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iPhone, A Year Out
2008-10-22 11:14
by Will Carroll
Notes:
Scott Long is now blogging at NSFWsports.com.
Will Carroll can still be found at Baseball Prospectus.

It's actually been more than a year since I stood in line outside an AT&T store, expecting a shortage that never came. The iPhone was everything I expected and more, but does it hold up? As Apple reports that it's sold 10 million of the buggers, does that make them less cool?

Answer: Yes and no.

The iPhone is one of the things that after you use it, you wonder how you lived without it. My first phone, a Qualcomm model from Sprint that I got in 1999, was marketed as "thin" -- it was about double the thickness of the iPhone. It had nascent web access and honestly it was usable for me, since I was using a text-based web (anyone else remember Lynx?) as late as 1996. Still, it made me realize that I'd been missing something. Today, I can't imagine not having a phone, as it's been added to the "keys, wallet" check I make every time I walk out of the house.

What the iPhone did was make it so I could very literally ask the question "Do I need to take the laptop?" I dont use my laptop in the car. I don't take a laptop to dinner. Even with the emerging 'netbook' class of computers, the iPhone is still the perfect device. The other night, I was at a play (Avenue Q) and could check the score of the Rays-Sox game. Waiting before the show, I played Scrabble and read FiveThirtyEight.

As with other Apple products, it "just works." I've had no real problems and the one I did - it was locking up - was fixed with a restore. The battery life is tolerable, especially after the 2.1 update. Yeah, the battery life got better with a software update. I am buying an external battery, but I could live without it.

I see more and more on the street and I can't imagine why anyone would buy a regular phone. Yes, there's the keyboard issue and if it's that make or break, I understand why people would use Blackberry. Having used Windows Mobile, I have no idea why anyone with a choice would use it. It's worse than regular Windows. Still, Blackberry is moving to the touchscreen, though I think the Android G1 probably is the better solution. One thing I noticed was that I literally can't remember the last time I dialed the phone. I don't know what that says about me, but it's never really been an issue.

It works as a phone, an iPod replacement, a video device, a game playing machine, a laptop alternative, a decent enough camera, a recorder, and a GPS. I don't care if it's cool anymore; it's part of life for me now.

Comments
2008-10-22 11:32:13
1.   Xeifrank
Go Rays!!!
vr, Xei
2008-10-22 11:44:38
2.   dianagramr
You played Scrabble?

I'm even a bigger fan of you now!

2008-10-22 12:04:12
3.   Ken Arneson
Go Lynx!!!
vr, Ken
2008-10-22 14:03:34
4.   CharlesFosterKane
I'm always stunned when I find someone who doesn't have an iPhone--a situation that's surely more common in other parts of the country.

Just a glance at the applications store since they allowed other designers to write programs is enough to convince even the most hardened blackberry user.

2008-10-23 22:46:13
5.   Dangerous Bri
If cost is no object I would have the iPhone in a second. After adding texting and everything I have on my current plan I'd be paying 2x as much over the course of the year. The phone itself is amazing for the price.

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