This is what people thought about the first iPhone


The original iPhone went on sale ten years ago today, and in celebration I’ve been trawling through the BetaNews archives. Sadly we didn’t review the first iPhone, but we did gather together some of the best press and user comments following the device’s announcement, and they are amusing to say the least.

Below is the original story written by Ed Oswald, and underneath that are some of the best reader responses to it. Knowing what we know now, I think you’ll find it entertaining.

SEE ALSO: The original iPhone launch in pictures

The Buzz: iPhone Reaction Mostly Positive

While most of the media (including ourselves, admittedly) was agog over the announcement of the phone, reaction to it from the tech punditry was a little less positive. While some did see it as a "game changing" device, others lamented the high price, and others were unhappy with the lack of 3G or exclusivity through Cingular [as AT&T Mobility LLC was known at the time]. We've included a sampling of their comments below.

"This product is revolutionary and is critical for Apple's future success in the mobile music market. It could become the de facto standard in this space and will set a very high bar that competitors will have to deal with in the future." --
Tim Bajarin, Creative Strategies

"The big news was clearly the iPhone and what a great looking device it is both in terms of form and function. It totally defines carressability. Let's face it, this is the most anticipated telephone since Alexander Graham Bell's original." -- Michael Gartenberg, Jupiter Research

"It is sweet irony that the company that sparked off the desktop computing revolution is the one announcing its passing. Dropping Computer from its name is a sure sign that Apple, from this point forward, is a consumer electronics company, a mobile handset maker -- one that also makes computer hardware and software as well." -- Om Malik

"In a twisted way, this is one rumor mill we're almost sad to see grind to a halt." -- Engadget

"Ok, so how is this different then my Palm Treo 650? I can go online, play all the MP3s I want, and of course it's a phone. Not to mention it has 10,000 programs you can download . I guess it's different because there is a picture of an Apple and it the word iPod is there." -- BetaNews reader "ladylust"

"Cingular only. HAHAHA! DOA." -- BetaNews reader "drumcat"

"If the iPhone works as advertised, they're going to sell a ton and really bring 'smart phones' to the masses (despite the $500-$600 price tag) -- along with music and video." -- Dave Zatz, Zatz Not Funny

"Apple had to impress at this year's MacWorld to distract from their recent options issues, and with the iPhone and Apple TV, they surely have." -- Tim Howell

Some of the best BetaNews comments following this story were:

Apple's technological arrogance is here again: the best phone in the history but only for a selected minority that join the exclusive Apple 'club.' Only Cingular, no Windows integration (and so on...). Apple is more interested in maintaining the exclusiveness of its image than in bringing technology to the crowds. What a big blind ego! They made the great inventions in computing arena and have only a slim market slice.

Gates and Ballmer laughing again, of course.

Others will copy Apple soon and bring a cheap copy of iPhone for the masses (not exclusive, integrated with Windows and so on...). And Apple will continue missing the train but looking itself each morning (little mirror, 'aren't we the brightest tech industry in the planet?') -- Simply Sam

What a joke. 'x'phone will be available in Asia somewhere in 2008. By the time it's an oldy ripe to put it behind glass in a museum with some comments like 'biggest joke of the 21st century'There is nothing special on this 'phone' and the big players on the market like Nokia, Sony Ericsson etc. only laugh they get a kind of free promotion for touch screen based phones and let do Apple the dirty work to get it finally sold to a wide public. Big names will come up with their own devices and I'm sure brands like Nokia will build their hardware (like the N95) into a sleek looking piece of Apple look-a-like machine. Let me tell you I would go the Nokia way. Apple wouldn't get a huge ground anyway in Asia, people here are very much into what kind of features a mobile has like 3G/3.5G, WiFi, Wimax, 3 Mega or more camera, Flash Light. Who want's to make a big step back in time with an Apple? So I don't understand why Apple is going this way knowing their 'x'phone will be an oldtimer in millions of ways if it hits the Asian market in 2008? Besides the telecom companies (most of them) don't work the same way as in the USA or Europe with yearly plans. Here in Indonesia, one of the biggest markets for mobile phone companies and providers, we don't have such a facilities, better as I'm free to choose what ever provider suits best to me. No blocked phones, yearly contracts or things like that. I wonder how much Apple will ask for their 'x'phone without a yearly contract? -- indoguys

Apple gets it. As the chips in the phones get better, one issue is having an solid, expandable OS behind it a second is having hardware that is elegant and easy to use.

I love the widgets, which are java and javascript based and the real web browser, which beats anything I have ever seen on any phone.

At the end of the day, every phone maker needs to stop and pay attention to what is coming down the pike from Apple and get their act together on this or they are going to find their bottom line shrinking in serious way withing the next five years....just look at the iPod track record.

I'm sure we haven't seen all the expansion/installation options for the phone a little bit more patient folks, and if it's not for you...then it's not for you

I know it does the five things I absolutely need my phone to do. Make calls, send text messages, use email, have a decent web browser and keep quick notes. Everything else on top of that is gravy.

not bad for iPhone 1.0 -- mgarvey

Honestly who has the time to play with these things? Forgive me, but I'm trying not to be on a computer 24/7. Having said that I welcome the concept of a multifuctional communication device that is portable. I'll wait for the prices to go way down before I'll consider it. That includes the pricey cellphone service that I need to use the thing.

Early adopters, away you go! -- imafurby

Looks cool BUT

I sincerely question whether a touch-screen input for TextMessaging and Dialing will be adopted. Why don't we have touch-screen PC keyboards? .... because fingers want the button-press feedback. I can't imaging typing a Txtmessage as quickly on a touchscreen as on my keypad. -- cybernym

I am not really impressed with the iPhone. I thought it was going to be something else and no g3, come on!!. I am pretty happy with my Cingular 2125. it does all I need and is really small. we need to take in consideration lots of things. specially battery life. take for example the mini tablet from Microsoft. Good idea but poor battery life. and also 500 bucks for a phone. come on. what Microsoft needs to do now is come up with a phone with the same features but with g3 and built in GPS. it will really kill the iPhone. -- canv15

I think that couple of years from now we will all remember this moment as the day that all devices with buttons started disappearing. The first successful GUI was Mac, the first PC with a built-in CD ROM was a Mac, the first PC without a floppy drive was a iMac, the first laptop with palm rest in front of keyboard as they all have now was from Apple etc etc. By entering consumer space, the impact of Apple user oriented innovations will be 1000x greater. -- Xenophage

Image Credit: file404/Shutterstock

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