Monday, October 29, 2007

Why I didn't buy an iPhone....and why you should wait too

So today, in his best spoiled little kid voice, a co-worker tells me "I am buying an iPhone no matter what by December 25th!" I asked "Are you 5 years old?" "Yes, he is" responded another co-worker.

Seriously, a little bit of patience in this situation should prove to be prudent.

The iPhone has been marketed as a revolutionary device when in fact it is an evolutionary device. Almost every feature that has been touted on the iPhone as the latest and greatest already exists in some form on other phones. What Apple has done is taken these features, polished them up, and presented them in a very nice package.

The night the iPhone was released, I went to the Apple store and played with one for about an hour. The experience was definately intriguing and I was tempted to buy the phone; but the $600 price tag made it easy to resist. Then the price dropped and I was once again tempted, but again I was able to resist. So, how can a gadget junkie like me resist such a cool new device? Well, here are the reasons I have waited and I think you should as well.

1) Having used PDA phones with touch screens in the past, I have first hand experience at how frustrating it is to try to dial a phone when you can't feel any buttons. Many overcome this by using a Bluetooth headset and voice dialing. But @ $129, even Apple's own BT headset does not offer voice dialing. Even my $79 Q with a $30 headset supports this.

2) There's no native support for Microsoft Exchange. Being an IT Manager, my e-mail world revolves around Exchange. While you can use IMAP to sync e-mail, you won't be able to sync your calendar, contacts, notes, or tasks over the air. While you can manually connect your iPhone to your PC to sync your contacts and calendar, you will never be able to sync notes or tasks (the iPhone has no support for tasks.) Also, IMAP cannot push e-mail down, you must set the phone to check e-mail at certain intervals. Depending on the user, this could kill the battery faster than necessary by continuously checking for e-mail when no new e-mail exists. And for those used to carrying a Blackberry or Windows Mobile device with push e-mail, receiving an e-mail 15 minutes after it is sent can be thoroughly annoying.

3) There are many other smaller reasons, but I'll cut to the chase....the complete and total lack of 3G! How can you surf YouTube, browse Google Maps, search the web for movie times, or browse my blog if you're tied to a speed barely twice the speed of a dial-up modem?!?!?! Sure, there's WiFi, and that might get you by when you're at home, in the office, or Starbucks....oh wait, you have to PAY $30/month for service at Starbucks. Talking to several people with an iPhone, it's truly a painful experience surfing the web using Cingular's EDGE network.

Here's a quick list of other issues:
Stuck with Cingular
No ability to edit your own ringtones
Only 8GB of storage
No removeable battery

So, why do I say wait instead of just saying not to buy? I still have to admit that overall the device is very slick and I honestly believe that several of these issues will be resolved in the next version of the iPhone. My biggest pet peeve of all, no 3G data has already been confirmed to be in the next version rumored to be available by March of 2008. If the next version can address the three main issues listed above, I may just finally give in. Until then, I really like the HTC Tilt or the Samsung i760. Check 'em out.


Rose said...

Thanks, but no thanks. Heck I don't even own a cell phone. :)

Gabe said...

How about... "My I love Hello Kitty and Mazda Miata's Blog"

Gordon said...

Yes, I do own a Miata. No, there is no trace of Hello Kitty on my Miata or anywhere else in my life. Oh, unless you count the Hello Kitty cellphone strap of Gabe's that he placed on my office door. Cassandra's daughter thanks you Gabe.

BTW, Gabe is the "5 year old" co-worker who is going to throw a tantrum if he doesn't have an iPhone by Christmas.

Gabe said...

When does iPhone sync my contacts and calendar?
iPhone syncs your contacts and calendar whenever you connect iPhone to your computer.


Gordon said...

Yes Gabe, you should do your research. As I mentioned, when using IMAP to sync the iPhone with Exchange, it does not sync your Calendar, Contacts, notes, or tasks like native Exchange syncing does.

HOWEVER, if you don't mind not having those things up to date, the you can definately sync directly with your PC and Outlook. But that's not what I'm looking for.

Gabe said...

I am comfortable in stating 100% of the IPhone owners will have daily access to a computer... So, your #2 issue is a moot point!

The average user's calendar and contacts will only need to be updated a most once a day.

Gordon said...

You win Gabe, I'm rewriting #2 just for you.

Anonymous said...

It's interesting to see just how pervasive digital memory has become in our lives. It's like everywhere I turn, I see something with a card slot or USB jack . I guess it makes sense though, considering how much more afforable memory has become as of late...

Ahhh... who am I to complain. I can't get through a single day without using my R4 / R4i!

(Submitted on Nintendo DS running [url=]R4[/url] Fling)