should i buy an iphone?


I’ve been on the fence for a while about one of these but it’s renewal time at AT&T and if there was ever a perfect time for me to pull the trigger, it’s now.   The only problem is I abhore change;  I love my current Samsung A717 clamshell and the idea of joining the Cult-Of-Mac makes me a little gunshy.  So, I’ll open the floor to all Darth Mojo reader – after all, you guys are my conscience, my moral compass and my most trusted advisors.  Today, you can be my financial planners.  Should I or shouldn’t I?  I’ll even turn off the comment approvals for this one!  ‘Ave at it and either talk me into – or out of – an iPhone 3GS!

59 Responses to “should i buy an iphone?”

  1. 1 J. W.
    August 5, 2009 at 4:34 am

    Give the Palm Pre a look. It can do everything an iPhone can and a bit more. And you can cook up your own apps if you’ve the inclination, or head over to PreCentral.com for a look around the ‘homebrew’ apps that are currently available.

    And yes, I do have a Pre and I love it better than my ‘old’ iPhone!!

  2. 2 J. W.
    August 5, 2009 at 4:35 am

    Ooooo, and I claim firsties!!! Schweet!!!!

  3. August 5, 2009 at 4:39 am

    Get a Palm Pré, not an iPhone

  4. August 5, 2009 at 5:29 am

    I have to disagree with those saying to get a Palm Pre; but that’s because I can’t in good faith recommend getting a crippled phone that will only work on Sprint or Verizon (versus a GSM phone that will work on any other carrier in the world).

    Until a few weeks ago, I would have wholeheartedly recommended the iPhone. But the recent tales of AT&T rejecting apps for the iPhone (that they allow on the Blackberry and other devices) doesn’t feel right to me.

    But that’s a carrier problem, not a phone one. If you have no problems sticking with AT&T, then by all means get one. :)

  5. August 5, 2009 at 5:31 am

    I don’t know when I’m buying my next iPhone, but the next phone I buy will be an iPhone. This is after 15 years spent with a dozen or so phones looking for the right one. The iPhone does it, and does it better than anything that precedes it. Are the Pre and Google phones contenders? I suppose. But they’re not there yet, and I spent YEARS listening to ‘it’ll do XX eventually’ and not having it happen. The iPhone does what I need now, does it better than anything else I’ve tried, and has done it for years.

    Just looking at the additional functionality my 1st gen phone can do now that it couldn’t do when I first bought it. No one else has that continually improving already sold stuff thing that Apple does.

    Course, now will come the gnashing and point making from the other camps. Doesn’t much matter to me. _My_ needs are met.

  6. 6 _pole
    August 5, 2009 at 5:34 am

    The iPhone is terribly overrated and too expensive. And it’s for “cool” people (read: it makes people cool). So YOU definitely don’t need one.

    Apple is so pseudo alternative and restricting in the usability of their products. I wouldn’t give them a cent.

  7. 7 doubleofive
    August 5, 2009 at 5:40 am

    My wife has an iPhone and I have an iPod Touch, and I have to say its truly like a handheld computer more than it is a smart phone. The WiFi really helps when you’re just at home using it. Being tied to AT&T is the only problem really, but how big a problem that is is up to you.

  8. August 5, 2009 at 6:35 am

    I am lucky enough to have an iPhone through work.

    I will never go back to other phones.


    And I’m a Windows developer. I don’t own a Mac.

    Just saying.

  9. August 5, 2009 at 6:47 am

    I love my iPhone and I despise my iPhone with seething passion. I love it’s UI, I love how using it as an outboard brain is fun and intuitive; booking appointments, setting reminders, using it for work tracking and such is Really Nice.

    Synching it is like very slowly crushing one’s balls in a desk drawer full of staple removers, though. iTunes on a PC is a dog – a sick dog. Synching is slow, managing Lots of Apps is horrible, and having to prat about with juggling music into and out of the thing is pure agony. Being able to play C64 SID files off it makes up for that a little bit, though.

    With the way the App store is running, the Apple hostility to non-iTunes third party apps and such, I don’t feel like I own the device – Steve Jobs is just letting me borrow it a while under strict injunctions not to do anything non-Apply with it. That bit really does bug me.

  10. August 5, 2009 at 7:00 am

    Get the iPhone. I only have an iPod touch (I’m a passionate PC user), but I love the touch. Mostly because of all the fantastic apps. Just recently they released Monkey Island for example.

    Also I second Andrews comment. I’m from Germany, but currently in Australia. I’m able to use my phone here, access the Internet to get bus routes and times, etc. Just today I met a Canadian, who couldn’t use her phone here and would have to buy a new one just for her holidays.

    So if you ever plan to leave the US and would like to use you’re phone in the other country, buy a GSM phone. The chances it will work are simply better.

  11. 11 John C. Sheetz
    August 5, 2009 at 7:11 am

    I say get the iPhone. I am up in December and I am salivating at the chance to grab one of these. As mentioned my only real issue is staying with AT&T but I’ve been with them for 13 years (even through the horrible Cingular days) so I might as well continue. But back to the phone I was a PChead from Commodore to Windows ME and always sat behind my editor with his Mac and loving on it. I have over the last 3 years switched EVERYTHING over to Mac and will never go back. So take that into consideration when I tell you get the iPhone!!! ;-)

    Oh and one quick plus on AT&T (which I can’t believe I’m saying). I was camping up in the Sierra Mountains last weekend just below 4,000 feet out in the middle of nowhere and the only phones to our amazing surprise that worked were AT&T. We had a line of people around us wanting to text or call family and friends. So chalk one up for AT&T.

  12. 12 Diorama
    August 5, 2009 at 7:14 am

    There’s a little game on the iPhone that may be of interest to Mojo and the reader of this blog…

    Diroama: The first stereoscopic 3D game for the iPhone !

    See it here: http://www.dromsynt.com/diorama/

    (it uses the same bicolor glasses)

  13. 13 Colonial Warrior
    August 5, 2009 at 7:30 am

    I’m the same way, not a big fan of change especially if what is working is doing what I want it to do in the first place. I really am not into texting at all. Really don’t like getting text messages on a phone and not everyone abbreviates words properly so at times that can be confusing and lets not get into the texting while driving issue/debate. If you have a phone and you call a phone you can leave a voicemail soo much faster and it uses far less battery energy. Wow what a novel Idea actually talking on a phone who would have thought..

    Personally I tend to steer clear of most products that begin with I-this or I-that. But, that’s just a choice of mine. I see it as just an I-FAD.

    I have the Sony-Ericson with AT&T and it has worked rather well from day one. Granted my phone doesn’t have one of those large fancy screens on it for watching movies etc, then again I actually only use my phone as just a plain old phone and one charge will last about the whole weekend ( ok so I did put the Trek Communicator beep in as a ringtone but it’s fun watching the mundanes I work with turn and watch as I get a call..) Yes mine is a flip phone as well.

    The nice thing though is that I get coverage everywhere. I have yet to find any spot that I could not call out or receive calls in. I’ve watched many of my friends and co-workers have to leave buildings etc just to get a signal on their Iphones. So there’s that consideration for ya to mull over as well. One poor guy I’ve watched several times will go to the outside break area get on a chair and hold his Iphone up in the air and then look to see if he can get a signal.. ( hey I said I work with alot of mundanes..)

    _pole is correct though it’s what the cool people think is cool ( right now..) basically you need to just do the research compare prices, ability, plans vs what you need it to do. Since your life is more visually oriented I would consider a phone with the best camera built in first and foremost thats just a guess at some of the snapshots that you’ve put up on the blog here ( oh yes they are some cool clean snapshots by the way). You do not strike me as the sort that has alot of time to sit around with their phone and play games/watch movies. Why strain yourself trying to watch these things on such a small screen anyhow.

    Whatever you decide I’m sure it’ll be the best for you. Just let us know what your final decision is. Now that you’ve piqued our curiosity.

  14. 14 The Hey
    August 5, 2009 at 7:39 am

    I love my iPhone. I’ve had the 3G and through circumstances I was able to upgrade to the 3GS which is even better with the video (albeit with little resolution but looks fine on YouTube) and the much faster processing power.

    I have been able to check my e-mail, check the weather, listen to music and even catch up on some TV episodes I missed all on the same device.

  15. August 5, 2009 at 7:58 am

    As far as I’m concerned, moving up to the iPhone is equivalent to getting a cellphone in the first place. You can’t see how you managed to live without it.

    The only caveat I would put out there is that the Apple/AT&T deal is up next year, and Apple is *not* happy with AT&T due to their network problems–the speed sometimes boggs down (I suspect that’s the real reason behind the bandwidth-heavy apps getting axed.) So, it might be good to wait a few months and see what happens there. (Easy for me to say since I’m on an original iPhone and my contract is about up.)

  16. 16 Greg
    August 5, 2009 at 8:07 am

    HAHA, Palm Pre dudes, funny.

    Recently Palm got into hot water with Apple for having the Pre be identified by your computer as an Apple product when connecting via USB. Stupid, yes…

    I don’t have an iPhone, I have a 2nd Gen iPod Touch, and love it. The App store is the bomb.

    I’d recommend apple for portable devices over any other company for ease of OS use, form, and incredible value. I’m also very curious to see what Google has to offer with Google Voice, and the App Store rejection of the Google Voice app has me worried. I wouldn’t compare the Pre to the iPhone, I’d try to eek out what Android will offer over the iPhone in the near future.

  17. 17 R.S.
    August 5, 2009 at 10:38 am

    I’ve used various PDA and smart-phones from Windows, Blackberry and Palm over the past 10 years. With every single one of them I always thought it was an okay device but not really what I wanted.

    I got an iPhone back in November. I have not regretted a single penny of the cost, nor have I regretted making the switch. I love this device. It’s completely changed my life in ways I would have never expected. And I’m serious about that.

    For the record, I was an Apple-hater prior to the iPhone. Taking the step of buying the iPhone was almost painful due to my hatred of all things Apple. They did a damned good job.

    Still not a huge fan of Apple and AT&T, but I love the iPhone.

    Also, in my company about 15 people have switched from various devices (Blackberry, WinMobile, etc.) to iPhone. Every single one of them have been happy from day one with the iPhone.

    My recommendation – get an iPhone.

  18. 18 Ms. Peel
    August 5, 2009 at 10:47 am

    I’ll try not to rant and just suggest something else for you :)

    I looked at a lot of different mobiles and was happy to get something much less expensive, with an ingenious ‘tactile’ touch screen [which I don’t think any other mobiles have] plus it isn’t an iphone- which made it especially appealing.

    When everyone has ‘awesome’, nothing is awesome anymore, it’s just conformity. I don’t care if the iphone can make me coffee when I get up in the morning, my top priorities are access to my email and being able to call people.

    Mobiles are for convenience and emergencies. They aren’t there to take over your life. I lived just fine without one for ages, so I don’t subscribe to the ‘how did I ever live without this’ idea. I have one now because since I spend more time at work than I do at home and cannot afford to miss calls or email any longer.

    And now, a little sarcasm-
    If you do get an iphone, just remember that the whole point of them is to get as many applications for it as humanly possible, since there is some kind of facebook-like competition going on for who has the most- so don’t forget to get the one called ‘dial numbers and talk to people’, it might be the most useful one you get.



    My suggestion? get a Blackberry. It’s different. I got the Storm, and it’s great.
    Yes you can get apps for it, watch video, tv, music, play games, whatever [emphasis on the ‘whatever’]. I got it because it’s a lovely mobile, came with a GPS so I wouldn’t get lost [yes, that was important], it’s less expensive and it isn’t what everybody else has.

    Remember apple’s ‘think different’ campaign? I believe in that and I try to make my purchasing decisions based on my needs and not what the latest must-have thing is.

    Good luck in choosing a phone- and oh yeah, whatever you end up getting, just remember to turn it off at the cinema.

    Ok, maybe that counts as a little ranting ;)

  19. 19 Josh
    August 5, 2009 at 11:58 am

    I’m also in the same situation, but I’m on with Verizon, and my plan is up next month. I like the iphone but I don’t know that I want to switch over to AT&T. Any good Verizon phones?

  20. 20 Jono
    August 5, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    Go Android!

    With all the new Android handsets and netbooks coming out Android is gonna kick iPhone’s butt.

    I recently got an HTC Magic and love it.

    I also have an iPod Touch, which is what convinced me to not get an iPhone. It’s nice, but I abhor the Apple lockin.

  21. August 5, 2009 at 12:35 pm

    I’m on my second iPhone (just got a 3GS to replace my original iphone), just so my biases are out in the open. The main thing to consider is why do you want a smartphone? Of the good platforms (iPhone, Blackberry, Android and WebOS/Pre) there are strengths and weaknesses. Except for Windows Mobile, which is complete trash, even though HTC makes nice handsets! I happen to think that the iPhone is the best for my needs and has the greatest user experience overall. I’ve also made quite the commitment to the platform via all the money I’ve spent on apps, many of which I now depend on daily. I’d only go Blackberry if you have to and someone else deals with supporting it, because its a real PITA. Android is great if you live in the Google ecosystem (and only have 1 active Google account) and the Pre is great if you’re really, really into texting and IM (not to say that the other platforms are bad at it, but that’s where the Pre excels).

    My advice, go play with some handsets and see which ones you like. Don’t talk to anyone evangelizing any of the platforms, because they’re just going to show you what works for them, and they’re not you!

  22. August 5, 2009 at 12:50 pm

    I if you think you would use some/most of the bells and whistles (which are pretty cool) I’d say go for it.

    I have a touch and love it (mostly), but I personally would not want it as a phone. I like my phone to do only two things, make and receive calls. But that’s a personal opinion, many of my friends have iphones and love them.

    Just remember, it’s not the only option.


  23. 23 supes
    August 5, 2009 at 1:23 pm

    I’m switching to Android. I have an iPhone and I’m bored to tears with it. Plus everyone has one so it’s definitely not cool. Android is up and coming. Sit tight… it’s going to be big.

  24. 24 andywhitto
    August 5, 2009 at 5:24 pm

    i too was facing this decision a few weeks ago and i have to say, i LOVE my iphone.
    It has more than paid for itself so far and i have only had it for about 6 weeks!

    We got lost on a day out – my iphone found where we were and plotted a way home for us to follow – almost as good as a sat nav (which is also coming on the app store from TOM TOM).

    I LOVE texting on it, since i text more than call i was worried about the touch screen, i had an LG Touch and it was awful, couldnt stand using it, menus so slow and laggy, just awful. But i can type now on iphone almost as fast as i can type on a keyboard, especially with landscape keyboard incase of fat fingers.

    Camera has great quality, although not great in darker areas..

    Suprised aswell by how light and compact it feels, alot of people call it a brick – well its like half (if not more) as thin and light as all the other smart phones.

    Like others said above, it really is like having a comp on the go.

    I read all my mail on it, browse the web (on wifi it surfs almost as fast as my comp!), i play games on it, i watch videos, listen to music, im never off it basically.

    Battery life is great aswell, people say its really crap but for what it is doing i think the battery lasts a great amount of time. Especially since the phones not fat and heavey.
    I charge mine everyday, but after 2 weeks the batt really does get better and lasts longer (charges faster too).

    If i just listen to some music, text people and maybe go on few apps and surf for a bit, i have like 50% left at the end of the day. If you use the apps for longer periods of time, or call alot etc prob will have to charge dailey, but not exactly huge prob – leave it on overnight!
    In all my other phones i would browse for like 10 min and the battery would be half gone, where with my iphone 10 min of browsing would prob loose 7-8% of battery.

    This is for the 3GS by the way, anyway, get it, you wont regret it. And its not that expensive considering the price of the other smart phones out there.
    Also, the palm pre is a great phone too, but i did extensive research on both to decide which to get and iphone wins by quite a few things, but if not iphone deff go for pre, if you can go for iphone deff get that!!

  25. 25 toddmcw
    August 5, 2009 at 8:49 pm

    I feel uniquely qualified to answer your request, because the following is true..

    Throughout my adult life I’ve kept a current “Top 3 List” of pieces of advice or words of wisdom that I would offer without hesitation to anyone and that I absolutely guarantee. My list has served me well, and anyone who has acted upon one of my “Top 3″ recommendations has always expressed their gratitude afterward.

    My Top 3 Nuggets of Wisdom are as follows…

    1. Kisses are taken, never asked for.
    2. Watch Battlestar Galactica (the new one) and Arrested Development.
    3. Get a Mac or iPhone.

    I believe the iPhone is the most outstanding technical achievement of mankind. Furthermore, I am so convinced of the metaphysical certitude of my contention that I predict you will thank me personally by sending me a custom rendering of both the old school and new school Battlestars Galactica traveling side-by-side (for my desktop background on my 30” monitor).

    Seriously, if you are happy with AT&T coverage in you area then the iPhone is really a no-brainer… The phone itself is great.. But, the iPhone’s true competitive advantage is the App Store. Be careful, the iPhone can be a gateway drug. You’ll be buying a MacBook Pro next.

  26. 26 Michael Llaneza
    August 5, 2009 at 9:06 pm

    The iPhone is a great phone. The interface is superb, the virtual keyboard works wonders. It’s extremely handy to have around. AT&T can really bite, their network is badly oversubscribed and gets worse with every iPhone sold (wait, you should get a Pre). There are tons of good games on the thing. The App Store policies are… weird and wrong but mostly work. And there’s tons of useful apps besides the vast field of social networking stuff.

    All I’ve done with a Pre is help with setting up an email account on one (we’re taking pictures of the interface at the office). If you get the account info right AND the phone guesses right about the details the process is smooth. If there’s any any hitch you have to wait for it to time out before you can do anything about it; you can back up to cancel but then you have to start over. So that’s kind of a horrid User Experience fail.

    How small are your fingers ? That keyboard is cramped. How’s your vision ? The screen and interface elements both smaller than the iPhone which relies on large, clear text and easy-to-hit targets in the interface. On the plus side, it is nice and small. I definitely don’t like the “fit and finish” of the Pre. The keyboard wobbles a bit and the shell feels cheap and plasticky.

    Do spend more time with the Pre than I did if you’re considering buying one and I strongly recommend getting hands-on with both phones to see how they feel to you.

  27. 27 darthmojo
    August 5, 2009 at 11:14 pm

    Thanks for all the replies, guys…

    JW: Sorry, I automatically dismiss the opinion of anyone who squeals “FIRST!”

    ALEXANDRE/POLE/SUPES: The problem with most of you who suggested the Pre or Android is that you didn’t really go into any detail about WHY. I think the strongest reason most of you give is that the iPhone isn’t cool anymore because it’s too popular. While I understand and empathize with that point of view, I can’t make that the sole basis of my purchasing decision because I’m not 14.

    TODD: You need help.

    THE REST: I appreciate your thoughtfull stories and intelligent look at why you like the iPhone so much. It does sound like something I will enjoy!

    I admit I’m not a big fan of the AT&T network. In fact tonight it seems like I can hardly even make a call and their customer service is lousy (which is what you should expect from employees that I think weren’t qualified enough for McDonald’s). Still, if I want an iPhone I’ll just have to deal with it for now (besides, I have read that AT&T is beefing up their network to deal with the extra traffic).

    I spoke to AT&T and it turns out I have 30 days to decide whether or not I like it (Buyers Remorse laws), so it seems like a no-brainer that I should give it a whirl. My only hesitation at this point is that the pundits predict next year’s iPhone will see major changes, with the 3Gs basically being the final version of the 1st generation iPhone.

    Essentially, next year’s iPhone will be a whole new ballgame… and if I get one now and the new one is REALLY cool, not only will I have to wait another year before I can get one, but my “first gen” iPhone will be worth much, much less.

  28. 28 supes
    August 6, 2009 at 2:41 am

    You’re right… I should have given reasons why I’m dumping my iPhone. The major reason is that I’ve been very annoyed with Apple’s (or is it AT&T?) policy regarding app acceptance into the app store. I’ll point you to two articles: The first article is in regards to Apple’s nonsensical decision to censor a dictionary that has words in it you’d find in any dictionary:

    The second article focuses on Apple’s decision to remove Google apps from the online store: http://gizmodo.com/5325539/apples-chickenshit-approval-process-has-gone-too-far

    Another reason is that the interface is good but they seem to have stopped innovating. For example:

    1. The notification system is intrusive compared to the systems on Android and Palm’s WebOS. On the iPhone you get a big dialog in front of whatever you’re doing whenever you receive a text or alert. You get a small alert icon you can check whenever on the Pre or on an Android phone.

    2. You’re constantly jumping in and out of the homescreen on the iPhone. Prepare yourself for that whenever you want to switch between applications. It’s like using a computer from the 80s… quit a program to open another.

    3. You can’t customize anything without jailbreaking it. Want a picture of your cat on the homescreen under your icons? Want to know if you have email without having to jump into the phone’s homescreen? Too bad. Apple says you don’t need to do that.

    4. You still can’t send picture message. Seriously. AT&T says sometime this year. Don’t hold your breath. It took them forever to get push messaging up and running.

    5. Cheapest voice + data + unlimited text will set you back about 90 bucks on AT&T. Android on T-Mo with cheapest voice + data + unlimited text is 65. Over two-years that is a lot of money.

    6. AT&T’s network is overloaded (depending where you are). Some friends in the SF Bay area have complained about the slow speed. You’re paying for 3G and not even getting EDGE. Remember when AT&T came out with the iPhone 3G and made customers buy the more expensive data plan even if they lived in an area without 3G coverage? They still do that. Thanks AT&T. A big “up yours” too.

    7. Want apps that might duplicate Apple’s own apps? Or innovative apps like Google Voice? Too bad for the most part. Apple says “no” to most because “you’ll be confused” by choices. Thanks Apple.

    Those are a few reasons. Obviously some issues are with Apple some are with AT&T.

  29. 29 J. W.
    August 6, 2009 at 3:05 am

    Okie dokie. What ever gets you through the day!

    J. W.

  30. August 6, 2009 at 3:24 am


    It doesn’t matter when any technological kit, it’s going to be out-of-date three months after you’ve bought it. Apple just make more ballyhoo about their upgrade cycles than any other tech provider I know of, which is why it seems like a bigger deal.

    I’ve played with a mate’s Android phone, and that OS seems to have most of the iPhone’s signature bells-and-whistles in a wider selection of body styles. Do you spend a lot of time in motion? My iPhone 3G is about a year old, and it’s good for one whole day between charges. That is to say, starting at 0700 with 100% battery, by 2300 it’ll be at 10% power or less. Android phones appear to have greater duration, and unlike iPhones have swappable batteries. Apps for Android phones are coming out rapidly, as people can Just Program for it, and a lot of the apps are very cool. If you like stargazing, for example, you can use the Android as a spotting scope with an Augmented Reality app on it showing which star or celestial object it’s facing. Very cool. Do you listen a lot of music on your mobile devices? If so, then being able to use an Android as a mobile hard-disk, just dragging .mp3s into the appropriate folder from your desktop is a lot less painful than importing your music into iTunes, selecting in iTunes which music you want on your device, then synching your device to get the music on – you have no direct access to which songs are aboard your iPhone. Do you program, or have friends who do? If so, and you want and Android phone to do something, you can bag the SDK and bash out the code yourself, or bribe a freindly coder to cobble something together for you. This isn’t possible with an iPhone, unless you Jailbreak it, which Apple get all shirty over – they were talking about trying to make it a DMCA violation to Jailbreak. How nice.

    So those are the pros and cons from an iPhone user who’s played with Androids (and I’m not ashamed, we both enjoyed it).

    I don’t regret the last two years I’ve spent with my iPhone – but I did have to drink a lot of nasty-tasting kool-aid, and to be honest I don’t use it as an iPod much just because synching my music with iTunes is such a job-of-work that I can’t be bothered, even if I did have the time. Apparently if you use iTunes all the time on all your machines, then it’s seamless but that’s kinda like saying if you use 3DSMax all the time then using FumeFX is seamless.

  31. 31 J. W.
    August 6, 2009 at 3:56 am

    Hmm, for some reason only part of my reply got through, so let’s try it again.

    Why is the Pre better than an iPhone. I can and often do have three things going on it at the same time. Since the city where I work is a bit on the classless side they opted for some of the patrol cars to not have radios, so I’ve got Pandora on the Pre going most of time between calls. So far the iPhone and the Pre are tied, one each.

    The GPS in the cars are pretty good but the maps haven’t been updated in the last five years and Memphis has, so I’ve got Google maps going at the same time as Pandora. iPhone one, Pre two.

    I can tether my laptop to Pre (using a homebrew app from PreCentral.net), I couldn’t with the iPhone. iPhone one, Pre three.

    I bought into the iPhone because it was a very small mobile computer with access to the net, but as the network became more crowded the slower it became. The Sprint network is as fast as AT&T use to be.

    Downsides of the Pre. Small keyboard buttons, but since I have small fingers no problem for me. Small App store, but that is changing, and since I can play around and create my own apps and install them it isn’t much a problem for me. Besides there isn’t may apps for L.E.O.’s anyway.

    Coolness factor. Honestly, they are both about the same for me. When the iPhone was new people would want to look at it, now not so much. The Pre is the new kid on the block so people will want to look at it, in time that will die down.

    As for being 14, nah, that’s about 28 years ago. lol. I wish ya well with the iPhone.



  32. 32 Jono
    August 6, 2009 at 12:47 pm

    Why I like my HTC Magic Android device (and as I mentioned above I have a Touch):
    (some of which mentioned above by MarkHB)

    Openness – anyone can write software for Android. On iPhone anyone can write software which must then be approved by Apple’s bizarre process. There have been many stories recently of software being rejected for odd reasons – Including Google Voice and a dictionary application.

    Google – I use Gmail, Talk, Calendar, Docs, etc., and with Android I’m plugged in.

    Smaller form factor – I opted for the non-keyboard version of the Magic which comes in a little smaller than the iPhone.

    Actual control keys – real honest to goodness tactile keys that do things when you press them! ;)

    Replaceable battery – pretty self-explanatory, you don’t have to send the device back to the manufacturer to get the battery changed.

    Mountable USB drive – I love being able to drag media to the device and not have to deal with the iTunes middle-man. Also great for packing files around, I can use my phone as a USB drive which the iPhone doesn’t do.

    Multitasking – the iPhone doesn’t multitask which hampers the device quite a bit. Background processes aren’t possible – check the recent stories about Google Latitude having to be dumbed down to a web app for the iPhone because it can’t run in the background.

    Some of the other software I use wouldn’t be able to work properly without multitasking, such as the Twitter client I use which notifies me of new tweets – as Gmail notifies me of new mail. There are some other great background based apps such as Locale which lets you set up location-based rules for your phone (turn off ringer at work, turn on wifi at home, and much more).

    As mentioned above some of the augmented reality stuff is pretty sweet – I’m not sure whether the iPhone does it or not. Google Skymap will knock your socks off. Google Streetview works the same way.

  33. 33 Jeff Kincaid
    August 6, 2009 at 11:21 pm

    Well, I am not a fan of the Apple stuff, looks too much like the new Star Trek stuff, BUT, you can’t do this with a blackberry or a clamshell style phone:

    Pretty cool…for a Mini Mac

  34. 34 OMAC
    August 7, 2009 at 2:57 am

    I have one and can’t wait to get out from under it. Don’t get me wrong, I have a 3G and it’s a solid phone, but I came from a T-Mobile MDA and I wish I stayed with the MDA. I am not saying the MDA is a better phone, I am saying it wasn’t worth upgrading for me.

    The nail in the coffin for me was the iphone software upgrade 3.0. After hearing all the hype about the next gen iphone 3Gs and what it could do, I was truely excited about getting some of that functionality on my 3G. I wasn’t going to upgrade right away because I am not eligible for the upgrade discount. So imagine my shock when I upgrade the software on my iphone and STILL no ^&*)()*^)%^ VIDEO CAMERA. One of two things happened. Either Apple was forcing people to upgrade to the 3Gs by withholding features from the 3.0 Software update, or they couldn’t figure out how to implement it. Given Apples history with copy and paste, it’s obvious they are trying to force people to upgrade.

    Well, Apple can rot for all I care. I won’t be falling for their hype again.

    If all you need is a phone that does video and music and email, then the iPhone may be for you. Any useful apps you find are just bonuses on top of that. My advice however is to wait for windows mobile 6.5 to launch and then make your decision. Then you will be able to compare all of the current devices, or in other words, apples and oranges.

  35. 35 darthmojo
    August 7, 2009 at 3:26 am

    Thanks guys that last round of replies was VERY helpful and certainly gave a few points to the non-iPhone camp. Having to sync with iTunes just to get a few new MP3s on my player does sound tiresome, and I’ve never installed iTunes on my machine because it is very intrusive.

    Seriously, you can’t change your homescreen’s wallpaper unless you jailbreak your phone?? That sounds a bit insane…

    The fact is, while I do believe that Android will most likely become a major player, I have yet to see any reviews that don’t end with “give it time…”

    I just did some hunting around at comparisons between multiple platforms and while each one pwns different areas, essentially the verdict seems to be that the iPhone is the best multimedia and internet phone and those are the most important aspects to me right now (and I don’t think the others can touch the quality of the iPhone’s screen).

    I do have 30 days to play with the iPhone, so I’ll give it a try and see how I feel about it. In the meantime, I will take a peek into T-Mobile and Verizon stores and see what they’ve got to offer…

    Any recommendations on Windows Mobile phones?

  36. 36 darthmojo
    August 7, 2009 at 3:40 am

    Another question: Have any iPhone users out there jailbroken their phones and are you glad you did?

  37. August 7, 2009 at 4:50 am

    I first Jailbroke my Mk 1 iPhone having had it about 3 months; suddenly, the number of apps I had access to tripled. After I upgraded to the 3G (mk 2) it took me a good few months to re-break it, mainly because the iTunes app store was by that point populated with enough decent legit-ware (proper eBook readers, a method to at least partially use the device as a mobile hard-drive, todo and time-tracking apps) that I didn’t need the jailbreaky stuff. When I did get around to it the second time, it was a little woolier, with two separate primary sources of 3rd-party ‘ware (One called “Cydia” one just called “Installer”). It does extend the functionality of the device, but it’s very much a YMMV thing. Also, if you don’t want to have to pay money to be able to read eBooks, carry data files on your device, and do lots of other things that even Windows Mobile devices have done as standard for no extra money for a decade… jailbreak. That said, I’m on O2 in the UK: I don’t know how obtrusive AT&T are with jailbroken iPhones. The process itself, though, is straightforward and pretty foolproof, or at least was last time I did it: I haven’t jailbroken since updating to OS3 because Apple’s militance on the subject worries me that they may start “bricking” (killing) jailbroken phones to make the point that the owner doesn’t damn well own it.

    And while, yes, the iPhone’s 480×320 res display is Trez Sexy, don’t forget! To get your showreel onto the thing, first you have to convert it to the appropriate res, bitrate and filetype… then bring it into iTunes and synch it onto your device. Gnah. Okay, so if you’ve already got iTunes on (which you will, if you get an iPhone), then it’s only a minor further inconvenience, but over the months it gets boring. Whilst I haven’t had my hands on one, the HTC Android phone appears – according to Google – to have the same display resolution as the iPhone, 480×320. I’d imagine the file-transfer and format support is less hassle, if not more flexible.

    As you’ve got a 30-day cool-off period, there’s no good reason not to *try* the iPhone. There is a lot to love about the little gizmo, and for “straight PDA” functions, it’s hard to beat outright. Equal? Yes. Beat? No. I’d honestly recommend, if you’re planning to make a go of it, to get iTunes down the week before you buy your iPhone and get importing all your stuff, getting used to it’s quirks (am I copying my music collection to iTunes’ library, or am I letting iTunes dribble tags, markup stuff and so on over my existing music collection?) before plugging the iPhone in for the first time. That way you won’t be flipping from “Ooooh, SHINY!” to “What the HELL are you DOING?!” during what should otherwise be a happy time.

    Being brutally honest, your life will be even easier if you have a cheap Mac to sync the thing with; for reason or reasons unknown, iTunes on the PC is slow, clunky and generally Horrible. If you’ve got green to burn, you’ll get more out of your iPhone that way. Personally, I’d rather drink cold chip-fat than buy a whole new machine just to synch, as there’s no reason for iTunes not to work just as well on a PC and I’m a contumacious so-and-so, but it will make the Experience better.

  38. August 7, 2009 at 5:02 am

    Oh and you *can* change your iPhone’s wallpaper without Jailbreaking, but only with images you’ve taken with the iPhone’s cruddy camera. And I do mean “cruddy” compared to the other cameras out there. You can, though, get really fun and pretty effects by photographing rapidly rotating objects with it, as it’s scan speed is so low that a Jet Ranger’s rotor blades will bend like a banana in the image. ;)

  39. August 7, 2009 at 7:23 am

    You absolutely CAN set the iPhone’s wallpaper to any image you want. It just has to be on the phone, not necessarily taken by the phone.

    The original iPhone’s camera is pretty weak, but the ones on the 3Gs are apparently much better. See here:


  40. 40 supes
    August 7, 2009 at 9:33 am

    To clarify: You CAN change the wallpaper that you see when you first wakeup your iPhone. This is the screen that shows the time and date and has a message that says “Slide to unlock”.

    However, and more importantly, *you CAN’T change the wallpaper on the homescreen*, which is the screen where all of your apps icons are. You’ll be looking at the homescreen much, much more than you will ever be looking at the “Slide to Unlock” screen.

    Apple chose black for the homescreen, which is nice and all but about 2 years I’m a little bored with it. So the only way to change that is indeed to jailbreak your iPhone.

  41. 41 Ogrebear
    August 7, 2009 at 9:34 am

    Don’t know if it will make a difference to you but the iphones camera is rubbish compared to some on the market. No flash is one of the reasons!

  42. August 7, 2009 at 9:39 am

    Why on earth would you want to change the background behind your apps?

    OK, yes, if that is somehow important, you can’t (AFAIK) do that without jailbreaking your phone.

  43. 43 Jono
    August 7, 2009 at 9:52 am

    Camera is crap on the Magic too.

    If you want a good camera on your phone you need to go Sony or Nokia.

  44. 44 supes
    August 7, 2009 at 10:47 am

    @Church: I dunno, I guess you’d want to change the background on the iPhone’s homescreen for the same reason you might want to do it on your desktop computer.

    A background can be nice. On Android there is actually a very cool parallax scrolling effect involving the background image. When you swipe through the desktop icons the background moves at a slightly different speed which appears to to give the illusion of depth.

    I guess I have a soft spot in my heart for 80’s side-scrolling games, which it what the effect reminds me of :D

  45. August 7, 2009 at 4:45 pm

    You can change the background behind your apps on the iPhone? Two years owning one, and I didn’t know that. I thought that it was just the intro-screen thingy where you slide to unlock.

    The icons on these things tend to seem kinda fiddly-diddly without excess pixels behind ’em.

    Minor point for anyone who’s ever spat out chunks of desk the nth time his system’s decided that the few CDs they’ve ripped to WMA rather than MP3 are Verboten and must be Purged of their Sins (and duplicated) before being loaded onto the iThingy.

    Hey, does anyone know a way to persuade iTunes to convert to .mp3 instead of .m4a or whatever proprietary freak-ass format Apple decided to hegemonise completely validly compete with open-source standards using?

  46. August 7, 2009 at 6:10 pm

    @MarkHB M4a is just another name for MP4. Since MP4 can be audio and/or video, Apple uses M4A to indicate it’s an audio file.

  47. August 8, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    “I love my current Samsung A717 clamshell and the idea of joining the Cult-Of-Mac makes me a little gunshy.”

    I know you meant no disrespect, but that’s a tad bit sour. The only thing “CULTISH” that goes on that involves Macs is the Apple company itself. Just because I only use Macs and only service Macs where I work doesn’t mean I’d like to join their cult. The company makes great products, but I don’t like the company as a company. They’ve made some cold cutting decisions that almost border on “deliberate product sabotage”. Just look at the new iMovie compared to iMovie HD. They removed the freaking timeline! It’s like drawing in color but you’re being made to see things in black and white.

    Now in regards to the consumers, I wouldn’t say that it’s a cult, just more of a community. Sure, I don’t use Windows, but I don’t discriminate against people who use it. I’m for whatever works for people.

    While I don’t have my iPhone hacked, my boss and his daughter have hacked their iPhones and they couldn’t be more happier about it. My boss took his iPhone, hacked it, replaced the SIM card he had from his original phone, and boom. He’s got a fully functional iPhone with his original plan and unlock-able capabilities. It really is easy. You can trust me. I’m a professional. :D

  48. 48 Epsilon
    August 8, 2009 at 5:22 pm

    I hate to say a big fat NO to Windows mobile phones (I most likely hate to say that because I’m Microsoft Certified) but… don’t do it! As far as applications go, there’s simply no comparison to iPhone over all the others.

    I’ve always been an early adopter to cell phones. My first was a nifty Motorola bag phone back in the early 90’s, and since 2000, I think I’ve gotten every new “it” phone on the market every year.

    I’ve owned Windows Mobile (which, btw… the only reason I did is so I could have my Contacts, Calendar, Email sync’d with work, which was all it was really good for…), currently have a Company-owned Blackberry 8830 World Phone with Verizon… Which got me off the WinMob phone, and it’s great.

    However, last fall I found myself with a little down time (ok. I had a heart attack) so I knew I was going to go stir crazy and needed some new tech to divert my attention while I was out of work. Got the iTouch, and, in day-to-day use, knew I needed to get the phone instead of always looking for WiFi in public places.

    The sheer staggering amount of applications with real-world use is simply astounding. I’ll never go back. If Android and the Pre were to offer this much in the future, I might consider something else, but right now, nobody really does.

    As for iTunes… yes, I hate it. However, I think at this point the only time I plug my phone in to sync is to get the newest OS upgrade, or update my music catalog with any new techno or trance I can find.

    Now.. yes, it sounds like I’m a fanboy, but I’m not trading my Windows computers for anything, and seriously not considering buying a Mac anytime soon.

    But… I like it so much that I gave my girl my 3G and got a 3Gs for myself. And I’ve said it in the real world, so I’ll say it here:

    I’ll never go back.

  49. August 8, 2009 at 6:12 pm

    Now, if the made an iPhone that functions as a tricorder, I’d get one.

  50. August 9, 2009 at 5:29 am

    @ species 125:”Now, if the made an iPhone that functions as a tricorder, I’d get one.

    Might I suggest sir the iScanner? Nothing beats turning your iPhone into the perfect Tricorder that does nothing but make beep noises and is actually interactive.

    However, you can make your iPhone into an identifying device with Shazam, a free application that can actually identify a song that’s being played in an area you’re currently in! That’s Shazam.


    Or how about enabling your iPhone to detect metal? Oh, it can do that too. Try the free app Metal Detector Pro.

  51. 51 seijornec
    August 9, 2009 at 8:28 pm

    If you want an easy to use internet device that has both 3G and WIFI connections that fits in you pocket get the iphone. Plus there are some great games too. I’ve had my 3Gs since it was released and I’m very happy with it. I previously was an ipod touch owner which was a device I absolutely loved. The only catch was no full time network connection apart from wifi. I purchased the iphone for that functionality alone. Once I started using it I was surprised how much I actually like the phone and all of its feature. Visual voice mail is my favorite phone feature. The S also has a decent video camera and I’ve been very surprised how good the still camera can be in the right lighting. I posted some pics on Facebook during my vacation a while back and my friends couldn’t believe they were from my phone. There is a lot of hype surrounding the iphone some deserved, some not. What Apple does well is user interface design and its the highlight of the iphone. I’ve played with all the competitors so called “touch screen” phones and they don’t even come close to the ease and fluidity of the iphone. Ok the Pre WebOS is nice but what do you expect from several key iPhone development people who Palm poached from Apple. If you can’t beat em, join em.

  52. 52 Mike
    August 9, 2009 at 10:23 pm

    I’m not a member of any cult, and I certainly don’t expect anybody to make the same choices I make (nor do I need them to validate my own choices by making the same ones). That said, I love my Mac(s) and my iPhone. But if somebody comes along and makes something I like better, I’ll switch. Simple as that.

    But boy, do I love my iPhone. Is it 100% perfect? Nope. But I can’t imagine being without it anymore. On a recent trip with my family, I used the GPS to locate where I was and then give me directions to the airport hotel where I was staying. But then, from the map app, I realized the hotel was actually twenty minutes from the airport, and with Street View, I could see it was in a lousy neighborhood. So I used the Yellow Pages app to find other hotels, including one actually at the airport, and made a new reservation. Then the map gave me directions there. Once I had those directions, I wrote the other hotel an e-mail canceling my reservation. Then I was able to entertain my daughter by giving her the phone so she could play the matching game app she loves. Pretty nifty. And I’m not saying no other phone could do all that, because maybe it could, but my iPhone sure did it well and effortlessly.

    So many of these apps I just love having in my pocket at all times, including a complete American Heritage Dictionary, the NY Times, the NY Times Crossword Puzzle, Scrabble (complete with Facebook integration), OpenTable, and on and on.

    And I don’t think it’s a big deal at all that you can’t change the background behind the apps, because there’s almost no space between those icons. I guess changing color or a subtle pattern could be useful, but I don’t think I’d do it. I keep a photo of my kids as the “welcome” screen and most of my contacts have a photo attached, so if they call (and don’t block their ID), I see them. That’s all I need.

    Again, this is just my opinion. It works splendidly for me. I have no interest in any argument about Apple or its policies or those strange people (of any computer preference) who have no patience for anybody who doesn’t make the exactly same choices they make. For me, the iPhone has made my life easier, more interesting, and more fun.

  53. 54 God
    August 10, 2009 at 2:19 am

    The forgotten and typically unknown Eleventh Commandment says that everyone should get and iPhone.

    Now is your time my son.

    Get that phone.

  54. 55 darthmojo
    August 10, 2009 at 11:59 pm

    I got the phone over the weekend and so far, so good. I have a few gripes and questions (which I’ll address in a new post) but as I expected it is a really cool device.

    Thanks to everyone for their input and we’ll continue this in my iPhone diary page, coming later this week.

  55. 56 Izmunuti
    August 18, 2009 at 8:02 pm

    Fyi, here’s an article comparing iphone vs. pre satisfaction ratings:


  56. 57 Sean Stephenson
    August 22, 2009 at 8:47 am

    Following up Robogeek’s post:

    StarTime: The LCARS Clock App – Check out the comments section for Mike Okuda’s praise.


  57. February 27, 2010 at 1:57 am

    Thank you for sharing this.

    I think you are nice

  58. 59 Snoman1391
    May 1, 2010 at 4:15 am

    I know I missed the boat for this by about 8 months, but I was curious about whether or not you decided to keep your iPhone. I’m an avid Apple fan, for various reasons, and I just wanted to see what you thought. I also just got the 3GS about 3 months ago (my first iPhone after four years of complete jealousy. I couldn’t switch off Verizon). I also wanted to share a little bit of information with you, seeing as how I am a little bummed that I didn’t wait until this coming summer to get one. Apple is debuting a new iPhone, indeed a completely different one, called either the iPhone 4/4G/HD or something of that sort. I just thought you might be interested in checking it out, if you haven’t already. Aside from major aesthetic changes, the good thing is that when this new iPhone comes out, it will be running a new version of the OS. It makes up for pretty much any shortcomings that the iPhone previously had, for example, running multiple apps at the same time (and does not waste extra battery doing so, unlike the Pre and any Android phones). Also, like in Mac OSX Leopard and Snow Leopard, you have the ability to place apps in stacks, which are pretty much just folders that contain similar apps, for example. Apparently there are over 150 new features with the new iPhone OS, which is pretty outstanding.

    Now here is the good news for you and me, assuming you kept your iPhone. Since we decided to get the 3GS, we can actually fully upgrade to the iPhone 4 OS, and be able to use every single feature. That’s Apple for you, their customer service is unparalleled, they are always thinking about their customers. The reason the older versions of the iPhone cannot upgrade fully is because the 3GS has a faster processor, and the older versions would not be able to handle all the new features. The 3G can still upgrade, but it wont be able to do things like run multiple apps.

    One last comment for you, and this is more of a rant for people that hate Apple just for the sake of hating Apple. While they may have strayed away from their own “anti-establishment” roots, and may have even become more of an establishment themselves, no one can deny that Apple does things right. No one else can design as beautiful, user-friendly, and innovative products as Apple. I have also found that when people argue about the whole “Apple vs. anyone else” thing, the ones debating for the “anyone else” side do not really formulate good points. It’s always like, “You know why I hate Apple? Because they SUCK!” Or something of the likes. But when people support Apple, they give articulate points, like, “PCs are very hard to use. They are not intuitive, and to some degree, if you want to fully learn all the aspects of a PC, you need to learn some form of coding.” My point is, there are people out there that just hate company’s because they are not “cool.” Why are you trying to buy a device just for the sake of being cool? With this point I completely agree with you, I’ve been out of grade school for a while now, and that is not really a concern of mine. I buy products because of the overall quality, not because they create some sort of image for me. Apple does it right, and I challenge anyone to challenge my statement, but first, please watch the documentaries called “Welcome to Macintosh” and “The iPod Revolution.”

    Final thing. Here’s two links to information about the new iPhone and the new OS. Check it out if you have not already, I find it pretty exciting, and I figured you’d be interested.

    links: http://www.engadget.com/2010/04/22/apples-next-iphone-what-we-know-and-what-we-dont/
    links: http://www.engadget.com/2010/04/08/iphone-os-4-0-unveiled-shipping-this-summer/

    So, thanks for reading, and let me know how you like your iPhone. I hope I didn’t overwhelm you with all this information. Send me an email at Snoman1391@gmail.com if you want in response to this. Thanks.

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August 2009

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