I woke up this morning overcome with anticipation, just like the 599,999 other people who pre-ordered the iPhone 4. I pre-ordered my phone through Best Buy, and it proved to be a simple and easy process. Obvious "foreshadowing" alert.
Unlike Apple, Best Buy didn't have any lines wrapping around their store, having staggered their iPhone pickups to lessen the load on their employees. I had my phone for about two hours prior to everyone else in the office—two extra hours of blissful "Haha's!," until everyone else finally picked their own up. I fell in love with this phone immediately. The hardware is unparalleled, it is beautifully designed and the glass back really does look stunning (when it's not shattered), and iOS4 runs like a dream with the new processor.
I volunteered to test the phone all day, doing reception tests, processor tests, and just about anything else to put phone into numbers on paper. Not only did I volunteer because I had the fortune of picking my phone up before everyone else, but also because by doing these tests I got to play with my new toy all day (as opposed to playing with my new toy all day and being reprimanded for doing no work because I was playing with my new phone all day.)
The final test I performed was to see how well the reception held up while traveling by car. I took a cab from the Giz office in Soho up to Times Square, testing the call quality and comparing it to the 3GS. I got out in Times Square, and everyone was flabbergasted that the AT&T network didn't drop either call for over a half an hour.
Everything was great in my little world—I was in Times Square with my shiny new iPhone 4. And then the inevitable happened—or what, I imagine, we'll come to think of as the inevitable. I tried to do the little trick where you hold the iPhone 4 just with your left hand and all your bars drop away until you have no service. Note to readers: Don't do this in a crowded intersection during rush hour. I felt my phone slip from my awkwardly positioned fingers—it hung for a moment at the end of my ear bud cord, like a bungee jumper moments before his cord snaps—and then I painfully watched as it tumbled over the curb in a sudden whirl of annihilation. The back glass panel shattered, and so did my heart. OK, that may be a little melodramatic…but I am really upset.
It wasn't even that epic of a fall. It hit the curb on its side, didn't really bounce and then sort of flopped over onto its back, facing up. The side that made the initial impact didn't have a scratch on it—funny how that works with steel, right? But with the combination of the force of the phone hitting the ground from about three feet up and the fact that it crashed onto an uneven surface (street curb), it never had a chance. From the terrible shrill it made, I knew it was broken before I even picked it up. It's nothing spectacular dropping and breaking this phone. If anything, a compelling display of destruction would have been a redeeming quality.
I shattered my phone hours after buying it, in the line of duty no less. If only Apple decided to make the back of the phone steel. Or rubber. Or leather. Or not fucking glass, the most shatterable material known to man. But hey, I'm trying to think optimistically here; at least it wasn't the front screen that cracked, and the look gives it character... I guess.