Infrastructure // PC & Servers
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6/26/2007
07:49 PM
Thomas Claburn
Thomas Claburn
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iPhone Debate: Buy Or Wait?

Friday is almost upon us and there seems to be no way to avoid the absurd iPhone hype. Just this morning I received a pitch from VeriSign's PR agency, Weber Shandwick, that posed the question, "Will the iPhone crash the Internet?" (No, apparently. The question was just to get me to read the pitch.) Resistance, it seems, it futile. So in the spirit of Stephen Colbert's Formidable Opponent segment, it's time to debate myself about the pros and cons of buying an iPhone. Feel free to join in.

Friday is almost upon us and there seems to be no way to avoid the absurd iPhone hype. Just this morning I received a pitch from VeriSign's PR agency, Weber Shandwick, that posed the question, "Will the iPhone crash the Internet?" (No, apparently. The question was just to get me to read the pitch.)

Resistance, it seems, it futile. So in the spirit of Stephen Colbert's Formidable Opponent segment, it's time to debate myself about the pros and cons of buying an iPhone. Feel free to join in.Thomas-Who-Wants-The-iPhone: The initial reviews are coming in. Walt Mossberg writes that "despite some flaws and feature omissions, the iPhone is, on balance, a beautiful and breakthrough handheld computer." David Pogue says, "Yes, the iPhone is amazing. But no, it's not perfect."

Thomas-Who'd-Rather-Wait: And a year from now, when the improved iPhone comes out, the one with a removable battery, 3G support, and Apple's iTeleportation software, you're going to want one of those. Except that you'll be trapped in your two-year AT&T contract.

Thomas-Who-Wants-The-iPhone: There's always something better next year. With that attitude, you'll never buy anything.

Thomas-Who'd-Rather-Wait: Did I mention it'll cost you $599 for the 8-Gbyte model and at least $60 per month? After Apple starts putting Flash memory in its iBooks next year, the price will probably come down.

Thomas-Who-Wants-The-iPhone: But I really want one. $599 is really only 40 weeks of tall nonfat white mochas. Maybe Starbucks will have to get by with a bit less income for a while. It's a breakthrough handheld computer ... didn't you get that?

Thomas-Who'd-Rather-Wait: Wrong. It can't copy and paste. It can't use iTunes songs as ring tones. It's not a computer. Computers are devices for creating and manipulating digital data. Computers let you install software. The iPhone is a media consumption device. It's engineered so you'll buy more content from Apple and AT&T -- the company that turned over your phone call information to the National Security Agency! I mean, the whole ring tone business shouldn't even exist. It's absurd.

Thomas-Who-Wants-The-iPhone: Are you done?

Thomas-Who'd-Rather-Wait: Er ... I could go on, but I get the sense that nothing I say will make a difference.

Thomas-Who-Wants-The-iPhone: That pretty much sums it up. Come 6 p.m. Friday, I'll be hitting the refresh button until the Apple Store loads.

Thomas-Who'd-Rather-Wait: The Zune phone is coming. You'll be sorry.

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