Thursday, September 06, 2007

Brief iPhone Review and Some Other Stuff

First of all: The iPhone rocks. It isn't perfect, but it rocks.

The battery life is acceptable. It lasts all day if you use it all day, then you have to plug it in. It's okay. I work about the same way.

Yesterday I spent the entire day on airplanes between Boston and the Tri-Cities, playing with the iPhone as much as I could. Listening to tunes, downloading email on WiFi, watching YouTube. As soon as I got home, it needed to be plugged in. I needed to fall down. It worked out okay.

This morning at six a.m. I turned it on and carried it through a boring work day. I kept up with my wife and daughter, rumors of impending disaster, and a letter from His Steveness patting us all on the hand saying it's okay. He won't let the big bad bogeyman get you. Then I fumbled through my daughter's nineteenth birthday party, dinner, and a two-hour choreography rehearsal for Peter Pan. I'm a pirate. Shut up. Now the iPhone is plugged in, synced up, and charging. I'm going to bed soon. The iPhone has kept up with me for another day.

As for features, well, it does just what it does on TV. It does everything I reasonably expect it to do. It times eggs and prime rib roasts. It finds useless things to noodle around on. It tracks stock prices. All that crap. It does it all very well.

It doesn't walk the dog, clean the toilet, or take out the trash. I can't use it to buy pop at a vending machine. It provides no protection against sexually transmitted diseases. It requires additional help to form the necessary incline for use as a doorstop, and it's too light to be a paperweight near an open window on a breezy day. It cannot play the Minute Waltz in fifty-two seconds.

Alright? It isn't the be all and end all. It's a very functional communication device, and a slick toy.


Steve Jobs just announced the iPhone price reduction yesterday. I haven't heard so much keening and wailing and gnashing of teeth in my whole life. Damn. I can only assume that all the whiners are a bunch of tech-noobs.

Let me explain.

Early adopters pay for Research and Development. If you buy a brand new piece of technology you are paying for others to get better technology cheaper later on. If you're not a noob, you know that.

As an early adopter, you are PART of the Research and Development. Your comments complaints will help the company build the next version. As an early adopter, you will get the beta version of the product at a higher price than the mature versions will cost.

This is an immutable law of computer technology. The iPhone is from Apple. Therefore it is computer technology. All but the rawest of tech rookies should understand that this is just the way it is.

If you don't want to pay a premium to be the first kid on your block to have the coolest new toy – only to watch the neighbor kid get it next year cheaper and with more features – don't be an early adopter. The people who are whining either don't know this rule, or they think they're special.

I bought my iPhone recently enough that I was able to get $200 back. I would not have been pissed off if I couldn't have. If I didn't think it was worth the money, I wouldn't have paid it. I agreed to the price I paid. If somebody else gets it cheaper, well good for them. I made a bargain. Nobody owes me anything if they change the deal. On the other hand, there's no sense in turning your back on $200 if Apple is willing to refund it. That's just good business.

The price drop on the iPhone was early, sudden, and huge. No doubt. But if you agreed to the price and bought it, shut up. That is how commerce, particularly in the digital world, works. All that whimpering about how Apple fucked you is noise.

If you want to be the first guy at the office with the coolest toy:

  1. You will pay a lot for it.
  2. Somebody else will have a cooler one soon.
  3. They will pay less money for it.
  4. They will wag it in your face and taunt you like a bully on the playground. Just like you did when you brought in your cool toy.
  5. You will have to buy the next expensive cool toy to restart the process.
I like having all the other boring old men in the office jealous of my toys. It makes me feel (ever so briefly) like a somewhat less boring old man. I spent that first week wagging my iPhone in everybodies' faces.

  1. Neener.
  2. Neener.
  3. Neener.
Time to let the cat out.