To iPhone or not to iPhone - that is the question.
Even our president at work asked me if I stook in line for an iPhone this weekend. Apparently I'm the Apple guy at work, and I was kind of disappointed I didn't have a good "iWaited" story to share.
"Even if I did get one," he said, "I'd never in a million years figure the dang thing out."
Ah, but that's where you're wrong, sir. You see, Apple makes things easier to use. Before the original Macintosh came along, we all had to run our computers from terminals. You know, the "c:/run boot/deliver pizza" commands? Imagine no trash can, or no double-clicking icons. Computers were tough for non-computer people. Apple made them easier. MP3 players use to be bulky and hard to control. Apple made them fun to use with the iPod.
And now with cellphones, Apple has made an elegant solution to an ugly problem we all face every day. Visual voicemail? How come no one has invented this yet?
So the justification to buy an iPhone is an easy one. It's either that, or grab a Jitterbug and keep things simple.
But then there's AT&T.
That's where things get messy. Do I really want to support a giant corporation that's already been taken to task for trying to take over the world?
I'm just glad I'm not the only one wondering about the moral dilemma that is the iPhone. I love Apple. I hate AT&T. I really like my Centennial coverage (especially now that it's gone nation-wide).
What to do?
Apple/AT&T made things a bit easier by announcing a pretty reasonable rate plan. I mean, I pay $60 a month now, and I sure as heck don't use all my minutes. Free data? Bells and whistles? Sounds like a deal.
The only issue left: is NOW the right time to buy one?
Farhad Manjoo over at Salon.com answered that one for me - even if I wait, the design elements Apple has unleashed will ripple through the phone industry just as Apple's innovations did in the PC market. Visual voicemail? Touch screens? Easy-to-navigate web on a phone? Soon we'll see these features all over the cell phone world. It's either that or perish.
But damn, the iPhone sure is a pretty thing to look at, isn't it? Why not give up my clunky grey Samsung in exchange for a clear, bright, vivid iThingy?
Well, because the iPhone starts out at $500. And knowing Apple, ten months down the road they'll come up with an iPhone Nano or somesuch and totally piss off everyone who waited in line on Friday for their piece of electronic gold.
I'm so glad I waited to buy an iPod, for instance, because they had just released the video version when I bought mine.
So I think I'll wait. I'll see what else Mr. Jobs has up his black turtle-neck sleeves, see what happens with the bugs and glitches (though I'm sure they'll be few), and sit on my iHands and ride this manic steamroller 'till the end.
Shit, why not? My cell phone service contract just expired, making me a free agent. I'm the piece of sough-after hardware in the free market system, right?
In the meantime, I'll watch the brouhaha from afar - with the cold, distant analyzing eyes of an impartial player in some weird trapeze act.