It’s a cell phone, GPS locator, camera, and video iPod, all in one. It connects to the Internet via cell network or Wi-Fi. It is a complete personal digital assistant that can access email, calendar, and other pertinent information. While it’s not the first cell phone to perform these tasks, it’s large, clear touch screen, an accelerometer that tracks the position of the device, and a myriad of add-on applications make it unique. Recent price reductions and the faster speed of this new 3G model make it more appealing. So we set out to thoroughly assess the usability and likability of this new device.
Apple’s sense of good design is apparent from the time your first gaze on the packaging. As shown in Figure 1, the simplistic white box has an embossed picture of the iPod screen with silver trim. The side of the box simply says, “iPhone 3G” in matching silver letters. While the iPod itself, like most other such devices, contains some toxic chemicals, Apple has at least done a little for the environment. The iPhone’s box is made of biodegradable potato-starch-based shipping material.
As shown in Figure 2, the iPhone comes with a small array of useful components. The included stereo headset has a built-in microphone that can be used for phone calls. If you are listening to music, you just click the microphone button on the cord to interrupt the music and to answer or end a call. Unfortunately, the headphones still have Apple’s traditional hard, round ear buds that we disliked in our iPod review.
The box also includes a dock connector to USB cable for synching and charging the iPhone. An included USB power adapter connects to the USB cable and can be used to charge the iPhone from a standard power outlet. There is also a small black polishing cloth and a small plastic tool that can be used to eject the telephone’s SIM card.
Like, the packaging, the iPhone itself, as shown in Figures 3 & 4, is beautiful to look at. The 8-gigabyte model comes in black, while the 16-gigabyte model that we reviewed, can be purchased in either black or white.
While the first version of the iPhone came with a dock, this is now an additional purchase.