Mossberg gets Apple iPhone for review, already sees things he likes – and doesn’t like

“Walter S. Mossberg, The Wall Street Journal’s personal-technology columnist, picked up his review copy of the Apple iPhone this morning, and he gave his initial impressions of the much-anticipated gadget to college leaders during a speech at The Chronicle’s Presidents Forum,” Jeffrey R. Young reports for The Chronicle of Higher Education.

“‘I don’t know whether I’ll give it a good review or not,’ he said, noting that he will use the phone for the next couple of weeks before writing his review. ‘I can already see some things I don’t like about it. I see some other things that I do like a lot about it,'” Young reports.

Mossberg said a crucial question was how the iPhone’s touch-screen keyboard works.

Young reports, “‘They are claiming that through clever software they have figured out a way for this to be actually far more accurate and efficient than you think it will be, and I’m testing that proposition,’ he said. ‘And I can tell you that in the first hour it works a little better than I thought, but I’m still not sure it works as well as a regular keyboard — and the first hour is not a very fair test, so I’m going to keep going at it.'”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “MacVicta” for the heads up.]

37 Comments

  1. my biggest fear from the iPhone Features is that touch-screen. many companies have tried touch-screen interfaces and miserably failed.
    and if “Uncle Walt”, the biggest mac fanboy around, doesnt like the touch screen, things could get ugly for Apple and the iPhone…

  2. “‘I don’t know whether I’ll give it a good review or not, … “

    Translation: “See? I’m credible and fair. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” /> “

    Give it a rest, Mossberg. Say NOTHING until you’re ready to give a review.

  3. Hmmmm… I’ve been extremely skeptical of the touchscreen keyboard as well. Just trying to type in addresses on my GPS system in the car is a complete nightmare!! If Walt gives iPhone a negative review, it could tremendously cool sales of the iPhone and it might not be as big of a hit as we all thought it would be.

  4. @MacBill

    Your auto’s GPS isn’t running on top of OS X. We will all have to wait and see. I have no experience using the little QWERTY keypads on smartphones, so I am wondering how the iPhone touchscreen keys will seem to me or others with no preconceived notion how should behave. I know that texting on a regular phone keypad is HORRIBLE, so it has to be a lot better than that.

  5. > If Walt gives iPhone a negative review, it could tremendously cool sales of the iPhone and it might not be as big of a hit as we all thought it would be.

    Come on… One person’s review (good or bad) is not going to make iPhone a success or failure. If ol’ Walt had that much power, Apple Mac market share would be in double-digits by now, and the iPod would have already sold 200 million units.

  6. Judging how I type in messages for the RAZR using the numeric keypads, I see the iPhone’s touch screen QWERTY keyboard as a better alternative. Now if they can only include MMS…

  7. > I’ve been extremely skeptical of the touchscreen keyboard as well.

    Whether it’s better or worse than a physical mini-keyboard is not as relevant as some people seem to think. Most of the people buying iPhones will not be replacing a fancy “smartphone”; the iPhone will be their first “fancy” phone. Their current phone will be the cheap phone that was free or came for under $100 with their existing plans. Such customers will find a relatively large on-screen touch keyboard to be a huge improvement over using the number keys to tap out text messages. Whether it is better or worse than a “chicklet” keyboard is not so important, because most of the new iPhones users will not have experienced it.

  8. Simple…if you are used to using a manual button keyboard, your brain is programmed to feel the button depress.
    You are used to it, therefore the new touchscreen on the iPhone is gonna take some getting used to. That is why I groan hearing Walt say that so early, not having some time with it. This is also the same for long-time Windows users…the Mac is tremendously better, but it doesn’t feel that way at first because of the programmed tendencies we have based on time spent. UGH!, I thought Mr. Mossberg was smart enough in his statements, as his reviews change our consumer view of companies, which either hurts or helps them.

  9. Interesting that Mossberg felt compelled to write about the iPhone when he’d only had it in his hands for an hour. Talk about first impressions.

    Of course, I don’t know if that’s good or bad, but I’m sure Mossberg will give it a pretty fair shake.

  10. Has anyone ever used a keyboard on a Palm Treo? I have. It sucks. iPhone cannot be worse than that. That aside, all of the other features should not be ignored. Full internet! Visual Voice Mail! It’s a mobile Mac in your pocket.

  11. People will vilify or beatify his review, no matter what he says or “whether he gives it a good review or not”, so it’s all relative to how your own personal experience is, assuming, of course, that you’re willing to shell out the $$$ for it.

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