Firsthand Account: Using the iPhone Apple is hoping its new iPhone will be the next "must-have" gadget. Brian Lam, editor of the Web site Gizmodo, is one of a few people who have actually used the iPhone, which won't be available for sale until this summer.
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Firsthand Account: Using the iPhone

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Firsthand Account: Using the iPhone

Firsthand Account: Using the iPhone

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From NPR News, it's DAY TO DAY. I'm Luke Burbank. And I'm joined now on the phone by Brian Lam. Hi, Brian.

Mr. BRIAN LAM (Editor, Web site Gizmodo): Hi, Luke. How are you?

BURBANK: I'm great. Brian, you're the editor-in-chief of the Web site Gizmodo, and you're also one of the few humans who has actually talked on this new Apple iPhone - which is this cell phone, music player, e-mail, house cleaning...does it clean homes?

Mr. LAM: It doesn't, but I think there's a lot of people who think it does everything, so.

BURBANK: This new device that Apple brought out yesterday that's been getting all kinds of attention. Brian, you actually got 15 minutes yesterday with this sacred phone. Who did you call first?

Mr. LAM: First person I called was my mom, actually. And I tried to explain to her what I was doing and what I was calling her from, and she just didn't quite get it. But I hope she one day understands the honor that was bestowed upon her.

BURBANK: That sounds not unlike my mom when I go, I'm on National Public Radio, and she goes is that AM or FM?

Mr. LAM: Who, what?

BURBANK: So what was it like when they brought you in there? Was it like - did they take you into like a back room somewhere for this?

Mr. LAM: Yeah.

BURBANK: And did the phone have an actual visible glow around it when you pulled it out of the box? Was there angels...

(Singing) AHHHHHH?

Mr. LAM: Yeah, yeah. Definitely, definitely. I'm not sure if it was in my head or actually happening, but yeah. It did.

BURBANK: So, by the way, how'd the phone work? Does it seem pretty good?

Mr. LAM: Yeah. And, you know, when you explain it to someone who's never used or isn't a Mac owner and hasn't used a Mac, you know, there's nothing it does that another phone doesn't do, right?


Mr. LAM: But the integration, the way it's done is just so there that it just takes it to the next level. It's like a CD player plays music and so does an iPod, but we know there's a world of difference between the two.

BURBANK: So it's a lot of existing technology, but just put together in a way that works so much better than the other stuff?

Mr. LAM: Functionally, it's the same as the old phones, right? But you can check e-mail, you can surf the Web, you can make calls. But I think Apple said they have over 200 patents in this. And they're not fluffy patents, either.

It's really, really innovative things like this multi-touch touch screen, so you don't just use one finger at a time. Sometimes you can use two fingers to zoom in and out of your photos and whip across your tracks on the iPod side of things. And there's just a lot going on in here to make the art of phone calling just really, really, slick.

BURBANK: This seems to be something that Apple has done with a lot of different hardware, where they take something that everyone else has been kind of trying to do and they kind of find this thing that just blows everybody else away. Obviously, the iPod comes to mind. What do you think this means for the competition, Brian? Is Apple going to be, you know, the dominant cell phone maker in a few years, you think?

Mr. LAM: I don't think they're even projecting that. I think they said 1 percent of whatever the market is at.

BURBANK: It's like a billion.

Mr. LAM: A billion phones a year. They're hoping for 10 million. So they're hoping for 1 percent, and they'll take it from there I think are his exact words. But I do think that just like Macs are a smaller part of the market share, I know from our internal stats that the interest for something like the show I'm in at Vegas - which is, you know, hundreds if not thousands of companies from all over the world - is a fraction of the interest from a traffic perspective from my Web site of the Mac stuff.

BURBANK: And this new thing is going to be like 600 bucks. Would you buy one, Brian?

Mr. LAM: Yeah. I would, and I wouldn't even pause. And I hate spending money on technology. And I try to be skeptical, but, you know, this is the one thing in a while - maybe in a couple of years - that I am just unable to resist. I just need to have one.

BURBANK: Well, Brian Lam, the editor of the tech Web site Gizmodo, joining us from Las Vegas where there's one tech conference going on, but talking about this fancy new cell phone that Apple rolled out up in San Francisco yesterday. Thanks, Brian.

Mr. LAM: Thank you.

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