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First look at the iPhone: Tomorrow's technology today

The iPhone does indeed deliver as promised

June 30, 2007 12:00 PM ET

Computerworld - Editor's note: In honor of the five-year anniversary of the iPhone's release, we're highlighting our original review of the phone from June 30, 2007.

I'm not ashamed to admit that the technology of Star Trek (especially The Next Generation) helped spark my interest and eventual career in IT. The gizmos and flashy technology always appealed to me, and I always found it fascinating that for the crew of the Enterprise, everything contained computers, yet most devices remained functionally similar to what we use today.

Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs seems to feel the same way. When The Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg in a recent interview with Jobs described the iPhone as actually a mobile computer with a phone in it, Jobs noted that lots of things have computers in them, but nobody calls them computers. A car is still a car, he said, yet cars have many computers in them. Suddenly, I realized my Star Trek future had arrived, hundreds of years early.

Forget communicators and phasers. I have something better and seemingly more advanced. I have an iPhone, the 8GB model that retails at a pricey $599. More about how it works -- and a couple of glitches -- below. (For another take on the iPhone, see "Hands on: Five things I love, and three I don't, about the iPhone").

I've been waiting for this for six months, and yet the past six hours, standing in line with nothing but an iPod outside an AT&T store in the Florida sun yesterday, were the hardest. I was No. 7, and I learned a little bit about just who's buying these things while waiting. The line had grown to more than 20 people when one of the AT&T reps came out and conducted an impromptu survey. How many Macintosh people; how many Windows users? The crowd was split down the middle. How many AT&T customers; how many from other mobile providers? Again, we were split half and half.

I don't know how those proportions played out nationwide. But Apple's reach into the Windows world seems to be working.

The AT&T store closed at 4:30 p.m. to prepare for its reopening at 6. Not long after, AT&T workers brought out the floor-model iPhones for the first time. There, beyond the glass, not five feet away, was the hottest, most-talked-about product ever to come out. First impression? Wow, sexy.

Pictures, for the aesthetically minded, didn't do the iPhone justice. In person, the phone is sexy. It's a deep black surrounded by a halo of silver. It's thinner than one might expect, and the floor model separated from me by the unwavering glass really just exuded sexy. No other word for it.

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