My boss at work has suggested that he might purchase Apple iPhones for us. He needs a new phone, and wants to afford us the opportunity to play with the fancy new gadget, too. We’d be responsible for paying the monthly plan charges – he’d only be able to get the phones themselves for us.
The battery in my Treo is beginning to lose charge, so I was at first a little excited at the idea of getting an iPhone. I admit to being extremely impressed by both the functionality and the sheer elegance of the unit. But upon careful reflection, I think I’m probably going to pass, for a number of reasons:
- The iPhone uses AT&T for the carrier, notorious for their eagerness to help spy on American citizens
- I don’t use Microsoft Windows or Mac OS X, so I’d have trouble activating and syncing the iPhone through the iTunes Music Store
- the iPhone does not support Bluetooth Dial-Up Networking, which allows me to connect to the Internet from my laptop via my phone. Although I don’t use this feature a lot, it’s darned handy when I do use it.
- I don’t listen to a lot of music while out and about, so the iPod functionality of the iPhone is not very appealing to me
Another compelling reason to avoid the iPhone is lack of third-party applications. Although I use it only rarely, one of the reasons I really like my Treo is the ability to ssh into Linux servers from anywhere. There is an ssh solution for iPhones, but it’s (to me) an inelegant hack. I don’t know that the Safari scripts permitted on the iPhone will provide the kind of features I would like to have.
The biggest reason not to get the iPhone, though, is cost – both dollars and minutes. We use Sprint for our carrier, currently. Our Family Plan includes me, Carina, and my dad. We have a pool of minutes we all share, and we can call each other’s cell phones without using any minutes. Were I to get an iPhone, I’d be paying an extra monetary fee every month, and Carina and my dad would have to consume minutes when communicating with me (though I likely wouldn’t consume any minutes, due to the iPhone’s free mobile-to-mobile calls).