Jeff the Great and an iPhone?

Time for Jeff the Great to weigh on on the iPhone debate. The coveted device drops on June 29th and is being called by some the most anticipated consumer products launch of all time.

I know you are all waiting to hear if Jeff the Great approves of this new Apple device. In a word, 'No.' It is my prediction that the Apple iPhone will fail miserably, and here is why (in no particular order):

1. AT&T: This wireless company has struggled more than any other in the past 10 years. Just a few years ago they became Cingular, and they are again AT&T. Anyone confused yet? Buyers of the iPhone will most likely be virtually forced to sign a 2 year contract with AT&T. Too bad AT&T isn't the largest or best wireless carrier in the nation.*citation coming soon

2. AT&T, part 2: AT&T operates on GSM technology. GSM is great for making phone calls but terrible as a high speed data technology. On Verizon Wireless or Sprint/Nextel users can get up to 1.5megabits per second. I am hearing that on AT&T you are looking at 300k-700k per second (or only half as fast in a best case scenario). The web won't be nearly as fast as the Apple commercials would like you to believe.

3. Price Tag: Take a look at the web site of any wireless carrier out there...Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, etc and look at the prices of their phones. See much? That's what I thought. So who does buy the rare $300 or $400 phone? Business people on the go. Why do they buy these phones? For email capability. Anyone excited to type an email to their boss on a virtual keyboard? It may be okay for typing in a phone number or texting your friend, but good luck responding to your clients concerns while waiting for a flight.

4. Storage Capabilities: Or lack there of. The iPhone comes with two options, 4gig or 8gig. More than most cell phones, yes, but hardly an iPod. Go to the Apple web site and you'll see you can pick up an 80gig device.....ten times more memory than the larger of the two iPhones. So in addition to storing all of your contacts, cached files from web surfing, and attachments from emails, how many songs and/or videos will you be able to hold? About 90% less than a regular iPod?
5. No Outlook Sync: A friend of mine informed me today that word on the street is the iPhone will not be able to sync with MS Outlook out of the box. This may be updated by Apple or a 3rd party app might be released, but this is a big hit to the previously discussed business users that rely on Outlook in their office enviroment.
UPDATE: A Reader has pointed me to Apple documentation proving #5 wrong. Thanks to reader "RO."

In conclusion, if you are a business person you might spend $500 on a cell phone but wont get the iPhone when you could spend $100-$200 less and get a Palm Treo or Blackberry. If you are a hipster you might be interested in an iPhone to use it for its media capabilities. But why when it has the short battery life and small amount of memory like a cell phone?

Instead of $500 for a device that is okay at everything, I'll spend my money on a PDA cell phone that rocks and an 80gig iPod.

-Jeff the Great
updated 6-19-07, added point #5
updated 6-21-07, #5 incorrect, see link


Brian Moon said...

CmdrTaco's initial impressions of the iPod:

"No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame."


RO said...

Quick rebuttals:

1. AT&T: All wireless carriers suck.

2. GSM: It's not about speed, it's about ability to use the network at all. GSM gets in over the minimum.

3. Price: iPod.

4. Storage: iPod Shuffles work really well with just 1 GB. You have to charge/sync the iPhone often enough that the library won't get a chance to go stale.

5. No Outlook Sync: Wrong

Doc M, phd said...

my rebuttals to your rubuttals:

5. Thank you, I've updated my post and used the link you provided.

4. iPod shuffles aren't made to handle video and other items like your contact list, cached web data, etc. Besides, how many has Apple sold?

3. The price is substantially more than an iPod and at least $100 more than the most expensive PDA's out there.

2. So if it is not about speed, I guess you use dial-up internet at home and work? Guess I am wasting my money with Verizon's FiOS service at my house, offering 15megbits per second? It is about speed.

1. Agreed, they all suck. However, in my opinion and the opinion of Consumer Reports (Jan 2007 edition) AT&T is by far the worst.

Thanks for reading :)

Chris Carlson said...

That's interesting that you say that AT&T rates the worst... they seem to think that they rate the best nationwide... and Steve Jobs seems to think so too. (Largest Network, means most potential customers). I also learned that Mr. Jobs will be making money on each of the contracts. Good deal for Apple, and this works out to be a good deal for the consumer, only because AT&T is now charging $40 for their smartphone/PDA data plans.

So if you buy a Samsung Blackjack (about $48 after rebates and discounts), you get stuck with minimally a $80/month bill. You buy an iPhone you spend $500 and get hit with a $60/month bill for the same rate plans. Over a two-year contract that works out to be ($20 x 24months = $480). Roughly the price of the iPhone. So for $20 more (not accounting for inflation) you get a $20 4GB nano that plays video. Pretty good deal.

And for the high-speed data/internet surfing... you'll need to find a hot-spot and take advantage of the wi-fi.

It's a pretty slick device. I'll let you know if I keep mine.

Doc M, phd said...

i'll address more of your comments in a later post, but just read this and thought it was very applicable to your comments about AT&T:

ZDNet.com, John O'Grady:

"One thing that really sticks in my craw today after another day’s use is how lame the AT&T voice network is. I’m coming from Verizon Wireless, so I’m spoiled, I know, but come on! I have zero to three bars (out of five) of coverage in my office if I move 18 inches, and I’d call my coverage at home “spotty” at best. And don’t get me started on EDGE. The AT&T network is a dog and even T-Mobile laughs at their coverage."

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