Fans drool over iPhone, but ask for more

NEW YORK Thu Jul 17, 2008 5:04pm EDT

1 of 2. Consumer shows off his new Apple iPhone 3G after spending the night in line outside an Apple Store in Boston, Massachusetts, July 11, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Brian Snyder

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Enthusiastic new iPhone owners are starting to sound like the cast of long-running stage musical: "I Love you, You're Perfect, Now Change."

Only days after snapping up the latest iPhone, they still glow over their purchase -- but already are brainstorming ideas Steve Jobs could use for Apple Inc's next iPhone.

In comparison to last year's model, the latest iPhone's snappier Web speeds, better sound quality, location-aware navigation, and third-party application store left new owners with no doubts that waiting in line for hours was worth it.

But even the happiest among them offered tips for improvements for the iPhone -- at heart a powerful computer and communications device -- as well as reasons why it won't completely replace other gear such as BlackBerrys or laptops.

Some of the gripes appeared easy to fix, while others may take a bit more work by Apple engineers.

A common one was about the inability to copy and paste text on the iPhone. Users of the Research in Motion BlackBerry or Palm Inc's Treo can easily copy numbers or text from an e-mail and send them to a friend on the go.

"I'm still very confused why they don't let you copy and paste on the phone," said Nick Divers, 22, of New York, an aspiring filmmaker who traded his Treo for an iPhone. "I've upgraded to a better product that can't do one simple thing."

Shervin Pishevar, 34, head of Social Gaming Network, said the lack of copy and paste was a reason why he stopped using the first iPhone about three months after he bought it.

Still, Pishevar and his son camped out in Palo Alto, California, to buy the new iPhone. He lauded new applications from the "silly" PhoneSaber, which mimics the sound of a "Star Wars" light saber when the iPhone is waved around, to the "inspirational" Star Finder that shows information on the night sky, depending on the user's location.

But Pishevar's got a new pet peeve. While Apple's iTunes pauses a song during a call and starts playing where it left off afterward, third-party applications such as Pandora's music service quit when Pishevar used other iPhone features.

"Applications should not stop working when you go away," he said. "For a game, you shouldn't lose where you are."

WHERE'S THE VIDEO?

Rob Biederman, 21, who works at an investment bank, gave up his BlackBerry for an iPhone, but was upset to find he could only buy songs from iTunes when his device is linked to Wi-Fi -- short-range wireless networks found in places like cafes.

"That was a big disappointment because I expected to be able to download songs from iTunes," said Biederman, who wants to be able to buy new music right after a cool new song catches his attention in a shop or on the street.

Many other phones sold by U.S. iPhone provider AT&T Inc and its rivals Verizon Wireless and Sprint Nextel can downloads music from other music services over cell links.

Ben Gersch, 31, loves his new iPhone but was disappointed that it lacks the ability to record video or the option to turn the camera to the front for video conferencing.

"Looking right at the phone and talking to people would be interesting," said the New York-based portrait painter. "The technology is there. It's an easy jump."

Rival phones from Nokia, Samsung Electronics Co, Motorola Inc and LG Electronics record video. AT&T has a video share service where customers can transmit video live to compatible phones, but it does not have two-way video conferencing.

Apple did not reply to e-mails or calls requesting comment.

Keith White, an entertainment lawyer who manages singer-songwriter Wynter Gordon, bought his iPhone for its media features. He has used it to play music files and approve a segment sent from the recording studio while he was in his car.

But White is keeping his BlackBerry -- he uses its keypad to type long e-mails rather than the iPhone's "virtual touchscreen" keyboard. Moreover, he prefers his laptop's Web browsing speed over that of the iPhone.

"It's obviously not going to be fiber-optic fast," he said. "If I have my laptop that would be my first choice."

(Editing by Braden Reddall)

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