why i'm not lusting after an iphone (yet)


I've been an Apple early adopter since before most of my students were born. I had a 128K Mac hot off the assembly line in 1984--my father paid for half of its $2400 cost as my college graduation present.

I've owned a Mac SE, a Quadra, a Powerbook 170, a Newton (yes, a Newton!), a PowerBook 540c, an iMac, a PowerBook G3, a 17" PowerBook G4, and I currently have a 17" MacBook Pro. I owned a first generation iPod, too.

So why don't I have (or even want) an iPhone? It's not that I can't afford it--right now is actually a time when I can afford new gadgets. And it's not because I'm tied to another cellular carrier--I'm already an AT&T/Cingular customer. It's not because I don't want my phone to be more than a phone, because I do.

There are two reasons.

The first is that after over twenty years of being an early adopter of new Apple products, I'm starting to realize that the fun of being the first on the block to own the new gadget is often outweighed by the speed with which Apple releases a new, improved, and often cheaper version of that same gadget. With the MacBook Pro, I really feel that I got burned (even literally) by that. My MBP is outrageously hot (so hot that even the keyboard becomes uncomfortable to use when a graphics intensive program is running), has a loud hard drive, gets terrible wifi reception, and is significantly slower and smaller in capacity than the versions most of my colleagues are getting this year.

The second is that there are certain things I really want from my phone, and for many of those things the iPhone is currently very weak. I use my phone as an actual phone on a regular basis, and things like voice dial and quick phone number lookup/dialing aren't available on the iPhone. (On my smartphone I can simply start typing a name on the keyboard, and it pops up a list of names that's narrowed down as I continue to type.) I frequently use my phone to take photos and upload them to Flickr, and (so far as I know) there's no way to automatically upload to flickr with a single click on the iPhone (as I can with ShoZu on my smartphone), or even to send them via MMS to someone else's phone. And because I'm one of those boring business users, I love my smartphone's ability to synchronize over the air with Exchange, making not just my email but (more importantly) all my calendar events and contacts available from my phone without ever having to connect it to my computer. (I'm not holding my breath on that last item being addressed, but if it were, the iPhone would pop to the very top of my wanted list.)

There are definitely things about the iPhone that I really really covet. The beautiful screen and multitouch interface, for example. The extremely cool and very useful visual voicemail interface. But those simply aren't enough for me to give up a platform that does exactly what I need it to do from a functionality standpoint. At least not yet.


I'm hoping for GPS and an IM client, but I'm stuck with Verizon until October anyway.

Ah, yes, the IM client is another surprising omission from this version. GPS would be nice, but I suspect it will add too much bulk for Apple to seriously consider it soon.

All the more reason to wait a year, however, while Apple assesses what needs to be added and makes the guaranteed-to-be-better gen 2 or 3 iPhone. I can wait.

I continue to be an early adopter of Apple offerings. Guess I am just an iCustomer. Last Friday night I walked into our local AT&T store at 8:00 PM and purchased the iPhone. With all the hype and negative press I really did not know what to expect... To my delight the phone is everything Apple claimed. Yes there are features not included. However, the ease of use, just blows ALL phones away.

You may be interested to know that the contact list includes a favorites list. This places your special people a tap away.

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This page contains a single entry by Liz Lawley published on July 2, 2007 6:39 PM.

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