More hyped than Hitler. That is the take one technology reviewer had of Apple’s recently launched iPhone which combines mobile phone, music player, digital camera and internet connectivity in one device. But like the iPod before it, most can’t seem to resist something so small, sleek and sexy.

Stephen Schleicher, reviewer for Consumer Electronics Net, sums it up in one word: cool. “As we expected, everything in the new iPhone can be manipulated with the touch of a finger or two, all on the 3.5 inch screen.  I have to tell you this looks amazing.”

For Michael Gartenberg from Jupiter Research, the iPhone marries form, function and ‘caressability’: “Let’s face it, this is the most anticipated telephone since Alexander Graham Bell’s original.”

The iPhone: small and sexy, sort of like this century’s Tom Cruise

Tech Blogger Tim Howell says Apple has faced, and passed, an acid test: “Apple had to impress at this year’s Macworld to distract from their recent options issues, and with the iPhone … they surely have.”

The New York Times is more equivocal. Noting that the iPhone carries the tag “Jesus Phone” in some blogs, reviewer David Pogue also points out that some criticisms are justified: “The iPhone is revolutionary; it’s flawed. It’s substance; it’s style. It does things no phone has ever done before; it lacks features found even on the most basic phones.”

Network accessibility is being singled out as the iPhone’s major drawback. While praising the iPhone’s design as “beautiful” and “revolutionary”, Russell Shaw of ZDNet also notes that it will only work with AT&T’s mobile network, can’t use SIM cards and is a “poor choice unless you are in areas where AT&T’s coverage is good.”

And then there’s the price. US$500-$600 is, according to many, too steep when compared to Apple’s established competition in the telecommunications market. Analyst Richard Windsor says the device is “too expensive to achieve anything like the success that (Motorola’s) Razr has had.”

No firm date has yet been set for the iPhone’s Australian release with sometime in 2008 the best forecast.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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