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Mobile phoneThe first pleasure of each iPhone is to watch the logistical system in action.  I ordered the iPhone 5 at six AM on September 14.  It shipped from ZhengZhou, China eight days later, and then progressed like a checker across the board to Incheon, Korea; Anchorage; Louisville, Jamaica, NY; Windor Locks, CT; Brookfield, CT; and on to Ridgefield for an 11 am delivery two days earlier than what was committed. As usual with Apple products, the setup was a breeze. I took it out of the box, turned it on, went through the simple setup, and then gave it time to load 165 apps that I had on the iPhone 4S plus 16 gigabytes of pictures and 4,500 tracks of music.  The next thing I experienced was that the iPhone 5 rang with my same ring tone. I answered the phone and it was working perfectly. All the data and settings were exactly where they were minutes earlier on the 4S. I reset the 4S to factory settings and put it in the original box it came in a year ago. I added an extra Bluetooth keyboard and an iPhone docking station that I could no longer use to the box.  In less than two days a smart eBay buyer sent me $399 + shipping for a “buy it now” transaction.
 The only glitches in setting up the iPhone 5 or selling the iPhone 4S were with — you guessed it — AT&T.  I really think they are trying hard, but they are a long way to acceptable customer support.  My iPhone uses an AT&T Microcell on the kitchen counter because the AT&T tower signal is not very good where I live.  The new iPhone has a different electronic serial number, so it is not surprising that the Microcell would have to be updated.  You would think that would be easy. You can easily add or delete other AT&T phones that you authorize to use your Microcell.  However, you can’t remove or change your own!  They are working on a fix.  The buyer of the 4S wants the iPhone unlocked.  AT&T has a process for that. I filled out the information on their Web site. They said they would check to see if it is eligible to unlock (it is) and this could take 5-7 days. Online, real-time, not.
Everything I have learned from the prior five iPhones is still applicable on the iPhone 5, and iOS 6 adds a lot more.  Using an iPhone keeps getting easier.  The hardware is better than ever — thinner, lighter, and a joy to hold.  It would be a shame to put a cover over the beautiful aluminum and glass device.  The speed is stunning.  You can take a panoramic picture across 180 degrees with a single click.  When you finish panning the 180 degrees, the picture drops into your camera roll.  I remember 15 years ago when we had panoramic photo technology at IBM Research.  It required a multi-thousand-dollar camera on a tripod, a couple of PhD researchers, and a lot of mainframe computer processing to stitch the seams of the individual pictures together to make the panoramic view.  It was quite an accomplishment and well ahead of its time.  The iPhone 5 does it on the fly! It truly is a supercomputer by the standards of not that long ago.  The maps app is getting a lot of press.  I used it today for the first time as I was driving to a location in Pennsylvania.  It worked flawlessly, but clearly there are issues that many have experienced.  I have no doubt that Apple will get it right.  The Do Not Disturb feature is great as is the option to text a caller with canned messages like “I’m on the phone and can’t talk right now. I’ll call you in an hour” or “What’s up?” to encourage a return text.  This is a great feature for when you are in a meeting and someone is calling you. That’s it for now.  I am really enjoying the new iPhone.