Sunday, July 1, 2007

(Retro) First Impressions

I'm an old-school guy, so these "retro" first impressions will try to recapture the excitement of Friday, June 29, 2007 at 7:30 PM (40 or so hours ago). After buying my iPhone, I walked back to "Harvey", the wonder micro-van, and set about the "unboxing experience".

First of all, the bag was sealed. And I mean, really sealed. Those special orange top white with blue print AT&T Apple iPhone bags had a really strong adhesive all across the top just below the carry handle. After tugging at it a bit and distorting the plastic, I got out my Swiss army knife and cut open the top. Inside was a small, shrink-wrapped black box that had a bit of heft to it.

The box has a lifesize picture of the iPhone, with the home page -- not the 15-icon version, but the actual 16-icon screen. So even though the presence of the YouTube icon was only announced a few days ago, they had it planned for some time. The phone is wrapped in clear plastic (not shrink wrap, more like cellophane) and held in a solid plastic support tray. I lifted out the phone and left it in it's wrap. Pushed the power button at the top and beheld ... the World!

"Activate via iTunes" was all it said. You could slide the magic slider and the dial keypad appeared. But there was no service yet, and so although I "phoned home", the call didn't complete. Underneath the tray in the box was the documentation in a black cardboard folio with the legend "Designed by Apple in California". Now that's my kind of statement -- simple, clear, arrogant, and elegant.

The documentation folio continued the initial, powerful experience: a single lift tab was accessible through a quarter-sized hole in the plastic tray, two flaps opened on the back of the folio revealing the "Finger Tips", the sole printed instruction, a 20-panel illustrated guide to turn to when pressing buttons stops working. (I didn't even read any of it until the next day, which did lead to some of my problems, but a recent theory of mine is that homo sapiens has evolved into homo video rather than homo biblio, so I'm just typical.)

Underneath the document folio were the all white accessories: dock, power plug, and earbuds, each also "sealed" in the cellophane-like wrappers. I slipped the phone into my pocket, put everything else back in the box and the bag, and headed out.

I had not planned well enough, so had no food since a snack at 4. (I had resisted the entrepreneurial gals from the nearby ice cream store that provided sidewalk service to the crazy folks in their mini-mall.) Time to get home to the wife and supper (pizza on Fridays!), and play with the shiny new $500 toy.

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