The first thing that struck me had nothing to do with the hardware at all.
The phone came with no manual.
It is such an incredible accomplishment to design something that has such inherent complexity and yet be able to execute all the functions on the phone so that they are self evident. This is another illustration of why Apple will continue to win in the consumer electronics space. If there was any doubt prior about Apple being a design company first, this concludes the argument.
The only complaint I have so far with the phone is something which is beyond Apple’s control. Over 12 hours after beginning the activation process, I still have not been able to use the phone…I am still waiting on AT+T to send the activation to the phone. I am forced to sit an oogle at the graceful design of the hardware and the elegant integration with iTunes. Apple designed the entire experience up to the point when they had to rely on the carrier and they executed it perfectly. I imagine the folks at AT+T are beside themselves with the number of activations they are doing right now.
As far as what I do know about the phone from playing with it at the 5th Ave Apple store:
- Its UI is fast and responsive
- Its feel is solid and seems very durable
- The screen is magnificent
- It takes about 30 seconds to figure everything out
- The keyboard will take some getting used to…I am coming from the blackberry where there is very clear tactile response to keys
- The packaging is also very elegant and simple and the experience of opening it is just plain fun
- Did I mention there is no manual?
More to come as I play with the activated phone…