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http://www.forbes.com/home/wireless/...phonemain.html Give Steve Jobs credit: He's managed to get the entire tech community--and much of ... Android Smartphones forum

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    Einherjer's Avatar
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    Why You May Not Want An iPhone

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    http://www.forbes.com/home/wireless/...phonemain.html

    Give Steve Jobs credit: He's managed to get the entire tech community--and much of the rest of the world--talking about a pricey gadget that only a handful have seen or touched. ( HAHAHA! fanboys anyone?! )

    Apple's (nasdaq: AAPL - news - people ) iPhone finally goes on sale June 29, and for many potential buyers, the only issue is whether they'll be able to get their hands on one, as it's certain to sell out immediately. But whether you are a music lover, a business e-mail addict, a mobile power-user or just a normal consumer, there are several good reasons to think twice about dropping $500 for the first-generation iPhone.
    Will that be enough to slow iPhone sales after the initial rush? There are, after all, plenty of other options for consumers who want a smart phone, which is essentially a high-end phone with the ability to do other functions, like e-mail. Previously just expensive toys for information technology nerds and executives, smart phones are gaining mainstream appeal. Research firm Yankee Group projects that smart phones will grow from 11% of this year's mobile-phone market to about 20% of phone sales in 2010.
    In Pictures: Five Reasons To Think Twice About The iPhone

    Jobs hopes to pick up 1% of the market by the end of 2008. But consumers are finicky and have options. If Apple's iPhone doesn't stack up, numerous competitors, like Samsung, LG Electronics, Nokia (nyse: NOK - news - people ) and a host of phones running rival Microsoft's (nasdaq: MSFT - news - people ) Windows Mobile platform, will be happy to take their business. (Elevation Partners, the private equity firm that has invested in Forbes Media, has announced plans to buy a 25% stake in iPhone competitor Palm (nasdaq: PALM - news - people )).
    The iPhone's battery is one example of a feature that could flop. By all indications--Apple is still being mum about almost all details regarding the device--the iPhone's rechargeable battery is sealed inside its case. That's what Apple does already with its iPod devices, presumably to save space. The company says the battery will last up to five hours of talking, watching video and browsing the Internet.
    But it's not clear how those claims will measure up in the real world. What happens if you use the phone's wi-fi connection heavily? Or a Bluetooth earpiece? Without a midday charging pit stop, iPhone owners may have to consistently choose between using its Web and multimedia features or saving battery power for phone calls.
    Other smart phones have similar battery drawbacks. Palm, for example, says the battery in its newest Treo 755p will last for up to four hours and 12 minutes of talk time. But when that's up, you can easily swap out the Treo battery for a charged replacement. Many people carry a spare, especially while traveling on business. With the iPhone, it seems you may be tethered to a backup-battery accessory, which is far from ideal.
    Making matters worse, rechargeable batteries have a limited lifespan and can be charged only a finite number of times. This number varies, but Apple says a properly maintained iPod battery--whatever that really means--can retain 80% of its original capacity after 400 full charging cycles. Eventually, it will hold a charge so short that it must be replaced, which could at best mean a trip to an Apple or AT&T (nyse: T - news - people ) store, or at worst, an annoying, mail-in battery replacement service.
    The iPhone's stripped-down data features could also provide incentive to wait for a better offer. Apple's boilerplate is that the iPhone is a "revolutionary" device for browsing the Internet on the go. To an extent, it has a point: Apple's Safari is arguably the most powerful mobile Web browser. And the iPhone's large display will surely make surfing the Web more enjoyable and functional than on a tiny Motorola (nyse: MOT - news - people ) Razr screen.
    But for whatever reason, Apple decided not to allow the iPhone to work on AT&T's fastest, "third-generation" (or 3G) wireless network, opting instead for its slower "EDGE" network. The difference is apparent even on a small-screen device browsing scaled-down, mobile-edition Web sites. When you're surfing full-size Web pages, as Apple touts on the iPhone, the slow speeds could be a deal breaker.
    During Apple's first-quarter earnings conference call, finance chief Peter Oppenheimer said the company is "very much sold" on the slower network because it is more widespread in the U.S. This is a valid point, sort of. AT&T says it has 3G coverage available in 165 major U.S. metro areas, with dozens more on the way, and EDGE coverage in 13,000 cities and towns. But a 3G device can seamlessly hop between the faster and slower networks. And many of the iPhone's competitors, like the 7-month-old Samsung BlackJack, do just that. So why did Apple skimp?
    One reason may be the iPhone's built-in wi-fi capability, meaning it can connect to local hot spots and avoid AT&T's data network altogether. This is much faster than using the cellular Web, but imperfect. Wi-fi access is not as universal as you think, and often it's not free. Spending $10 to use a faster Internet at Starbucks doesn't sound practical on top of a $40-per-month, all-you-can-eat EDGE data plan. You may already have a wi-fi hot spot in your home or office--but chances are, you have a computer there, too, with a screen larger than 3.5 inches.
    Then again, wi-fi may be a cool feature if Apple opens the iPhone up to developers to write interesting software like network or peer-to-peer games, on-the-go photo sharing software or any other mobile-friendly apps. Jobs is particularly fond of the iPhone's Google Maps software, which he says "blows away" any previous version, and the iPod music software, which he says is "the best iPod we've ever made." But it's not clear if Apple will let other people write software for the iPhone, at least right away, and that could be a reason to stay away.
    For example, if you're looking to check your corporate e-mail with any ease, you may have to wait. It's not clear if the iPhone's e-mail software will initially--or imminently--support "push" e-mail from Microsoft Exchange e-mail servers or Research in Motion (nasdaq: RIMM - news - people ) BlackBerry servers. Apple has a deal with Yahoo! (nasdaq: YHOO - news - people ) to support real-time "push" e-mail delivery. But CrackBerry addicts should be iPhone-hesitant, at least until we get more information about compatibility. (RIM did not immediately return a request for comment.) Jobs said recently that Apple is "working to find a way to allow developers to build applications" but that security is a sticking point.
    Rabid e-mailers or texters may also be skeptical about the iPhone's keyboard-free design. Jobs dislikes the tiny QWERTY thumb keyboards on many of today's smart phones, with good reason: Typing is slower and less accurate than on a normal, full-sized keyboard.
    But it's not apparent that typing on a touchscreen will necessarily be any better. Many BlackBerry users, once familiar with the keyboard, can type without looking. Can you thumb out a text message on an iPhone screen without undivided attention? Will it work in the rain? Or if you're wearing a bandage? Will it scratch, as the iPod screens have been infamous for?
    Lastly, one of the most anticipated, unknown iPhone features is its real price tag. We already know that it will cost $500 to $600, depending on storage capacity. But AT&T's contract requirements could easily quadruple that price. To qualify for the lowest pricing on many smart phones, carriers require that you subscribe to an all-you-can-eat data plan for around $40 per month, in addition to a $40-or-more-per-month calling plan.
    So much for getting the cheapest calling plan and just using the wi-fi feature for the Internet. Add text messaging and taxes, and you're looking at a bill near $90 per month. Over the two-year contract period, that's more than $2,000.
    Businesses manage that expense for executives' BlackBerrys, but will consumers happily pay that much? AT&T says existing customers will get the same deal as new customers switching from Verizon Wireless or Sprint Nextel (nyse: S - news - people )--but subscribers will have to extend their contract for two more years. Will AT&T offer a version for prepaid service subscribers? Many consumers can justify buying a $500 smart phone/iPod hybrid. But AT&T's service terms could break the deal.

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    Re: Why You May Not Want An iPhone

    Wow.. thats ALOT of reading!

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    Re: Why You May Not Want An iPhone

    I dont want one because I like my BlackBerry.

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    Re: Why You May Not Want An iPhone

    IMHO- regardless of what your personal opinion on the Iphone is, it can be agreed that the iphone will change the industry. Whether that change is direct or indirect is what it remains to be seen.

    I personally do not buy 1st gen of ANY device- so I will be watching the growth of the iphone from the sidelines. $500 is too steep for my pockets LOL (that and I just got a cool ipod shuffle that works great for my needs)
    5RAWMINUTES!

    "Things that you want to change in the world have to start inside yourself. You have to be thinking. You have to be resisting. You have to be talking."
    – George Carlin

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    Re: Why You May Not Want An iPhone

    ~via BB (wap.pinstack.com)~
    Thanks for keeping us informed. I'm happy with my BB Pearl.

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    Re: Why You May Not Want An iPhone

    Me too. I will never get anything else than a blackberry.

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    Re: Why You May Not Want An iPhone

    ~via BB (wap.pinstack.com)~I personally do not think that the iphone will be a huge stepping stone in wireless technology. Blackberry email service I believe was the biggest stepping stone of all wireless technology to date. Mutimesia function has been on the rise for quite some time. I cannot think why a blackberry user, who is using his or her device for email and pim apps would make the huge financial leap to iphone. This is a consumer phone hands down. Companies will not put out the money for this device. Apple has a stong faithful following, but that is all they got going for them. Also good point about the network coverage. You think that since the iphone is mainly a browser and multimedia device that apple would not splurge for 3G. Enough said!

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    Re: Why You May Not Want An iPhone

    I prefer to spend $500 on a PS3 rather than an iPhone... Btw... my BBPear is the best "phone"... I have been windows mobile and palm user... BB is the king! and I'm not a fanboy...

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    Re: Why You May Not Want An iPhone

    ~via BB (wap.pinstack.com)~

    There is no way the I phone would be a business phone, I can't see that. And while the I phone does look good, I worry about the typing, as well as the battery. I happen to take two things with me wherever I go, my pearl, and my ipod. This should be the one device to condense those two into one, but I think it will fall short in comparison with blackberry as a true smart phone. The I phone will be great I am sure, but not enough to break the crackberry addiction.

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    Re: Why You May Not Want An iPhone

    I dunno, I reckon many could be persuaded...

    I agree with peguero, there certainly isn't really any compelling reason to go for a 1st generation iPhone when you've got the latest and greatest Blackberry. However, in a year or two, if BB hasn't released a flash new phone with much more sophisticated apps (especially media apps like camera, music player, etc), then I think it will lose some Crackberrys to the hype of the iPhone.

    Crackberry users should be really happy about the iPhone release, though. I think we can expect the next gen of Blackberry to have a neat little bag of tricks that will take it ahead of the competition - a place its rightfully enjoyed for years!

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    Re: Why You May Not Want An iPhone

    Thanks for the info! I'm BB all the way!

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    Re: Why You May Not Want An iPhone

    If anyone can understand blind devotion to a company it's Mac people. The funny thing is that you criticize the Macaholics for doing the same thing you Crackberry addicts are doing. It's OK for you but wrong for them. The iPhone is a secure as any other consumer phone. The email will be as good as email on the BB. The internet will be much better than the BB. While EDGE is slow, Wi-Fi is not. Real HTML email and web will be the future and because of the iPhone, BB will have to add these features to new models. Same goes for Wi-Fi.

    You might buy an iPhone but it's impact will be felt, even by Crackberries. Just remember where those features started when you are showing off your neat new Wi-Fi BB.

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    Arrow Re: Why You May Not Want An iPhone

    Quote Originally Posted by jwlussow
    If anyone can understand blind devotion to a company it's Mac people. The funny thing is that you criticize the Macaholics for doing the same thing you Crackberry addicts are doing. It's OK for you but wrong for them. The iPhone is a secure as any other consumer phone. The email will be as good as email on the BB. The internet will be much better than the BB. While EDGE is slow, Wi-Fi is not. Real HTML email and web will be the future and because of the iPhone, BB will have to add these features to new models. Same goes for Wi-Fi.

    You might buy an iPhone but it's impact will be felt, even by Crackberries. Just remember where those features started when you are showing off your neat new Wi-Fi BB.
    Exactly!! And what is this blind loyalty about?

    Just know this, while I dislike how RIM has supported its MAC users, I love my Blackberry and I have an older model.

    What makes Blackberry so great is its email delivery, but you guys and gals have to admit there have been many changes in the wireless industry since RIM took hold. The email on a Blackberry is solid and secure, but its TEXT email, not rich HTML. Half the time the emails are broken apart in all kinds of funky ways. Most of the time people here talk about email as the central use of a phone...sorry, IT'S A PHONE that does email, not the other way around. As a phone, or music player, or Internet Browser, the Blackberry has room to grow which is being witnessed by their current push to upgrade the browser, create new slick-looking phones, and add features that were not there in the past. Now they will move just a little faster.

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    Re: Why You May Not Want An iPhone

    Thanx for the so much information, but am quite happy with my BB.

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    Re: Why You May Not Want An iPhone

    the iphone WILL change the industry! it will lock millions of people into 2 year contracts with a crappy, POS toy on EDGE....EDGE...EDGE!!....it will wake people up to the fact that just because something is prety and has an i on it dosnt meen its good

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