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Newsletter #396 Preview: So What’s Really Wrong With the iPhone?

As I write this, both Apple and AT&T stores are rapidly running out of their initial stocks of the iPhone, with initial reports claiming some 525,000 were sold over the first weekend. Those of you who expected instant gratification may have to redefine “instant” to encompass days or weeks until new supplies arrive.

At the same time, the initial reactions, both reviews and user experiences, have been mostly positive. The iPhone appears to do precisely what Apple promised, which is to provide a smooth, well-integrated interface that successfully merges the functions of a wireless phone, portable Internet device and a music player.

But it also puts the iPhone’s perceived shortcomings into sharper focus.

Take the complaints about using the allegedly poorer-performing EDGE network instead of 3G. Steve Jobs says that decision was made, in part, because the chips for the faster networking standard use more power and, further, that it’s not supported by all of AT&T’s network.

One review I read, from CNET, said they just didn’t care, meaning that they’d prefer shorter battery life in exchange for support for the speedier network. Of course, then they could go back and complain about the battery life too. One thing I learned while working at CNET is that they insist you complain about something in your article, even if it’s exceedingly minor.

Story continued in this week’s Tech Night Owl Newsletter.