There was never any doubt that I would buy an Apple Watch on the
day it was released. I’m a White House correspondent for The New
York Times, but I’m also that early-adopter guy.
Buying the watch has led to the inevitable questions from friends
and family: “What do you think? Should I get one of those?”
My search for an answer reminds me of a similar period nearly a
decade ago, in the months after I stood in line for several hours
at an Apple Store in Arlington, Va., to be among the first to
spend $599 on the original iPhone. The Apple employees cheered as
I emerged with the phone.
The next day, I was on a Southwest flight to New Hampshire to
cover Fred Thompson, the late actor and senator, who was then
running for president. As I sat in my aisle seat, playing with the
phone, a crowd formed. First the flight attendants. Then
passengers. They all wanted to see the crazy new device in action.
But back then, it was hard to recommend to my fellow reporters on
the campaign trail that they ditch their BlackBerrys. The iPhone’s
on-screen keyboard made typing a clunky business. The phone
couldn’t connect with most workplace email systems. Cell service
(limited to AT&T) was slow and flaky at best. Battery life was
short. There was no App Store. The iPhone didn’t even have a “cut
and paste” feature.
I remember the original iPhone differently — I loved it immediately and found it life-changing. AT&T’s EDGE network was indeed dreadfully slow, but it was still better than no internet-in-my-pocket-at-all, which is where I was coming from as a dumb-phone user. But I can totally see how, from a BlackBerry user’s perspective, the original iPhone was hard to recommend.