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InformationWeek Daily - Monday, Nov 12, 2007

Editor's Note

Will Apple Nickel And Dime iPhone Users To Death?

You know, I'm so glad that sophisticated, cool-looking smartphones like the iPhone have replaced the clunkier, less communicative PDAs of yesteryear. Because now we can pay $50 a year to do some of the stuff that we used to be able to do for free.

At least, that was my second reaction when I found out that the iPhone was adding what to some of us is an important function: the ability to work with documents. Transmedia has launched its Web-based Glide Mobile application that allows iPhone users to create and edit Microsoft Word and Open Office documents, PDFs, and Web sites. You get 2 GB of storage for free; if that's not enough, you have to shell out This $49.95 for 12 GB.

My first reaction was: Good for them! Back in the Old Days, you had to carry around two digital devices -- a phone to make, well, phone calls, and a PDA for everything else. One of the things you could do on that PDA was to edit and create documents -- get yourself a lightweight portable keyboard to go with it, and you could get a lot of work done in trains, planes, and waiting rooms without having to drag around your notebook. However, the keyboard was the only added expense -- the word processor was usually already included with the PDA.

Okay, I admit it -- this may all be sour grapes on my part. Because I'm unwilling to pay the high maintenance price demanded of iPhone owners, I'm not one of those who gets to play with such an admittedly cool piece of technology -- especially when it finally will be able to do something I would find really useful. And unless you really expect to fill 12 GB of space with documents, you may be able to keep to the free service.

However, I would like to caution all you lucky iPhone fans to keep an eye on those nickels and dimes. A fee of $50 a year doesn't sound like a lot -- but there will be more to come, and at the end of the line, you may be paying a lot more for the privilege of owning an iPhone than you bargained for.

What do you think? Are Glide's fees reasonable? Leave a message on the InformationWeek Blog and let us know.

Barbara Krasnoff

Quote of The Day

"Money can't buy love, but it improves your bargaining position."
-- Christopher Marlowe

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