August 16, 2008

When it Comes to the iPhone, Never Assume Rationality

As far as the iPhone is concerned, I have failed in my role as an early adopter. Two generations into Apple's delivering the most talked about cell phone in history, I as an Apple aficionado practically have a legal obligation to not only have one, but to have more than one. But even today, I do not. I've instead slogged along with a previous-generation BlackBerry, and a first-generation iPod Touch, arguing that in combination, the two provide just about everything the iPhone would give me. Add on to that fact that I've had my phone service paid for and the BlackBerry provided for from work, and it makes for enough good excuses not to join the iPhone faithful.

But in hours, it's likely this all comes to an end, despite all my protests.

Armed with a coupon to the Apple Store, courtesy of Social Median, I have every intention to get up at the crack of dawn Saturday, and with my sister, an Apple Store retail employee herself, go in to buy an iPhone 3G. She knows her store has hundreds, and we want to beat the line.

What do I get from the iPhone 3G that the iPod Touch doesn't have? Well, aside from the entire functionality of the phone itself, I also get a camera, and Internet anywhere - not just in range of WiFi. It's this last part that really hits home, to be honest. I know the camera's not the best in the world, though I'll love always having one in my pocket. But I really, really, want "real Internet" with me wherever I go, even though 90+% of the time, I'm within range of WiFi, whether I'm at home, at work or anywhere else. What I really want is the ability to just pick up the iPhone from the supermarket, or from the A's game, or in that small percentage of places where WiFi wasn't enough.

Even with this added functionality, I still have the issue of paying AT&T where to date, I've let work pick up the tab. Maybe I expense my monthly bills, if they go for it. Maybe I say goodbye to my current phone number and start over with a new one. And maybe I transfer my old number to the new iPhone and keep the number that, for now anyway, belongs to the corporation and not little me.

It's not rational, to be honest. I've heard the horror stories of people struggling to get good 3G access, or of battery issues. I've heard rumors of Apple even recalling the iPhone 3G, which would be an unquestioned public relations and business disaster. I'm staring in the face of almost $1,000 in phone bills, where there were none before. Yet... it somehow feels right. It's what I'm supposed to do. I can't take the gift certificate from Social Median, which was intended for a new iPhone 3G and put it toward a Time Capsule, which I'm also thinking of getting. That'd break an unwritten rule. While I held out for so long, for me anyway, the wait will soon be over, as I fling off the shackles of responsibility and head to the Apple Store like a lemming. Can't wait.