June 25th, 2007
So everyone is sick of hearing about the iPhone right? Well, everyone except those of us that are planning on getting one.
Recently though I’ve seen some people saying that they don’t know why I am getting an iPhone, why I’m willing to pay so much money, why I’m getting the first version, and some don’t even “understand the fuss over the iPhone”. So I thought I’d take a moment and explain why I am getting an iPhone and why I think there is so much fuss about it.
My reasons for getting an iPhone
Late last year rumors had been flying that Apple was going to be creating a mobile phone. Being a fan of every Apple product that I currently own, this piqued my interest. If my iPods, Macbook, and even my keyboard and mouse have left me a completely satisfied customer – why wouldn’t I expect a mobile phone from Apple to do the same? So I suppose the very first reason for me getting an iPhone is because it is from Apple. Call this being a fanboy if you want, but I’d like to classify this as being a happy, loyal customer of a company who builds great products.
I have not had a mobile phone since 2001-2002. Since then Eliza and I have both shared a prepaid phone that we only use sparingly, in emergencies, or Eliza has it in her purse when she’s out and about by herself. When I tell people that I haven’t had a phone for five or six years I usually get a reaction that borders on astonishment. Then, after only a few minutes, people tell me how lucky I am for not having a phone and being “connected” all the time. I concur. And my new iPhone’s number will probably only be given to a very short list of people that need to be in touch with me – and I will have strict rules as to when I answer business / personal calls. Anyone that knows my strict “social site friending rules” can probably tell you that I’ll end up living by those rules too. So I suppose not having a mobile phone for so long, and wanting to have a hand-held device that does even a fraction of what the iPhone is featuring – is my second reason for getting an iPhone.
My home phone is powered by VOIP through my local cable company. If you’ve ever called me at home, you needn’t continue reading this paragraph. Suffice to say – it is horrible. Constant cut-outs, dropped calls, “I can hear you, but you can’t hear me” moments, etc. This has been extremely frustrating since I’ve gotten this phone and I plan to get rid of it shortly after securing my iPhone. So “because my current phone sucks” could be considered my third reason for getting an iPhone.
To sum up, I could just say: “Because I need a mobile phone!” And, looking at the current market of mobile phones at the moment – there really isn’t any phones out there that come close to the iPhone. Yes, other phones have similar sets of features and some have much more to offer than the iPhone. However, I think we can all agree on the iPhone’s user-interface being vastly superior to anything out there currently and probably anything to come for quite some time.
About the price of the iPhone
So it costs like $600 USD for one of these things, right? I can understand why some would be put off by the price. To put it simply: the iPhone is an expensive gadget. Over the last several years I’ve purchased a brand new computer roughly every nine months. I do not purchase my computers on credit – so I typically save enough to buy these computers. However, as I’ve recently written, I’ve owned my current Macbook for over one year already. Sure I’d like to upgrade to the latest Macbook, but the budget doesn’t currently allow it. And being that the iPhone is almost like purchasing a mini-laptop with a phone attached – I can more than justify for the cost. Can’t I? Combine that with the fact that Apple let us know the prices for the iPhone six months ago, this made it a little easier to plan for the purchase.
Nice things cost money. Everything that I own I bought because I wanted or needed it. Some of these things might indeed cost more than their competitors and usually there is a reason for that. They’re better. I believe the iPhone is no different. In many ways, for me personally, the iPhone is better than its competitors and I am willing to pay for that.
What about the fuss? Why all the fuss?
I can see people not wanting an iPhone. I can understand why some would think the iPhone is too expensive for them. I can see being satisfied with one’s current mobile phone and carrier and not wanting to make the jump. I can also see not wanting to buy a first version gadget. What I can not fathom though, is looking at the iPhone and not “understanding what all the fuss is about”.
The iPhone’s interface alone is a huge step forward for mobile phones. The multi-touch capabilities, especially on a phone, is a giant leap forward for human / input interfaces. (Some seem to think this interface is a big deal on a table, imagine a phone!) The combining of an iPod (which is far better than the current lineup of iPods sans hard drive space), a mobile phone that seemingly is easier to use than any other phone in the industry, and a device that allows you to surf the Web using a “real” Web browser – is something that has never even been attempted. So how would there not be fuss? How can you look at the iPhone and not know that it is a device that will change the industry for the better? If the iPhone failed miserably, (perhaps because Apple can’t keep up with demand, the network sucks, who knows), it would still be good for the industry because other manufacturers are now scrambling to create similar if not better user experiences and features on their phones. This type of competition is good for everyone and especially us consumers.
I’m not a mobile phone expert. I don’t know how the iPhone stacks up against all of its competitors in terms of features and affordability. But I can say that the iPhone is already killing the competition with regards to ease-of-use, design, and attention.
I can’t wait until Friday.
Update, Tuesday: Now that AT&T and Apple have shown the rate plans and demonstrated the new way to handle mobile phone activation, I’m wondering if people will “get it” now. That is truly awesome.