Yesterday, apple made a big splash with their announcement of iPhone. Despite my generally favorable feelings towards Apple, I wasn’t really all that impressed. Frequent readers of this blog might relate this to my recent purchase of the Sony Mylo, which has many of the features of the iPhone, but lacks a touch-screen interface, bluetooth, and cellphone capabilities. Granted, that might have a little to do with it, but the vast majority is that the iPhone sufferes from the major problem that faces all convergent devices available on the market. It’s too expensive ($500-$600 w/ 2-yr service agreement) and it doesn’t reduce the number of devices I have to carry with me in my pocket.
When you add in the service agreement, the phone really costs about $750, or almost the price of an entry level laptop. Sure the iPhone is much smaller, is a phone, etc, but that doesn’t change the fact that I can get a lot more power at the same price. This leads directly to the second point.
The iPhone does not replace every device in my travel kit. On my recent trip to India, I carried the mylo, an mp3 player, the Nintendo DS, an 6mp camera, and a cellphone. The iPhone will merges the mylo and cell phone, but leaves the other devices intact. It’s not going to be as good at games and with at most 8gb of internal storage, won’t replace the mp3 player or camera. Even after buying the iPhone, I’m still carrying a bag full of devices to keep myself entertained on long trips.
One final grip is the touchscreen with out a stylus. One of the major problems with touchscreens is that I have to put my grubby hands on them. Which means they get smudged and hard to read very quickly. Since I’m a little particular about the cleanliness of my screens, I think this device would drive me nuts.
While I don’t particularly care for the device in the current incarnation, I have to say that I do like Apple’s move. I like the trend towards convergance and I think Apple’s presence is going to force the other technology providers to either lower prices or build better devices, much like what happene din the jukebox space after the announcement of the iPod. Eventually we’ll have a good, inexpensive convergant device. Apple’s entry just means we’ll get there faster.
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