The apple of my eye

This is not about sports. It’s about a gadget so revolutionary that it’s captivated Americans and geeks the world over. It’s a music player. A device that connects to the WWW. A phone. It can retrieve your e-mail, play “Bourne Ultimatum,” run YouTube videos, take 2-megapixel pictures, and zoom in on Fuente Osmena using Google Earth.

Know what it is? Here’s more: It’s screen-size is the biggest of any phone: 3.5 inches wide. It was so awe-inspiring when it launched last January that tech writers have hailed it as “the most-awaited gadget in history.”

Know what it is? Impossible if you don’t. So, here it is: “Steve Jobs’ toy.” Yes, that’s what it’s called. It’s an iPod in a phone merged into a super-slim metal that’s thinner (thickness: 0.46 inch) than your 30G iPod Video.

The iPhone. Has there ever been a product that’s generated more buzz? Never. All because of one man whom I consider—right alongside Bill Gates—as the greatest tech entrepreneur of all-time, Steven Paul Jobs.

I held an iPhone. Yes. I gripped it with my 10 fingers, my two eyeballs locked at it’s art form, I wanted to hide it in my pocket and run out the door to steal it, my head kept moving left-to-right as I sat in disbelief at how sleek and sexy a body it owns.

I held an iPhone the other Wednesday. The man who carefully plucked it out of his pocket, ready for me to drool over it for the next half-hour?

Stanley Yap. If you adore those products with the “Apple” sign, then you know Stanley. Or, at least, you’ve visited his store… the iStore. It’s located at the second level of BTC and, in three weeks’ time, he’ll open a second spot at the Ayala Center Cebu.

Here’s a fact so amazing you have to hear it: The very first person to touch an iPhone in the Philippines is Stanley Yap. Here’s what happened. At 6 p.m. on June 29, the iPhone launched in the U.S. Two hours after the Apple store opened in San Francisco, the sister of Stanley’s business partner purchased an iPhone. Another two hours later, she stepped on the plane for Manila. Twelve hours or so later, the plane landed at NAIA and, within minutes, Stanley Yap was there to welcome his new baby.

The iPhone is gorgeous. There’s only one button to start the gadget. Everything else is touch screen. Stanley demonstrated it’s features. He clicked on the iPod and out popped the different album covers of his music. They’re called “Cover Flow.” He flicked his finger left, then right, exposing the different covers.

Stanley played “Prison Break.” He rotated the gadget to widescreen mode and the TV series played with amazing clarity. Unlike our Nokias and Sony-Ericssons and my Palm Treo 680—where the screen sizes are so tiny we’d damage our eyesight watching movies—on the iPhone’s 3.5-inch screen, it’s a movie pleasure.


Next, we went surfing without getting our socks wet. We checked my blog at I can actually read the text! On a phone!

Google Earth. That’s what Stanley showed next. To me, this is the best feature. With the iPhone’s Wi-Fi connectivity, Stanley typed “New York” and, within seconds, buildings in Manhattan emerged. By “pinching” the screen with two fingers, Stanley zoomed in. He typed “Starbucks” and out popped the coffee shops. He clicked on one red dot, the store’s phone number appeared and—voila—you can order a cup of Cappuccino.

Next, we typed “Cebu.” We viewed our two bridges, skimmed through Mandaue, scanned the Banilad landscape, and surveyed the greens at the Country Club golf course.

Not on a PC. Not on a laptop. But on a phone! i-Mazing.

Yet, here’s the sad news. The iPhone won’t go on sale at Stanley’s iStore. Not yet. Here in Asia, the release is scheduled for January. That’s sad. But here’s the saddest news: Come January, we’ll be P40,000 poorer. And Stanley? Smiling, checking his ever-growing bank account, watching “Prison Break” on his iPhone.

Categorized as Tech
John Pages

By John Pages

I've been a sports columnist since 1994. First, in The Freeman newspaper under "Tennis Is My Game." Then, starting in 2003, with Sun.Star Cebu under the name "Match Point." Happy reading!


  1. Hi! I am from Cebu City and a avid reader of your column in Sun Star and i would like to know if Stanley Yap iphone can be use here in Cebu, if he can use it can you help me bec. i can’t use it . Thanks

  2. Hi Dennis! I’m not sure if Stanley is able to use his iPhone to function as a phone. I know it was able to use all the other features (iPod, Google Earth, videos, etc) except as a phone. Thanks

  3. hi..i just want to ask if iphone from US (LA) would be functional here in cebu. coz im planning to have it. is there any outlet here that can make the iphone open line? thanks..

  4. Hi earl. I can unlock your iphone. Im hr now in ATLANTA for a training but il be n cebu ds april. if ur interested jus email me.

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