I waited in line, I bought two, I didn't even get a chance to play with mine because I was already taking the other one apart by the time I got home.  In the middle of taking one apart, I activated mine and used it enough to get frustrated with the keyboard.  I then spent the next three days using it, running down its battery and writing about it. 

For the past two weeks I haven't had a normal cell phone experience; I've been testing the Samsung Blackjack or the Blackberry Curve, both great phones but reviewing is very different than using.  Half the time when I'd go out I'd have a stopwatch around my neck, waiting for my phone's battery to die.  For the really long tests, I wouldn't even have a phone on me, it'd be back at my desk looping through webpages trying to simulate real world usage. 

You're sick of hearing about the iPhone?  I'm sick of working on the iPhone, I just want to use it already. 

 

My frustrations aren't out of hatred for the product, that couldn't be further from the truth.  For the first time in over 10 years of writing for AnandTech, I didn't want to be in this industry.  I wanted to be writing about cars or flowers or kittens and cheezburgers; I wanted to be in some completely unrelated industry so that the iPhone could launch and I could spend the weekend enjoying it, not trying to break it, test it and find its flaws as quickly as possible. 

But it seems all I needed was perspective; during my review process my cousin called me, I didn't answer because my phone was in the middle of a battery life test.  I called him back and explained the situation, after getting hassled for not answering my cell phone for the past few days.  He then told me that I must have it rough, having to sit at my desk and play with cell phones all day. 

I don't know why reviewing the iPhone was any different for me, I've been just as excited about other products in the past.  Part of it may be that Apple kept all of us in suspense, the majority of press included.  Review samples were rarer than Barcelona and the product itself had the potential to really shake an industry. 

Then there was the issue of having to wait in line for what was ultimately a telephone, there are few things that I've voluntarily done that have made me feel like that. 

But the end result is quite good.  The iPhone isn't perfect, I can tell you that now (for more reasons than only supporting Edge), but it's a huge step in the right direction.  At the same time it's a great product today and while not for everyone, its impact on the industry will be tremendous. 

In the coming pages we'll walk through the iPhone, looking at what it does right and what it does wrong.  We'll figure out what it needs, and maybe what we could expect in the near term from Apple.  We'll look at its competitors; the argument that the iPhone does nothing new is valid, but is that ultimately what matters?  And we'll look ahead to the long term significance of the iPhone and where Apple wants to take it. 

An Ode to the Screen
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  • Rizi - Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - link

    There are several retailers that carry Apple’s latest iteration of their popular device, as well as several service providers, and each one offers unique benefits for iPhone buyers. The Apple retail store will, of course, have the iPhone 4S for sale. The Genius Bar is also a great place to learn how to use your new device, if you need help with any of the new features. Apple also offers online ordering through the Apple Online Store, and allows you to compare rates and plans for all three available carriers. Apple also offers a Reuse and Recycling program, which allows you to bring your old iPhone 4 in to an Apple store and receive up to $200 for it. Two major service providers, AT&T and Verizon, have carried iPhones for a while now, and you will be able to purchase the newest version from their retail stores as well. This month, Apple is also adding Sprint to their network, allowing even more people to be iPhone aficionados. All three carriers also offer online ordering. Best Buy will also be carrying the new <a href="http://cellocean.com/iphone-4s-specifications-2210... 4s</a> for all three service providers. In addition, they sweeten the deal by offering a $300 gift card to Apple users who trade in their iPhone 4 in favor of the newer model, making a brand new iPhone free or very inexpensive. Best Buy will also offer online ordering. Radio Shack will be offering a similar program, with one important difference: the smartphone you trade in doesn’t have to be an iPhone 4. It doesn’t even have to be an iPhone. Just bring in any smartphone (in good working condition) to the experts at Radio Shack, and let them appraise the value. Hand it over, and then you’re free to use the trade-in value as credit toward the purchase of your new Apple iPhone 4S. This deal only lasts until October 31, though, so don’t wait too long. Radio Shack also offers online ordering, but their trade-in deal is for in-store purchases only. The iPhone 4S comes in three different sizes/prices: 16GB ($199), 32GB ($299), and, for the first time ever, the 64GB ($399) model. Download speeds, monthly rates and data plans for the iPhone 4S will vary from carrier to carrier, though Sprint is the only service provider to offer an unlimited data plan, totaling about $109.99 per month for unlimited talk time, text messaging and data. Verizon limits data usage to 10GB/month max, while AT&T will only let you use up to 4GB/month. Make sure you check with your service provider for details and specific prices for iPhone 4S talk/text/data plans, since all prices are subject to change. Reply

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