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Technology

iPhone Schmi-phone

Did a new phone get released last month ? I can’t say I saw any of the publicity what with all the fanfare and hype that surrounded the emergence of the Apple iPhone.

This caused near-hysteria and stories of lines outside various Apple and Cingular (now the new AT&T) stores.

I admit that I watched the How-To video that Apple released on what the iPhone was capable of and thought for a moment as to whether I was going to have to go to the finance committe (Mrs Ravelox) with a plea for cash.

There’s a number of things that attract me to it. In particular the style-over-substance approach that has been Apple’s trademark for quite a while. It’s a cool accessory to have. For the moment. Until the next thing comes out.

Apple claims to have revolutionised the phone. If there’s one thing that Apple does well, it’s UIs. Using the KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) principle, they win hands down every time but what does the iPhone offer me that I don’t already have ?

For as long as I can remember, I am a hard and fast supporter of “One device, one function”. To this day, I don’t like an MP3 player in my phone. I don’t want to take pictures with my phone ( unless it’s for an insurance claim ). The only concession to this is that I purchased a Treo 680. I had a Dell Axim x50v which I used for contacts and calendaring and came to the realisation that it made little sense to carry a phone and a PDA at the same time.

I already have a 30Gb iPod. It works really well ( aside from the DRM issues ) and is smart and compact. This was an “upgrade” from a 40Gb Creative Zen Xtra that just didn’t have the accessory support any Apple product seems to have.

So the points that stop me from buying this product are:

  1. No current unlocking strategy. I’m European. I’d like to be able to use the phone if I travel back there without the hideous roaming charges. I can’t change the SIM in the iPhone like I can in the Treo.
  2. 8Gb is not enough for an MP3 collection especially if you’re going to be storing photos as well.
  3. No ability to load other applications. There is a burgeoning Palm software market based on the fact that you can do just that on Palm devices.
  4. High price point. The stories at the moment is that it costs $200+ for the hardware components. So, that’s $299 or $399 in software cost recovery ( plus any standard Apple mark-up ). Time will tell, as people use the devices, whether that investment is warranted.

As much as I’d like to have this as the fashion accessory it so obviously is, I don’t see that it trumps anything I have today.

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