iPhone: The $1,975 iPod

Apple's and AT&T's high-price gadget is a heartbreaking triumph of greed over genius

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In all other regards, iPhone is a mediocre phone. Its speaker is too quiet for speakerphone use, and the audio quality of the headset is inferior to that of BlackBerry and Windows Mobile devices I have for contrast tests. Visual Voicemail, which creates a browsable inbox for voice mail, is a nice feature. You can jog through each message and view details of its sender, the time, and the date, as well as return the call with a button click. But you cannot forward the message to someone as e-mail or voice mail.

Pricey iCandy
I have plenty more to say about iPhone and plenty to show. I'm chopping up videos I've shot demonstrating the issues I describe in this text and in the notes that I'll share with you in coming days in my Enterprise Mac blog.

The upshot is that iPhone is a really sweet mobile device. If you could buy it without AT&T's service, I'd tell everyone to do so: Its flaws are perfectly tolerable if you acquire it as someone who's looking for a wide-screen iPod with Wi-Fi interface. However, since it is impossible to buy without $60 monthly payments, its quality as a phone and mobile browser is overstated, and it is a platform closed to third-party development, I can't recommend it. A professional or business user who buys into iPhone will be buying a smartphone or PDA to replace it before their contract is out. Lust lasts only so long.

InfoWorld Scorecard
Value (10.0%)
Extensibility (15.0%)
Application support (10.0%)
Voice capabilities (15.0%)
User interface (20.0%)
Multimedia (10.0%)
Messaging (20.0%)
Overall Score (100%)
Apple iPhone 6.0 1.0 5.0 5.0 7.0 7.0 4.0 4.9
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