iPhone: High Priced Tech Toy?

January 12, 2007

There was a collective buzz of excitement following the latest Apple news delivered by CEO Steve Jobs this past week. Apple has now released the latest iPod, which is actually a phone with ipod capability, the “iPhone”. This gadget incorporates many daily essentials into just 1 handheld device. It has the capability to store mp3/digital music, play videos, connect to email and the internet, capture photos, and yes, even make phone calls.

Apple enters into smart new territory, the cell phone arena. A news report the other night noted how many million people have ipods, but many many more people own cell phones. So the move is brilliant, although it will make for a costly purchase for consumers which may cause many to hold off on this item, self included. The price range for the phone will be set at $500 to $600. There will be 2 versions, a 2 gigabyte version or a 4 gigabyte version. 4 gigabytes isn’t much in terms of music storage at this point. They make iPods right now which store 80 gigs of songs/videos/photos. To put it in perspective, 80 gigabytes gives storage fir roughly 25,000 mp3 songs on one hand-held music player. 2 gigs or 4 gigs gives you 500-2000 songs, but you have to keep in mind if you plan to store more data than that (such as movies, photos, etc), you need storage gigabytes. Overall the concept and design of the iPhone definitely gives it a cool futuristic look that will make it an addition to many people’s daily routines. Many tech geeks and savvy business consumers will have to be the first to have it.

It may be smart to wait on this new tech toy; Several reasons here; first the price should become more competitive. $500 to $600 is what kids are paying for Xbox 360’s and PS3’s. Obviously if you can afford and have to have the item, do so, but I’d always recommend buying a $600 Mac Mini computer over a cell phone. It’s just a smarter buy for all that you get out of it. More importantly, this will be the first version of the iphone released. Nobody’s really tested one yet or had a chance to complain about its shortcomings. Rushing out to buy the newest toy can often spell disaster, because it is unchartered territory. The iPhone may function great as a music player and internet communicator but fail miserably as a phone, which is what it’s billed as. It’s also so futuristic that it doesn’t have standard cell phone buttons, it’s fully touch screen. This is worrisome in terms of how quickly the item may break or the screen wears down from finger tapping and pressing. Another consideration is that Apple may be moving to make this compatible with its line of computers. Apple made the iPod compatible with both PCs and MACs, but if the iPhone starts incorporating software, why would Apple want Microsoft compatible with it? If the iPhone does move into “PDA territory”, MAC could gain many users but the iPhone would limit those who are strictly PC users. Finally, right now you are restricted to only using Cingular cell phone service with this item. Until there are more providers available it limits people who are under contract with other companies, which love when people quit, because it means a nice fat fee for leaving early.

All the pros & cons aside, the device looks exciting and slick, almost as if straight off the set of a new Star Trek movie. It allows for sending photos you take or store on the iPhone to your friends by email. It also has a smart keyboard built in so when you type messages/emails etc, it will spell-check or correct common errors. Just wait until they make it control your home TV, set the room temperature and automatically order take out food. It appears the true future of communication and technology is definitely upon us. View Apple’s iphone here