Thursday, September 20, 2007
I can't be sure, but you may have heard of a little new invention called the iPhone. It might have made a headline or two a little while back. I don't have one myself, but I think it is just about the coolest phone I've ever seen. Sure, other phones have had some of the features of the iPhone for a while now, but Apple just gets it. Things are just intuitive and streamlined with all Apple products. Let me correct that....the design of Apple products isn't really intuitive because that suggests you still have to do some work. Have an iPod you want to update? Plug it into your computer and then let it do the rest.
The iPod has been the predominant mp3 player on the market since it was first released. Every now and then a new "threat" emerges and eventually fizzles out. Remember the Rhapsody player by Real Networks? I don't think they make it anymore. Microsoft's Zune? I still haven't seen one of those. And have you ever thought about what the mirror-image of Zune would be? The iPod has been so successful because of its ease of use. Not only the iPod itself, but also because of the iTunes software that not only makes it easy to buy music and movies, but also to organize these files and upload them onto your iPod. My excitement for the iPhone is largely because I expect it to revolutionize the cell phone industry and actually provide features people will use.
With all of my excitement for the iPhone, you may be asking why I don't have one. Well, the answer to this question is really in three parts. First, I generally don't pay for cell phones. Maybe I'll pay a bit for one like I have with the Razr I currently use, but I just can't bring myself to spend any substantial amount of money for a cell phone that I will inevitably drop on the ground numerous times. Secondly, I think that the storage capacity of the iPhone is too small. They've recently eliminated the 4GB model, but the only option now is the 8GB model. For all that they advertise (music, photos, movies, etc), I just don't see the iPhone being able to handle all that. Third, and perhaps most importantly, the iPhone is only available with a 2 year commitment to AT&T. I'm currently under contract with AT&T and I'm practically counting the days until I can switch.
The people that just HAD to have an iPhone when it was first released truly amaze me. These must be some of the weirdest (and ugliest) people I've seen. The obvious is that I'm amazed whenever people wait in lines for hours, if not days, for a new technological device. But beyond this, they're also completely contradictory. When it was first released, the headlines were full of quotes like "I'd pay any price" and "Worth every penney". Now that Apple has reduced the price, as what typically happens with technology, people complain and demand a refund.
My other rant in this posting is for the people that can't seem to understand that Apple only makes the phone. They have nothing to do with the wireless service. This is best evidenced by stories such as this one. In short, this guy went on vacation with his family and the roaming charges racked up a $4800 bill. They weren't even using their phones, but a feature of the phone is that it will continuously check for new emails and when you're outside the country, you'll incur roaming charges. I feel bad for them. I really do. But I can't possibly see how their lawsuit against Apple will get them a single cent. The story states that this guy "filed a lawsuit seeking class-action status in New York State Supreme Court last week, alleging that Apple did not properly disclose the international roaming charges." At the same time, the article (and common sense) would tell you that he "received a 54-page monthly bill of nearly $4,800 from AT&T Wireless." The guy feels like he was cheated. I can understand that. He feels like he wasn't informed of the consequences of simply taking the phone outside the country. I can understand that. He gets an enormous bill from AT&T and then goes and sues Apple? I just don't understand that.