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September 16, 2007

iPhone passes the 2 week test

Posted in: Apple, Observations, iPhone

You’ve probably had this experience:

  • You anticipate the arrival of a new device for weeks.
  • You discuss it with your friends, read the reviews and the promised features.
  • You listen to the hype; sometimes a believer, sometimes a skeptic.
  • You try the device in the store. It’s got some nice features.
  • You buy it.
  • Your friends ask to play with it and strangers ask what it is.
  • 1 week later the allure is gone. The experience has imperfections.
  • 2 weeks later its weaknesses are clear. You don’t love it. There are a few cumbersome interactions and design flaws.

The iPhone stands out strongly as an exception. It definitely passes the 2 week test criteria: a) you love it more after 2 weeks than you did when you got it and b) you can’t remember life before it. (Okay, so I’m exaggerating that last point.)

Yes, 3G is sorely lacking. But having had a Blackjack, I know the pain of burning through 2 batteries (count ‘em) during heavy usage in a day on a 3G device.

Yes, they didn’t include everything that should be in a device at this price point. (Or at least its former price point.) But they nailed every feature they did include, even the hotly debated software keyboard.

While the device has its limitations, it is my belief that the mobile browser is what makes the device feel boundless. Safari’s ability to load multiple pages at once, and to easily flip between them is pure genius. It makes any other mobile browser squirm in comparison.

Most importantly, the iPhone has done what we hoped it would: put the user experience squarely at the top of the agenda in the minds of both the mobile industry and and even more admirably, mobile consumers. Something the hot devices of years past have not done. It has also shaken the carrier/manufacturer balance of power. Don’t look for a wholesale change, but it’s this type of environment that spurs innovation and I for one welcome it.

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