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Archive for the ‘iPhone’ Category

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Sorry I haven’t written in awhile! I’ve been busy over the Christmas season – but anyways, I have time now for about a 10 minute quickie commentary on the new iPhone by Apple.

If you’ve been keeping up w/ the news, there’s a lot of hype surrounding this phone. Believe me, I love macs myself, and I’m typing on one now, but I try to be pretty objective. I saw apple’s site about this iPhone, and the demonstrations are impressive if not mindblowing. I couldn’t help thinking “now this is a true smartphone, what a phone SHOULD be!”

I’m not going to bother you with the tech specs of this phone, b/c a million other websites probably do that by now.

But here are some questions you should ask before you think about if you want to shell out $499 (for the 4gb) or $599 (8gb) for the iPhone. Ask yourself:

1.  What are the features I really need in a smartphone? It looks like to you that you might want to use every feature, but get realistic. Do you really schedule your appts in your Mac now? If not, the calendar feature won’t be of any use, b/c you probably won’t do it on your Mac to sync it over to your iPhone. How does it handle to do lists or memos (both of which exist in Palm)? I didn’t see any presentation on that. I’m a major to-do list guy, I get nothing done without a good to do list with alarms. Can I enter one on the fly into the iPhone? Does it even have a To Do list? What about reading/editting Word docs? Palm does that, so does Windows. But the word is, iPhone will not have it. I mean, will Microsoft make an iPhone version of Office for them? I doubt it. Do you read ebooks? I do – a lot. Will the iPhone have an ebook reader natively installed? I hope so, b/c you can’t download and use one. The word on the street is that it will not support 3rd party apps, at least for now, so don’t count on some company stepping up to the plate to fill some functional gaps. So if having mobile office is important to you, iPhone may not be for you, unless you want to carry a separate PDA with it.

2.  Do you have the money? Did you count the hidden costs? What I mean by this is that just b/c you have $499, it doesn’t mean that you’re set to bring this iPhone home. First of all, how much is Cingular going to charge you? You will probably need to buy a new plan that includes a data plan so that you can access the internet – otherwise, what’s the use of an iPhone? So I guess that will be around an extra $40 per month (just a guess). That will mean an extra $480/year. Also, if you already have a cell plan w/ another mobile carrier, say Verizon, you will have to pay a cancellation fee of $250. Then, on top of that, you will probably want to buy a new nice case to protect your baby. Another $20-30. Then for you really careful guys, you will want maybe insurance? (yes, there are insurance companies out there that cover electronics/computers for accidental coverage – search ‘insurance’ in my blog, I’m too lazy to look it up). That will be more $/year. Total that up, and that’s the real cost of ownership, you do the math.

3.  What if you accidentally drop it and don’t have insurance? or stolen? or plain lose it? Self-explanatory, call me a pessimist… then you’re out loads of cash.

4.  Will another smartphone do the job for me for cheaper? For example, windows smartphones can do pretty much all that the iPhone can do in terms of functionality (minus the easy gestures w/ your fingers on the iPhone). Read about it here. I don’t know much about windows mobile, but I’m not sure if windows mobile can multitask, so that’s something to consider. Palm on the other hand, can’t multitask at all! They are so behind (yes, I own a palm myself) but they are banking on the Linux platform to save them, but no news about them in awhile, so I’m not sure how the development is going on that. I need to stop, I’m geeking out, not helping the average joe.

5.  Will the first edition of iPhone be stable enough? If you’ve followed the MacBook, or any new invention or major release software, you’ll know that the first release is always a bit buggy. MacBook and the MacBook Pro had some heating issues and other minor glitches (just google “macbook problems”). Also, the second edition of the MacBook Pro is much better, and less buggier – problems fixed. Problems that they probably knew about upon the first release. I’m not bashing Apple on this, it’s just expected for the first release of anything.

6.  Can this multifeatured iPhone not fall to early obsolescence? What I mean is, with all its bells and whistles, how long will it last? The rule of thumb for mechanical/electrical devices is that the more features it has, the more it’s prone to break down. For ex., how long will that nifty touch screen last? Will it be just as sensitive and responsive after 2 years? Something to think about. It’s made in China by the way (I heard), but then so are their laptops.

7.  Lastly, how long is the battery life? How long do I need it to be and how will it impact my routine? My guess is about 4-5 hours. But if you plan to use it a lot to watch movies and surf the web, I expect significantly less, perhaps 2 to 3? Is the battery replaceable? (I heard that it’s not, at least not unless you want to take it apart!). What if you don’t have your charger, and you need to make that crucial phone call? Even if you have your charger, uh, what if you are in a place with no outlet? It happens to me and my Palm at times.

    I hope this brings you down to earth before it comes out in May/June ’07 so that you don’t just shell out $$ because you just found yourself drooling for it.

    Whew, this was long, I think I might take another month long break!

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