To be honest, I thought it was an absolute joke. I was on Cingular/AT&T with some type of Samsung Flip phone, and it was a good phone. You have to remember that in 2005-07, the PDA market was starting to stall out and the big talk back then was "city-wide WiFi". I still didn't have an appreciation for what cellular data plans would become. Moreover, if you told me that average consumers would willfully pay $30 a MONTH just to get a bastardized version of the web on their phone (again, like there was on PDA's and BlackBerry), I'd have thought you were nuts.
Little did I know that Apple would popularize an entire new market of "must-have" products. They just have a talent for taking technology that isn't exactly revolutionary or cutting edge, but simple and attractive enough for the masses to use.
I'm a 30-year old attorney, and like many people my age, I'm fairly well versed in computers, etc. Nothing brings home the brilliance of Apple for me better than seeing 40, 50, and 60-something men and women pull out their iPhones with pride because it make them feel like they're a "techie" just to talk about it.