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'So is that iPhone any good then?'

Typical. The one time my friends actually show a passing interest in what I do for a living, and I can't act all smug and superior

I've just returned from a very enjoyable weekend in Leeds celebrating a friend's birthday with a group of mates, but not one of them was interested in how I've been since I last saw them a few months ago. No, all they wanted to know is: "So, is that iPhone any good, then?"

Now, these people aren't geeks -- in fact most of them are actually pretty technologically backward. Think of the type of person that still thinks that their TV remote control is a pretty nifty invention and you've got the idea. For them to be asking me about a specific mobile phone is simply unheard of, and it just goes to prove how effective/ridiculous the hype surrounding the 'Messiah phone' has become.

But after I had waffled on about that for a while, I had to admit the sad truth -- I haven't seen one, as it's only available in the States. Typical. The one time my friends actually show a passing interest in what I do for a living, and I can't act all smug and superior.

Fortunately for you, the CNET.com reviewers in the States have seen an iPhone, and have written a rather thorough review. Read that and you'll be able to bluff your way through pretty much any iPhone-related conversation.

But even without trying one out myself, I can confidently predict this: unless there's 3G added, don't bother buying an iPhone when it comes to the UK later this year. As lovely as the Web browser looks, full-fat Web pages will load horribly slowly over the standard 2.5G network and no matter how pretty the interface is, that will drive you nuts.

Oh, and spare a thought for the poor Australians -- I was reading on our sister site AppleSource they won't be getting the iPhone until January 2008. Ouch.