhone hits the shelves.

Don’t even get me started on syncing.

Will work for iPhone

So, getting back to my want for an iPhone, I’d like to use this opportunity to offer my services to those in need of a quick design, website or logo. My time is very limited, but if you have the budget, I have the skill. Do let me know via email if there’s anything I can do for you … in the next 6 days.

And for those who’d like to put out the same or similar offer, here’s a little something you can use to assist your endeavors:

Will Work for iPhone (1)  Will Work for iPhone (2)
Download PSD source

It’s gonna be a long week. I can already tell.