Despite the protests here that Rogers is charging too much for data (even after dropping the high-end price by a third, it’s still not unlimited), and despite the fact that current customers must wait a week before they can get one, the lines to buy an iPhone are predictably around the block downtown in Toronto and Vancouver.
While I’m not thrilled that I have to wait yet another week, as the coming of higher speed 3G networking, and GPS is a big deal for us, but best of all is actually being able to get software that will not make the phone buggy or suck bits from the net down to the phone while I’m unaware, which was what happened with one of the pirate programs I had gotten a while back. I’m particularly interested in how the new software (most of it free) take advantage of the synergy between the phone knowing where it is and being connected to the Internet at decent speed. Imagine:
- You could take a tour of a museum or garden and had access to not one but several multimedia tour guides all at the same time? Entering an art work’s number might show related works, or offer other biographical information.
- In a bookstore you might get all of the competing prices for the same book after you take a picture of its bar code with your camera. Your current store could offer to match that price if they can keep the sale.
- A special ‘Lunch 4–1‑1’ program/network that would not only tell you which friends were near and available for an impromptu lunch, but also a restaurant that all of you had said was either good or they wanted to try out.
I expect a lot of those sorts of applications to show up soon. The best part is that this is entirely an open-ended situation; the limitation is now no longer on the hardware or the infrastructure, but the imagination of developers and entrepreneurs. For Vancouver and its decidedly extroverted blend of tech and love of leisure, cuisine and entertainment, today is sort of a starting gun for a race to the next big social application, and it’s not just Facebook and Twitter this time.
Follow up: According to Twitter and news stories around the web, it was not a very, ahem, smooth launch of the iPhone or 2.0 software. Servers got overloaded, phones got bricked, iTunes version 7.7 took forever to download, and in general the whole process slowed to a crawl. I haven’t heard a story yet that wasn’t full of drama, waiting and headache. I’m sure there are others who can provide more detail. Suffice to say I’m glad that I decided to wait a day or two before dipping my toes in the iWater.