June 28, 2007 1:54 PM PDT

Readers consider taking the iPhone plunge

Readers consider taking the iPhone plunge
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Despite all the hoopla over Apple's iPhone, it's still a first-generation product that bears scrutiny from potential buyers before they make the leap, according to an unscientific survey of CNET readers.

The iPhone has galvanized readers like perhaps no other technology product in recent memory. A simple question posed on Monday has generated over 900 responses, most of which indicate that Apple has some work to do before taking over the cell phone market.

Professional poll-takers would probably wince at the methodology, but a few common threads popped up in the discussion in CNET News.com's TalkBack forum about the iPhone. Almost three out of four respondents do not plan to buy the first generation of the iPhone, citing a dissatisfaction with the EDGE network that Apple and AT&T chose for the device, a reluctance to switch from their current carrier to AT&T, and a general distrust of the first generation of any technology product.

"I love technology (I am an IT director), and my personal concerns could be pushed aside in favor of an emotional purchase," wrote poster mike.gw, who is worried about the slow EDGE data network and about GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) reliability in general. "I may likely purchase one despite my concerns, but only after getting my hands on one to try out and see how well it might work for me."

News.com Poll

Calling plan
Will you buy an iPhone?

Are you kidding? I'm in line now
The next time I'm at an Apple store
After I read the reviews - maybe
When someone other than AT&T is the carrier
Not till the price is under $200
No 3G? No way!
Never



View results

The concerns have been discussed at length. The New York Times' David Pogue called the EDGE network "excruciatingly slow." But that's just one of the problems, according to poster mbenedict.

"The iPhone is crippled...no Java support, missing stereo Bluetooth, weak 2-megapixel camera, no FM radio, no GPS (Global Positioning System), proprietary system, etc. It's also locked to a single phone company, and worst of all it's not even a 3G phone."

There were many who were captivated by the user interface and touch screen but felt that the iPhone, as it is currently equipped, just isn't the right device at the right time.

"iPhone is everything I've always wanted in a handheld device, but the storage is the deal breaker for me," said suninmoon0. "7.2GB is the actual size of the advertised 8GB, but even 8GB is not even close to what I will need for music, movies, e-mail, pictures and podcasts. When it gets to 20GB of storage, I will gladly pay 5-600 bucks."

"The iPhone is supposed to be the high tech of high tech, yet it's using the lowest-tech data chip," wrote joevfx. "I won't buy one until it's at least 3G, and maybe gets a GPS. And trust me, I want one bad. But I just can't justify paying $20 a month for unlimited data when it uses EDGE."

But there were plenty who enthusiastically embraced the iPhone and the combination of its design, software and features. Apple certainly has its loyal fans, but several of the positive responses appeared to come from people other than so-called "fanboys."

"I really like the full browser functionality," wrote NCNSolutions. As a Web developer, I feel it's an important step forward in Web development...I think Apple has set a new standard in technology."

"I think it's going to be a great phone, it looks as though it will fit my needs better than anything else out there and I've shopped around, and have had MANY phones," wrote Timbo39.

Apple's stated goal for the iPhone is to capture just 1 percent of the cell phone market by the end of next year, which would be slightly more than 10 million units. If--as many expect--the company comes out with a second model by then with a faster HSDPA (high-speed downlink packet access) chip, some third-party applications and more storage, perhaps the world will finally get a sense of whether the iPhone will be the breakthrough the company has promised.

See more CNET content tagged:
EDGE, Apple iPhone, Apple Computer, reader, 3G

11 comments

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Would love one, but just too damn slow
This story points out exactly why I won't buy one, EDGE!!! I've had the Samsung SYNC since November, and it cost me $10 to upgrade, now I have been spoiled by the speed of it. There is no way I could go back to using and EDGE device now. That would be like ditching my cable internet at home and go back to dial-up. That's another thing, if my cable ever does go down at home I can connect to my SYNC via Bluetooth or USB and still get high speed access, there is no way to use the iPhone as a wireless modem. Oh well, I've always said I will never ever buy Rev A products from any company, and still wont.
Posted by iMarkDD (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Not to be snarky, but this is hardly news
This observation is only stating the obvious in well understood consumer electronics market dynamics. There will be successive versions of this phone at increasingly lower prices and the sum total of these owners will be greater that the purchasers of the first generation model. Not unique to the iPhone or any consumer product for that matter.
Posted by swray (5 comments )
Reply Link Flag
iPhone 1.0 like Zune 1.0
Both are flawed/limited products that aren't worth buying.
Posted by john55440 (1020 comments )
Reply Link Flag
if you want one check www.useyourface.com
you can get an iphone if you join the contest con <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.useyourface.com" target="_newWindow">http://www.useyourface.com</a>

Just upload your picture and see what happens! :-)
Posted by pitapita79 (6 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Too small for web browsing
I am not an iPod user so that won't draw me to the phone. The
only draw is the web browsing, crippled by the EDGE network.
But that is not the only thing crippling it. Hundreds of years of
publishing have shown that readers won't go smaller than the
standard paperback, and even the trade paperback is prefered to
that. The iPhone is still a tiny screen and is going to be a poor
experience for browsing the web even with all the neato zoom in
features. Maybe multi-media addicts will go for it, but the ever
growing size of our TV screens suggests people really don't
want to watch movies or TV on the super small screen.
Posted by wylbur (110 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I would hate to live near an apple store & have AT&T
I wonder what kind of service AT&#38;T cingular customers will get once the phone is released. I can see the headline now: iPhone Causes Many to Switch to Verizon Wireless
Posted by Bevo4138 (20 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Wi-Fi way faster than 3G
Enjoy your sloooow 3G while I'll be automatically connected to
known Wi-Fi spots at work, home, and play... up to 90% of the
time. =)

Also note, Blackberries on AT&#38;T are using EDGE but no one is
crying there...
Posted by MaLvaDo39 (365 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Funny
For me at least there aren't always wifi spots around at the times I am browsing the web with my phone. But the few times I am browsing the web within reach of wi-fi I do use it. It is really nice though to have high speed everywhere else though. Just a benifit to having a phone that does both.
Posted by DrtyDogg (3084 comments )
Link Flag
I WANT one, but I won't buy one
For one thing I live in Asia and it is not available yet here. For
another $500 is two pricey for me, even with all the great stuff it
does. The other thing is I would have to see the cost of the
monthly plans, most cells here are pay and load. There are a lot
of wifi hotspots so that could be the real future for the device
here.

I think there is no doubt this is a breakthrough device that far
exceeds anything else on the market. By the time it gets here it
should be in version two at least, with more features and
hopefully a cheaper price.
Posted by expatincebu (156 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Don't forget to give Apple credit...
When the iPod was released, it was just as important of a bench
mark in music players as the iPhone is with cell phones. But it
wasn't until a few years later that the public was turned on to it
and embraced it for what it was. With the iPhone, Apple has
made a great device, even considering it's faults. The media
wants it to be the perfect device for everyone, and maybe it will
be with future updates. But at the moment it's a pretty huge
step forward for music players, mobile video, inerterfaces,
battery life, display size, voicemail, and internet to name a few.
Steve Jobs was only looking for 1%, and no one would bet
against that.
Posted by Goodman.seth (15 comments )
Reply Link Flag
why $499 is not an issue (surveys and predictions)
The iPhone is headed to the early adopters (3% or more). They will be the ones to shape the brand identity. From what we know ? they have the right profile to set the trend. Others will follow to be perceived as those who can buy an iPhone. The iPhone brand is not about pricing as it is about perceptions and social needs.
As I see it: status symbols have no price: $499 will be a good start for apple.
for more stats and predictions: <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.trendsspotting.com/blog/?p=161" target="_newWindow">http://www.trendsspotting.com/blog/?p=161</a>
Posted by taly weiss (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
 

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