Mossberg slams Kindle — was he bitter about Newsweek exclusive?

Walt Mossberg, surprisingly slow out of the gate, has finally deigned to review Amazon.com's Kindle e-book reader. He was not kind, calling it "mediocre" and "marred by annoying flaws." He also says that Amazon "nailed the electronic-book shopping experience," which is no surprise given the success of Amazon.com, "but it has a lot to learn about designing electronic devices." Harsh words from a top reviewer who can make or break a device. Here's our question: what took him so long?

Newsweek had an glowing exclusive review from Steven Levy and New York Times tech reviewer David Pogue wrote up the Kindle soon after it was made public, but it took Mossberg more than a week to review the device. What happened? Another tech columnist told us that Mossberg "was only interested in reviewing it if he could be first. When Steven Levy got it first Walt threw a tantrum." Classy. We also hear Mossberg tried to edge out other reviewers to be first on the iPhone — but got turned down. Incidentally, I still haven't gotten any response from Amazon PR about a review unit. What's up with that? I'll be nicer than Mossberg — maybe.