As we have just finished waiting 5 hours waiting (it rained for part of the time) to get an iPhone from the Rogers store in Ottawa, I wonder again—what’s the fuss about Apple?

Click this link for a video of me and fellow TechOnline Analyst Allan Yogasingam waiting for an iPhone.

I personally have an iRiver digital music player, use a Samsung phone, own a Toshiba laptop, and download my digital music from Spiral Frog (and sometimes buy the odd CD). No Apple there.

Maybe I am a little too old fashioned in certain respects. I use the phone I have for talking to people. I am also starting to use text messaging when in a loud (or very quiet) environment. I am intrigued by smart phones as a way to surf the internet and receive emails, so I might get one eventually. Will it be Apple? Maybe–maybe not.

I view consumer electronics as a tool to help me do things, not necessarily as a fashion accessory. But in saying that, I do have colleagues who are engineers and just love Apple for the functionality, not just the form. Apple is easier to use, and (I’ve been told) breaks down far less. A Mac supposedly unlocks the user’s creative potential with good utilities for video and audio. To counteract that, there seems to be so much more freeware available for the windows environment. Many people are developing for that platform, which helps create a diversified group of software to choose from.

Now, I’m not saying I’m a Microsoft fan–far from it—but it does the job for me right now. I have frustrations with the odd blue screen of death and other issues, but I am considering Linux instead of going to all the way to a Mac.

All this leaves me with some conversation starters.

Why does Apple get all the buzz?

Does Apple make technically superior products?

Is Apple particularly innovative?

Or, is it just easier to use?

Overall, does Apple create a much better user experience?

Please let me know your thoughts on Apple as a technology company. Also, please suggest to me which Apple product I should try first, as I try to discover the famous Apple experience that several of my colleagues talk about.