Best Buy, iPhone 3G First Impressions

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Best Buy, iPhone 3G First Impressions

I had a very interesting day so far. A crying child had me up at 3:30 AM and I didn't get back to sleep. I figured I would take the opportunity to get ahead on my work. So iPhone, a bowl of cereal and coffee in hand I plopped myself in front of the financial news stations to see what the results of the weekend bail out of Freddie and Fannie would be.

Shortly after the cereal was done and a few sips into my delicious Elite Coffee, the internet went out. I have had a bunch of problems with Cablevision service as of late so I figured maybe a root of the cable modem would help. No dice. So I called. Sure enough there was a broadband, phone and TV outage -- as evidenced by the fact the station I was watching had just died.

I went up to my office where there is a faint signal from Verizon Wireless. I didn't try AT&T. I was able to get a 1xRTT signal which is on a good day at least 10x slower than EVDO. Well today was a bad day and every other packet was dropped according to a Yahoo ping.

To make matters worse, our blog server was hammered this past evening/morning with some sort of traffic flood. Maybe it was a bot from a search engine or someone with malicious intent. I am not sure yet but we are investigating. Could it be a result of Cuil's Twiceler indexing bot -- it has taken down a number of sites in its never-ending quest to crush Google.

So when I got to TMC and I had healthy broadband and the blog server was back to normal, I decided I wanted to write about something good. Really good. After all -- it seemed like a conspiracy between search engines, malicious entities and Cablevision to stop me from communicating.

When I heard Best Buy officially started shipping the iPhone, I had to go and visit... I knew this was my story. After all, I have covered the lines at the AT&T and Apple store -- would Best Buy have one as well I wondered? It was a beautiful day without a cloud in the sky so I invited Tom Keating to take a walk to Best Buy which is about 10 minutes from TMC headquarters in Norwalk, CT. Here are Tom's thoughts.

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When we got to the store we took a photo of the iPhone signs on the front door and immediately the security guard told us we were not allowed to take any photos in the store.  I found this pretty interesting as people can covertly take photos and video if they want but I complied -- well at least for a while.

According to Norwalk, CT Best Buy Security, this is the only photo you can take of a Best Buy store


This was the photo which almost landed Tom and I in jail... The things we do for our readers. :)


We ran into a friendly salesperson (the support people at Best Buy are really good) who told us that there were large crowds in the store yesterday when they started carrying the new 3G phone but they only sold six devices. She said word of mouth would help increases sales and went on to say Apple won't let them advertise the fact they have the new phone as they don't want it to eat into sales in their own stores. She also mentioned Apple keeps tight control of what the Apple area of their store looks like and even approves where accessories are located.

Personally, I was looking for an external battery for the iPhone as it is a battery hog and part of the reason for this is I leave the device in 3G mode and also leave WiFi on and finally I let the phone stay in auto-brightness mode. Add to this the fact I actually gets tons of email and you understand why a few hours of my heavy use will deplete a fully charged iPhone battery.

BTW I have two external batteries on order -- one from Kensington and another from 3GJuice -- both have delivery estimates in October.

Ironically I went to the Apple Store in Santa Monica, CA last week and a salesman in the store concurred the battery life of the new iPhone is poor and went on to say the store does not carry an external battery. Seems odd to me... In fact stunning. Remember the rumors were battery life is a major reason the original iPhone didn't support 3G. You would imagine with a year to plan you would be able to have spare batteries so the phone has maximal usability.

So my Best Buy experience was mixed. On the one hand there were iPhones in stock and I suppose this is the good news and on the other, getting an external battery for the iPhone seems to be a hard thing to do. The reason for this is that people started using these things and quickly realized the battery is inadequate.

While I am not one to say a single negative word about the design of the iPhone, a removable battery may not have been such a bad idea. We can expect Apple to make lots of money replacing these batteries over time though.

Here are some more photos -- some taken covertly so as to not be blogging this from jail.



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