Ihnatko: Hands-on with Apple’s iPhone (which runs Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard)

“I have used the Apple iPhone. I had a private briefing the day after Steve Jobs’ keynote and spent about 45 minutes noodling around with the device,” Andy Ihnatko reports for The Chicago Sun-Times. “You may touch the hem of my robe if you wish.”

Ihnatko reports, “Here’s what I can tell you so far, based on my hands-on impressions, my talks with Apple and general first-hand sniffing around:”

1. The touch-interface works flawlessly.
2. I think the iPhone’s virtual keyboard is a huge improvement over the mechanical thumbpads found on the Treo and any other smart phones of its size.
3. It’s the most beautiful freakin’ display I’ve ever seen on a phone or PDA, both in range of color and level of detail.
4. The apps that were functional at the time of the demo give the satisfying, protein-rich experience of “real” software.
5. Apple will keep a very tight rein on software development.
6. The iPhone runs the same OS as the Macintosh… everything I’ve learned (both in official briefings and “you and I never spoke, all right?” sort of discussions) says that it truly does run Leopard, the upcoming 10.5 OS that will be released for the Macintosh late in the spring.
7. The iPhone is still under development and isn’t feature-complete… Any complaints about what the iPhone can’t do are premature. Remember, it won’t ship for six months.

Details in the full article here.

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51 Comments

  1. I bet I know why Apple went with OS X: to remove its dependence on PortalPlayer (now owned my nVidia) with its current iPods. OS X is far more portable than the proprietary OS the current iPods run in combination with the PortalPlayer hardware. OS X can run on almost anything.

  2. > The quick and dirty is this – you launch a new product into a new market you do not yet currently play in, that contains little risk in reducing any current product sales.

    Your comments are mostly true, except that Apple called the iPhone the best iPod it has ever made. There will no doubt be a video iPod (with a hard drive) using the same touch screen technology. But Apple will probably not release such a product until iPhone is out the door (to avoid stealing attention and sales from iPhone). So there is significant risk that iPod sales will be reduced this quarter and next quarter. However, Apple timed this very well, since any iPod lull will be offset (at least during the April-June quarter) by a Mac salses surge caused by the release of Leopard (with new Macs and iLife/iWork).

  3. “You guys think Apple announced the iPhone now to iron out any potential problems before June?”

    No they released it because I doubt the people at the FCC care as much about Apples penchant for secrecy as Apple does.
    Takes a few months for FCC approval. Likely they don’t alllow approval unless the product is actually SHOWN to the agency.

    Perhaps a welcomed side effect of having to do this however is that they are certainly hearing plenty of feedback via the intartubes and the blaghosphere about what people want it to do (3G, iTunes ringtones) and what they dont want it to do (Cingular lock-in). Perhaps this gives them time to make ‘adjustments’.

  4. “I noticed that the iPhone’s pre-release browser was missing some plug-ins. I asked if Real and Macromedia et al. would be writing media plug-ins for the iPhone’s Web browser, and was told that no, the browser would ship with plug-ins, but Apple would be writing them all in-house.”

    Does that mean no Flash or what?

  5. So sometime before June Leopard should appear on the Mac. So this would also explain the wait until June. Leopard isn’t done yet so there other leopard apps they are going to load on the iphone probably isn’t done yet either.

  6. @ R2
    Does that mean no Flash or what?

    I doubt that it means no Flash. Apparently Apple will be writing (proofing?) the plug-ins. I think it means that if you thought the Mac was a vertically oriented product you should call the iPhone the “Plumb”.

    ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”snake” style=”border:0;” /> *wipes tear from eye*

  7. COULD SOMEONE PLEASE POST THIS ON FARK!

    Maybe a headline that says “iPhone reviewed by somone…who…actually…used it!”
    or something witty

    I tried and my account is acting all weird and it won’t let me.
    =[

    It would be excellent for Apple to get this out to the masses. Believe me, Fark already has a bunch of PC weenies that have been trying their hardest to bash it…

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