Why I'm Not Getting an iPhone
Tue Jun 26, 2007 7:06PM EDT
The iPhone hype is so intense right now, I think people will be buying this phone based on hype alone. I mean, is the phone really that great? Our duty is to keep you informed regarding details we come across, so the more I read about the iPhone, the less I want it.
At a glance, the device looks fantastic, features sound fun, and there's no doubt this phone is the "it" phone this year. But realistically, would you pay $500-$600 for any other phone? Like many of you, I'm still debating whether to buy an iPhone or not, so I've compiled a list of cons (since the pros are obvious) just to give myself a reality-check come Friday night.
* Price/Storage: Probably the biggest reason to wait is the price.The iPhone will retail in stores for $500 (4GB) and $600 (8GB) — AND you still have to sign a new two-year agreement. Don't expect this phone to replace your iPod either. The top-of-the-line $600, 8GB iPhone only holds 2,000 songs, and only a handful of videos and full-length movies. I also don't understand why you have to buy the iPhone at full price, and still sign a two-year contract. You could easily get a comparable phone actually running on a 3G network like a Treo 750 for $199 with a two-year contract, or an 80GB video iPod for almost half the price.
* Plans: What's really bothering me about this is AT&T is playing into all this hype too, forgetting about its customers. I called AT&T today to find out more details about switching carriers, and the rep was clueless. Come on guys, we needed pricing details about a month before the phone went on sale so we could estimate costs. Why is the company being so secretive? We know the phone is launching on Friday, and we know what it does. So why did it wait so long to reveal service plans? At least now we know getting an iPhone isn't going to be cheap. Chris Null outlined the cost of each service plan, the cheapest plan being $60/mo for 450 minutes. He says that in two years, you'll end up paying close to $2,000 for service alone. Plus there is that $36 activation fee, and a two-year contract on top of that. Those who already have an AT&T account can expect to pay an additional $20-$30 for the "iPhone plan" which includes Visual Voicemail, 200 SMS text messages, and unlimited data since there is no voice-only plan. And if you think you can get the iPhone to use without service, think again. Apple's web site says a two-year agreement is required for iPhone activation including iPod features.
* Network: Surprisingly, the iPhone does not run on a third-generation (3G) network, instead it runs on the slower EDGE network. Forbes thinks Apple opted for the slower network because AT&T's EDGE coverage spans across 13,000 cities and towns nationwide, compared with only 165 major U.S metro areas that have 3G coverage. It also brings up another excellent point. Since 3G devices are interchangeable between faster and slower networks, why did Apple still choose EDGE? Other AT&T smartphones like Samsung's BlackJack and Treo 750 run on 3G, and for what I understand AT&T is slowing moving away from EDGE. So perhaps a second- or third-generation iPhone will have 3G capability. And while the iPhone may have Wi-Fi capabilities, realistically, looking for a hotspot when you're out can be a challenge, unless you pay an extra $10 for T-Mobile access at Starbucks.
* First Generation: A geek's rule of thumb is to never get a first generation gadget. Apple is one of the few companies that revamps its products at such a quick pace, that in this case, they actually make it quite bearable to wait for the second revision. Look at all the improvements they've made on iPods and MacBooks. It may seem like waiting for a new iPhone will be an eternity, but I bet it'll be a matter of months before we see a better, faster version.
* Long Lines: I love technology as much as the next guy, but no gadget is worth standing in line days in advance for, not even the iPhone. People have already started to line up, and some are even betting real money that someone will get trampled. I would add getting shot at, beaten, mugged, and possibly being hospitalized to the list.
On top of all the above reasons, there's still some doubts about about the lack of keyboard, inability to sync with corporate internal email systems, and battery life. So lets get this straight. We're expected to pay for an overpriced phone, an expensive service plan, sign a new two-year contract, and still wait in line hoping to get one? No thanks.