Saturday, 30 June 2007

The iPhone is born

The long-awaited iPhone is finally here. Will Apple's newest wonder-gizmo live up to the hype?

(Credit: Apple.)

I'd caution anyone lacking deep pockets and the spirit of an early-adopter to buy one yet. It's not good to buy the iPhone now because...
  • It's new. It is always good to wait until the price comes down, the bugs are worked out, and the features enhanced;
  • it's pricey: at $499 for a mere 4 gigabytes of space and $599 for a mere 8, unless you've got some major showing off to do and/or plenty of money it is not worth it... yet (maybe the iPhone "nano" will be better);
  • there are plenty of strings attached, namely the fact that it only works as a phone if you have the exclusive services of AT&T (formerly Cingular — long story: in short Cingular bought AT&T wireless then baby-Bell — i.e. a former subsidiary of AT&T before it had to break up its telecom monopoly years ago — SBC bought AT&T and created the "new AT&T" which bought the other mammoth baby-Bell, BellSouth, which then purchased wireless giant Cingular);
  • it has a tiny hard-drive, plenty of bugs I'm sure, and doesn't even run on the new 3G mobile data networks yet — before I purchase any new wi-fi capable devices I am waiting for 802.11n.

    How many years until the iPhone may be ripe for the picking? Give it a few. Considering all the attention it is getting Apple may indeed lower the price, implement truly visionary functions, and do sort of what it did with the iPod as it evolved. Remember it started out as an expensive, far-from-super but still mainstream tech gadget and became a functional, user-orientated product that practically 'everyone' has. However the iPhone has received far more attention than the iPod, it is mixing up the forays it is entering (PDA/handheld PC, mobile phone, multimedia player). One thing possibly new about the iPhone — besides the fact it runs the fantastic Mac OS X operating system, albeit a mobile version — is that it is operated by the finger. That's right: goodbye styluses, and good riddance.

    (Again from Apple.)

    Ultimately I will wait two or three years for the price to go down, more function to be added, and strings to be cut until I considering making an iPhone purchase of my own. I'm due to upgrade my computer (an over two years old low-end iBook) and phone (Motorola V557, maybe a year and a half old) in less than two years, so who knows. I may end up with a MacBook Pro — an already buyable, in function and price, product — and an iPhone.

    Just as Apple's iPod revolutionized the digital music player industry for consumers, will the iPhone do the same for mobile phones and pocket computers and portable media players? We'll have to see, but it sure does look nice.

    (Last one — I swear.)


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