June 24, 2008

Why I won't be buying a new iPhone.

Because, I know you guys were all wondering.  ;)

  1. The 2-year contract.  I've never had a 2-year contract in my life.  For anything.  My college was semester to semester.  Heck, my marriage didn't last a year.  Being locked into a $30 data plan + whatever the calling plan is - per month - for the next 24 months.  You realize that is over $700 - *just for the data plan!* - and that's not counting the $199 for the phone itself.  In the end, it will cost more than $1000 for the iPhone.  To put that in perspective - I pay $10 a month for my phone now.  The data plan alone - (keep in mind, there's a voice plan to be added here too) - would cost me almost $500 more over the next two years.  And, right now, I can cancel at any time with no ETF.
  2. There are better phones.  That's right, you heard me.  There are *BETTER* phones.  The key word being "PHONE".  The iPhone is this weird jack-of-all-trades / master-of-none device.  It's not a very good phone.  I don't want a slippery phone.  I don't want a smudgable phone.  I don't want a phone that I can't blind-dial.  I don't want a phone that I can't swap the battery out of.  I don't want a phone I can't swap the SIM out of.  I don't want a $200 phone that can't voice dial.  Then there's the lack of MMS, the lack of external storage, the lack of copy and paste for crying out loud...  It's not a very good phone.
  3. There are better pocketable internet devices. The Nokia Internet Tablets kick the iPhone's ass when it comes to pocketable Internet.  Let me prove it in one word.  FLASH.  Yeah.  Real desktop Flash - on a device that has a much higher resolution screen, with a physical keyboard.  I owned an N800 for almost a year, and it rarely was far away from me.  And that model didn't have a keyboard.  But it did have a 800 x 480 screen, a real AJAX/Flash capable browser, (there was never a site I couldn't use/view on my N800 - and I use Google Docs, Blogger, and YouTube a lot).  Tons of open source software (that didn't have to be approved by Steve Jobs, or anyone else - other than ME, to work on MY device).  It did USB in and out - BlueTooth, FM radio, a much faster processor, 2 SD slots...  The newer models have all that, plus GPS, plus a physical keyboard.  And the new Pandora (the reason I don't have my N800 anymore) will be even more powerful processor, game controls, and the convenient no-in-pocket-accidental dialing clam-shell design.
  4. There are better media players.  The iPod Touch comes to mind.  It doesn't have a monthly fee.  But there are also things like the N8x0 series I was talking about.  Or the Archos PMPs.  Something with removeable (read:unlimited/upgradable) storage.  Something with a bigger screen.  Something that can play anything.  But, seriously, if you just want the iPhone for it's media potential - get the iPod Touch.  You'll pay more upfront (now) - but that's all you'll pay.  Plus, it's thinner, and you can get more storage.  Plus, you can afford to buy a descent phone to go with it.
  5. There are better smartphones.  Ok - you want an all-in-one.  You don't want a phone and an internet device.  Get a BlackJack II.  Get a BlackBerry.  Get an EnV.  Get something that will work as a modem.  (I really can't believe the 3G iPhone still won't let you BlueTooth pair with another device for Wireless Internet.  I should be able to pair the iPhone up with my MacBook and go online.)  Get something that will copy & paste - (that is insane - that's GUI 101 - that's features the most basic computers back in the 1980s had).  Get something that can open Office documents and PDFs!  Get something with a physical keyboard.
  6. There are better media phones.  This might be harder to prove. but that's just because I'm not a big media phone guy.  But to me, external storage is a given.  To me, video recording is a given.  To me, a decent camera is a given.  To me, MMS is a given.
  7. There are better GPS devices.  Like say, um, any dedicated GPS device.  And many GPS enabled phones.  Voice recognition is pretty key here.  Being big enough to see while mounted in a car is too.
There it is.  Seven reason I won't be buying an iPhone.  To sum all those up - I don't have to have every little thing crammed into one device.  I could have gone on - there are better digital cameras - there are better camera phones - there are better tablet devices - etc.  But the main thing is - the iPhone tries to be everything but doesn't do anything very well.  If I wanted to get the coolest phone - if I could only have one electronic device for the rest of my life - I might pick the iPhone.  It's good if you don't have anything else with you.  But I'd have more with me.  I plan on getting a Pandora and keeping my camera phone, and I'll be good to go.  I also have my MacBook, DS Lite, Eee PC, and PSP Slim if I ever need more power or more games.

That said - if anyone wants to give me their unlocked jailbroken iPhone, or an iPod Touch - I'll be happy to take it off your hands.  Everything is better when its free. :)
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