“There’s hype. There’s hysteria. And there’s history,” May Wong writes for The Associated Press.

“The hype around Apple Inc.’s upcoming iPhone is abundantly clear. So is the hysteria. But how the iPhone will leave its historical mark after Friday’s launch is to be seen,” Wong writes. “Will the gadget — which triples as a cell phone, iPod media player and a wireless Web device — be as ‘revolutionary’ as Apple CEO Steve Jobs has claimed?”

“People want more now. There are plenty of slim, ultra-thin options out there, but not many make finding photos, saving phone contacts, picking up voice mail and selecting ringtones insanely easy,” Wong reports. “‘This is the most anticipated phone since Alexander Graham Bell did his,’ said Michael Gartenberg, an industry analyst at JupiterResearch. ‘Part of it is the fascination with Apple’s products and how well they design them, but it’s also about how poor the design in software is in cell phones now, and how much time Apple has spent working on this.'”

Wong reports, “‘A few handset makers have been trying to make the phone simpler without having to refer to a manual that’s 18 times the size of the phone,’ said Richard Doherty, president of The Envisioneering Group, a research company. ‘But Apple is going for the moon here.'”

Wong reports, “With its iPod players and Macintosh computers, the Cupertino-based company has already cemented a reputation for making products that are intuitive and easy to use. Other electronics makers have admitted that Apple has set the bar there for those product categories… The proof will come once the iPhone gets into users hands.”

Full article here.