A few weeks ago, I wrote a little post titled "Why the iPhone isn't for me". I listed seven reasons that the iPhone fell short of my needs and expectations. Needless to say, this generated some discussion, both public and private. Nobody really debated any of the reasons, but they certainly felt the need to let me know that they loved their iPhone (or that they didn't), but one message came through loud and clear: "You don't own one, so how can you really know?".
I've had an iPod Touch for a year now, so I do know the interface and the general look and feel. I don't use the iPod Touch nearly as much as I use my cellphone, and as such, there was some legitimacy to this point.
So I bought one.
I jumped on eBay and picked up a 1st generation 8GB iPhone for $300 plus shipping. It arrived yesterday afternoon, used but in very good condition since the previous owner had used one of those invisible skin laminate screen protectors, so the face was essentially pristine. A few weeks back I had hastily grabbed four-pack of Speck iPhone case/covers from woot.com ($4.99 for all four!), erroneously thinking I could use them with my iPod Touch. Not so, but they do fit my new iPhone. As an aside, I'm using a Speck cover for my MacBook Pro (and soon for my Air). As far as I'm concerned, they're well worth the money.
Now one of my points in that original post was the fact that AT&T Wireless doesn't offer service where I live. I've used my GSM Nokia N95 for over a year with Unicel, so the only reason I couldn't use an iPhone was that it was locked to AT&T. A few minutes with iPwner.app, and I had freed my iPhone from its carrier bondage, dropped in my Unicel SIM and was up and running. I installed a bevy of unofficial apps through Installer.app, and am going to use the iPhone for the next few weeks (probably until the Nokia N96 is released).
I'm running the 1.1.4 firmware for the moment, waiting for the unlock/jailbreak for the 2.0 firmware that appears to be right around the corner.
Already, the lack of a full Bluetooth stack is as annoying as I had thought, so that one's a keeper for sure. On the flipside, the fact that I can pull up a native shell and SSH into my phone is pretty nifty. I used putty on my N95 for basic SSH connections, but it was only useful in relative emergencies due to the lack of a standard keyboard. Using terminal and OpenSSH on the iPhone definitely provides a better experience, even with my extra-large fingers and thumbs.
Will it win me over? I have my doubts, but I'm certainly willing to give it a shot.