This post has nothing to do with customer and partner satisfaction at Microsoft... but the news that will undoubtedly be hitting the airwaves and the web as we near the release of Apple's iPhone.

I saw that Caroline McCarthy said on the Cnet Crave blog tonite that the queue for the iPhone outside the Aple Store in Manhattan has begun. Not since the lines for Xbox 360, then the PS3 and finally the Wii have we seen such fan dedication. (ok, perhaps when The Police tickets first went on sale.)

"When I first showed up at the Fifth Avenue Apple Store earlier this afternoon, I didn't spot anyone waiting in line yet. That's because I didn't spot the one person in line, who'd gotten there at 5 a.m. EDT. Security personnel for the building, however, have mandated that Camp iPhone be located off to the side of the building, out of sight of people who are approaching the Apple Store from 59th Street (the nearest subway stop). The Craigslist crowd was assuming that people would have to line up on Wednesday at the earliest. So I figured that it was no surprise that no one was there yet.

"But then, around 10 p.m., I checked my Twitter feed and noticed that there were several posts announcing that people had already started to wait in line. So I sprinted to the subway and hopped off at 59th Street..."

People will say, hey, this is a phone they're waiting for... but it's not. It's an Apple phone (sorry, iPhone). With video game systems, we saw the lines begin a few days before the stores were scheduled to sell the hardware. I don't recall ever seeing a similar reaction for a phone. And no such lines seen at the local AT&T outlet nor the local mall-based Apple Store.

But, of course, neither of these shops are open 24 hours a day. ;)

My favourite quote so far on the iPhone-mania: that would be from John C. Dvorak with his quip here: "What reporter describes the function of anything as "insanely easy"? What does that even mean? "Holy crap! This is so easy that I'm going insane!"

Of interest: see PC Magazine's article on "The Anti-iPhones"...

"If you live in a Windows Media or Exchange Server world, the HTC Touch could be the closest you'll get to an iPhone. The Touch is a flawed experiment, but it looks a bit like an iPhone and has a fun, if superficial, touch interface that makes it easy to get to some popular applications. Unlike the iPhone though, it syncs up with Windows Media music and Exchange corporate servers – a big plus."

No kidding (on the plus side). Sync'ing is important, at least for me.

Cingular 8525HTC TouchMy next phone? Most likely, the HTC Touch (actually, for my wife). See gizmodo's site on the various HTC gadgets - I like the form factor of the Cingular 8525 (sorry, AT&T 8525), but for her it's about ease of use, making calls and looking up schedules and phone numbers... without a stylus. A full review of the 8525 is here on PC Magazine's site, along with my posting here. For me, the 8525 is a great solution that provides email connectivity and a good all-around phone.

Now, if we see a Touch-like Pocket PC phone with a slide out keyboard... then I'll upgrade.