For those of you who find yourself or a loved one drooling over Stephen Jobs' latest piece of slickly addictive technology, here, based on the experiences of reporters who have been playing with the iPhone in recent weeks, is something that might prove to be a useful temporary cure - some reasons not to run out and purchase this very expensive toy right now.
Using the iPhone's Web browser may be like visiting a museum. The Web images are beautiful and playing with them can be a lot of fun when you are in range of a friendly Wi-Fi network. But when you aren't, you can expect it to take a painfully long time to download the pages on AT&T's frustratingly slow Internet connection.
Also, if you love those lively Web features like Java, Flash and RSS feeds, forget about them for now. They won't work on the iPhone browser. And if you hope to make a phone call while on the Web, forget about it if you aren't using a Wi-Fi connection.
Yes, it's also an iPod, but one lacking some friendly iPod features. If you use your existing iPod as a hard drive to carry computer files or to play games, forget about it with the iPhone, which in its current arrangement lacks those features.
Also, your iPhone may not work with your existing iPod accessories. FM transmitters don't work, for instance, and plugging in to existing speaker systems will turn off the phone and wireless features. Apple promises new iPhone-friendly accessories in the near future.
If you love to Instant Message with your friends using AOL or other IM software, forget about it. You can swap text messages that appear as colorful little balloons, but it's not IM.
If you are thinking you can use your new iPhone to replace your corporate Blackberry, think again. The iPhone won't push e-mail onto your screen the way the Blackberry does. Instead, it checks for mail after set periods. Also, it won't work with corporate Exchange e-mail systems unless the administrator make it possible.
If you use a Treo, until now the most high-tech phone, the transition may be painful. You'll have to move your existing phone's Palm address book and other information to a Windows or Mac program and then on to the iPhone.
If you are hoping to download your signature ringtone into your new iPhone, hope again. Only 25 ringtones preloaded by Apple are available for use at this time, so you're likely to find your phone whistling a new tune.
Then there is the question of replacing the battery. Early users say the iPhone could last anywhere from a day to two days between charges. Apple estimates the battery's power will begin to fade after about 300 charges. When the battery finally fails, you'll discover that there is no way for you to pop off the back cover and replace it. Instead, you'll have to ship your phone back to Apple to replace it at an as-yet-undetermined cost..
Last but not least, consider the up-front costs. There is no iPhone discount. You'll be paying $500 or $600 for the phone plus a total anywhere from $1440 to $2400 in monthly charges for service over the next two years. Apple is promising to update the iPhone's software as it develops improved features but you might discover, before too many months have passed, that you have found it is impossible for you to type on its tiny virtual keyboard or to perform other functions that are important to you.
If you are undaunted by all of this, consider, at least, waiting until a good friend buys one. Borrow it and play around for a few hours. You may learn, again, that all that glitters is not gold.