The first major reviewers of the iPhone have cast their votes and on the whole, the response is overwhelmingly positive. Walt and Katie had a great time with the phone calling it a "whole new experience and a pleasure to use," and thus far David Pouge (New York Times), Steven Levy (Newsweek), and Ed Baig (USA Today) all agree. To be sure there are quibbles about the network and about the number of steps required for certain operations, but that a device this over-hyped has its early reviewers so ga-ga is an incredible achievement for the folks from Cupertino.
I'm really happy to see it, not because I'm thrilled about the iPhone (which as a two-time owner of smartphones, I am) but because I love to see folks rewarding Apple for taking such a big product risk. Founded when I was just three years old, I feel as though I have grown up with Apple; from the Apple ]['s evolution as the first mainstream PC, to the Macintosh's shift to the Intel processor, I can remember all of the major product announcements the way one remembers big family events. With every major product Apple (under Steve) has been bold in crafting a unique product that often times defines a market by disrupting what heretofore has been nothing more than engineers grasping in the dark.
Which is not to say that Apple has not been without its big misses, most of which can be attributed to Steve Jobs: the Lisa, the lack of HD in the original Mac, the absence of licensing for the Mac OS, the Apple Cube, and even the company's deaf ear to the early days of the Web are a few examples of times when Apple was just plain wrong and often stuck with their mistake far longer than what we might refer to as "nimbler" companies.
Overall though, a small price to pay for the company that has given us a great UNIX on our desktops, Wi-Fi in every broadband connected home, the iPod ecosystem (remember when pundits called it an acronym for "Idiots Price Our Devices"), and hopefully the new computing platform that the iPhone is about to usher in.
Few companies are that bold about the things that they put out into the world— and none have survived so many misses at bat as Apple has while at the same time going on to have so many hits. It is precisely because of this that I think the "Think Different" ads best captured what I think are at the core of both Apple and Steve's soul. And as we get ready to line up for the iPhone, I'm just glad that they have kept on swinging hard.