The consumer response to Apple’s new iPhone has far-exceeded estimates, making it the most successful new product launch in history. Apple expects to sell 10 million iPhones by the end of 2008. The Wall Street Journal reports that it’s not just the Mac and high-tech users that are buying the iPhones, it’s the general public making this investment.

The fact that the iPhone is so easy to use combined with the consumer response to the product will most certainly accelerate web surfing via cell phones. For these reasons, I made a recommendation that begin testing this new product to better understand how consumers are using it. Specifically, there was a need to understand how our site looks and operates on this platform. This new product and the audience it brings would be too significant for us to ignore.

bug_camera.gifThe iPhone Challenge: Keep It Quiet is one of the funniest reviews on the Web.
By David Pogue, The New York Times, Published: June 27, 2007

I wonder how long it will take for to get one. Final time…
06 days, 17 hours and 55 minutes.

Here’s a day-by-day account of my experience with the iPhone.

Monday, July 02, 2007 10:20 a.m.
I anticipate Apple will open the door and allow third parties to write programs and applications that users can download to their iPhone.

Imagining the possibilities, I carefully drafted an email to Kelly Dyer Fry, Vice President of Multimedia, recommending that The Oklahoman form a small group of iPhone users and developers.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007 11:57 a.m.
Our Publisher, David Thompson, grants me permission to purchase an iPhone.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007 04:57 p.m.
Needless to say, I left work a little early and headed to the mall. The anticipation was too much to bare. I had to see it for myself. Had Apple really rewritten the rules, and did they really hold the answer for mobile Web browsing as we would know it in the future?

Holding a close second to a Wal-mart parking lot on a Saturday morning, the Apple store was packed. Only four days after its release, the store was full from wall to wall and end to end.

I thought about how the history of technology was plagued with hypes and failures, yet somehow, I hoped Apple would break through and rewrite the rules.

As I held it in my hands, the iPhone gave a powerful impression of sexiness. It was thinner and lighter than pictures would suggest. Using a simple finger flick for scrolling and a pinch for zooming in and out, I found myself navigating through the iPhone within seconds. It was incredibly intuitive. Just like the hand on TV, it responded quickly to every touch. Even typing on glass felt natural.

I heard someone say it’s rumored that Apple may have sold 700,000 iPhones during the first weekend. Most articles on the Web state the number closer to 500,000. I guess we’ll have to wait for Steve Jobs next keynote to find out . While I’m standing there, the store sells its last iPhone for the day. Dang! Now I’ll have to find an AT&T store. Apple claims it will be receiving shipments daily.

Finding myself back to reality, I had an unanswered question. How do I register an iPhone for ten technical nerds to share?

After asking the nearest Mac guy, I wondered off to an AT&T store. “We don’t have corporate accounts with the iPhone right now. Would you like for us to mail you a phone? Self activation. You could activate it then transfer the payment method. Would you like for us to mail you a phone?” This was the story I got at two different AT&T stores.

The credit approval for your service happens on your computer. It’s part of the activation phase through iTunes. According to AT&T all you need is a PC or Mac, a credit card, access to the Internet and an e-mail address. It’s that simple.

I’ll try again tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007 11:55 a.m.
I return to the Apple store after the Edmond parade. How stupid am I? FedEx doesn’t deliver on the 4th of July. The manager encourages me to come back in the morning. FedEx could show up as early as 9:00 a.m.

Thursday, July 05, 2007 09:05 a.m.
The Apple store opened at 09:00 this morning, and I’m here five minutes after the door opens. I’m greeted by five others waiting for a phone, then enter two more. Okay. This isn’t too bad. Chances are pretty good.

Immediately, I’m drawn into a conversation with a store Mac guy and a customer leaning against the counter drinking his Starbucks. He says, “I’ve been here five or six times looking for an iPhone. I’m helping a buddy move from Virginia to Seattle next week. Before I leave town, I desperately need one. I have spent more in gas then the cost of the phone itself.” Then jokingly, he tells us he quit his job just to be here.

soup.jpgWhat appears to be a store manager enters our conversation telling us there will be no shipments today. “Oh yeah, that’s what you told us on Tuesday,” Starbucks man replied. “I left the store, then 30 minutes later, you got a shipment. I’m not leaving today. No way!”

Somehow, I found myself in an episode of Seinfeld with the Soup Natzi. I knew we were in trouble. I could see it in her eyes. “No… iPhone for YOU! Come back in one year!”

I knew I was doomed by standing too close and laughing out loud. Even if she received a shipment, she would hold them until we left.

I’ll try again tomorrow.

Friday, July 05, 2007 08:55 a.m.
I’m standing outside the doors five minutes before it opens. There’s no one in line. I figured, I could check my office mail, drink a cup of coffee and make a few phone calls from the showroom floor. Surely a shipment might come in during that time. Today could be the day.

As the morning dragged on, the store became crowded. One-by-one, customers from the day before showed up. When I asked if anyone had seen Starbucks man, rumor was he had finally landed his phone.

And like that, it happened. At five minutes til noon, an Apple guy walked out of the back room carrying 12 new iPhones in a box, and one-by-one he lined the shelves with the new product, and one-by-one customers surged on the back of the store. With luck I found myself at the front of the line.

Like other iPhone owners, overwhelmingly I am pleased. From activation to sinking, I found very little dissatisfaction in the product.

Here’s my take. If you place a first generation iPod on the counter in front of you, then you place the iPhone next to it, you will see that Apple never left well alone. It’s only the beginning of great things to come. USA Today recently wrote that 90% of 200 owners said they were “extremely” or “very” satisfied with their phone. And 85% said they are “extremely” or “very” likely to recommend the device to others.

icon_newspaper.gifiPhone buyers have no regrets
By Edward C. Baig, USA Today

The iPhone could possibly end up being the most successful product of the 21st century.