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iHype Part III: One Day Left!

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This it the third part in a series on Apple's hyped up iPhone. In part I, I covered all the crazy hype over the iPhone. In part II, I covered the iPlan rates and why business users might want to take caution before investing. I will be writing a couple more parts in this series, with the final part consisting of my full iPhone review.

The historic release of the iPhone is just one day away. My fellow geeks and I have been calling each other nonstop and sending instant messages. Last night, I went outside my geeky world and interviewed some people, who appear to be normal, about the "Jesus phone". Juan, 29, of Manhattan Beach, California thinks I, as well as other people excited about this phone, really need to get a life. “It’s only a phone!” he laughed. "I’m saving my money for more important things, like my daughter's education." His wife Victoria, 30, seemed to have more sympathy.

“Even though I have no desire to get this phone, I’m not going to judge anybody,” she said, in a serious tone, but laughed afterwards. Victoria finds business phones like the Treo a lot “cooler.” A lot of business users may end up taking her point of view as well, since it has been revealed that that the AT&T network the iPhone runs on is excruciatingly slow.

“I’m going to wait until they fix all the bugs in the first version,” Mikhal, 44, of Redondo Beach, said. “Usually, first generation phones like this are buggy as hell. I remember the problems they had with the first generation iPod. Now, the things perfect,” he continued. However, there have been no major software bugs in early reviews of the iPhone. Things may change when the iPhone gets into consumers' hands tomorrow.

It is important to note that consumers will not need to sign up for their plans at an Apple or AT&T store. Instead, they will be required to have the latest version of iTunes on their MAC or PC computers, sync their iPhones, and sign up with a plan online. It looks really easy on Apple’s demonstration but one has to wonder how simple it will actually be when thousands of people, all at the same time, are trying to activate their phones. Bad news for people trying to buy the iPhone and use it as a media player: the iPhone’s features can only be accessed by signing up with an account.

To prepare for the iPhone, I not only recommend that you download the latest version of iTunes, but that you buy an iPhone video converter as well so you can have all of your videos ready. While I’m sure that there will be some freeware programs that convert video for the iPhone, I suggest that you fork out $40 more and buy Cucusoft’s iPhone video converter. I have used this software on the Microsoft Zune, as well as previous iPods, and the results are speedy and flawless.

I would also suggest that you not worry about camping out for this. Inside sources tell me that Apple stores will receive between 800 and 1,000 iPhones in their first shipment tomorrow, though most of those will be the $600 8 GB version (I don’t know why anybody would want a 4GB version that’s only $100 less). AT&T stores will not reveal their stock on the phone, but the fact that they announced that there is now a limit of two iPhone purchases per customer is refreshing since, before yesterday, the rumor was that they would only sell one per person. This can only mean they will have more iPhones than originally planned.

Most AT&T, as well as Apple, stores will not let you camp out overnight. It seems that they will allow lines to form once individual stores are opened. My suggestion is that if you are going to buy your iPhone at an AT&T location, get there by 2:00PM just to be safe. If you are going to an Apple store, get there by at least 4:00PM. Both stores will start selling the "Jesus phone" at 6PM. I will be in line at Apple's Manhattan Beach location on Sepulveda. If you have time, come by and say hi. I’ll be the one who has a geeky foam chair to sit on, as well as my Sony laptop so I can blog directly from the site. Stay tuned to BC Magazine for more news on the launch of the iPhone.

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