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However, given that you are likely to be inundated with Apple marketing I figured it might be a good time to refresh what the problems with the device initially will be and for folks to realize that no product is perfect for every person. The iPhone feeding frenzy that will soon kick off may have as the first one did people buying this version of the iPhone who probably would be still be happier with something else.
We learned a few things about the first iPhone. We learned where it worked well, we learned where it worked marginally, and we learned where it sucked. The 2.0 version of the iPhone expected to be released in the first ten days of next month is expected to be a vastly improved product. But one other thing we learned was that timing of your purchase is important because a large number of the folks who lined up for days to buy the first iPhone got, well, screwed.
It is even possible Apple will reduce prices again a couple months after the launch as they did the first time to accelerate demand into the back-to-school buying season, but this is probably unlikely.
Also realize that this 2.0 version represents a significant software change, which introduces third party software onto the platform. This is likely to cause some initial breakage as the bugs are worked out. On this last, the process that Apple has put in place to apparently assure quality goes beyond anything Ive ever seen on a platform available to third party developers. So I think you can conclude that the breakage window will probably be relatively short.
This suggests your best bet is probably to not buy the iPhone on the initial launch weekend. Instead you might want to wait until volume catches up with demand and the facilities to switch the phone (if you are switching from another service) catch up, before buying the iPhone. I doubt youll need to wait a month, but it probably would be prudent, given what happened with the first generation, to at least wait a week or two while following any breakage reports to ensure your experience will go seamlessly.
With any new product there is a period of time when initial problems need to be worked out and that, particularly with a phone you depend on, any breakage is probably not worth having the device early. Reviewers will probably have the phones around the end of this month but theyll be personally serviced by Apple to ensure positive reviews so those initial reviews should be taken with a grain of salt.
Independent reviewers should have reviews up the day of the launch and these will likely be more reliable and give us a better sense where the new phones shortcomings are. (It is most likely to have battery issues, given this is a common problem with first generation 3G phones).
Your IT department probably wont like this version of the iPhone very much because, unlike the last version, this one will be near impossible to say no to. Still, if you are looking for your company to subsidize this phone it would be wise to wait until they actually cover it by policy which (assuming the phone works as anticipated) should eventually be the case. However, because this phone will still largely be seen as more of an entertainment than a productivity device I wouldnt expect your firm to buy you one. And it will probably continue to be blocked in many, if not most, BlackBerry shops.
This leads to the user group that probably wont like the new iPhone much better than the old one: people who do a lot of email or messaging on their phones and currently have, or want, phones with keyboards.
One interesting device that currently wont work with the iPhone is the upcoming Redfly, which could revolutionize how a smart phone is used and actually allow it to truly replace a laptop. Check out this video. Currently its Windows Mobile 6.1 only but that could change now that Apple has opened their platform up a bit. While the iPhones improvements will dramatically improve web experiences and the device will interface much better with corporate email systems, it still lacks the thumb keyboard that BlackBerry and Windows Mobile users have become addicted to. And until the device addresses this, it will probably not be acceptable to most who currently are addicted to a Blackberry-like device.
Be aware, however, that it is likely that Apple will eventually address this keyboard disadvantage and that device may be worth waiting for.
Tidbits of iPhone Advice
Oh, if you have a tendency to leave your phone in public places or drop your phone a lot you wont have it long. These things are clear targets for thieves and I cant tell you the numbers of them Ive seen with broken screens so, if you get one, make sure you get a protective cover like those offered from Otterbox.
It seems that mostly these are dropped when folks are rushing to pull it out of their pocket or purse or when they share them with others and the other folks drop them. Trust me when I say there are few things sadder than a brand new iPhone with a broken screen. By the way, its not just the iPhone; anything with a large screen is likely to be fragile.
In addition, if you like to watch a lot of videos on the device you may want to pick up the extended battery made by Mophie, called the Juice Pack. It costs $100 but can add substantially to the battery life of the phone.
You arent buying an MP3 player; you are buying a phone that your business and life may depend upon. Approach the decision accordingly and put in place the proper protection and youll be happy regardless of whether you buy the iPhone or some other high profile phone.
But do try to avoid being the very first unless you are really willing to share the initial pain that often goes with technology products when they are first brought to market.
In addition there are clear alternatives this round that might make a better choice. For instance, the new Samsung Glyde.might be better for those who are power email users. Also, the forthcoming Asus 3.5G M536, Lamborghini, and RIM Blackberry Bold phones may be worth waiting for as well.
Still, with what is expected to be a sharp price drop for the iPhone, allowing it to sell in the $200 range, you may not care. In any case, take your time, and buy smart as youll be living with this decision for the next two years of your phone contract.
As the first buyers of the iPhone unfortunately found out, being first has its disadvantages and by October your choices, at the very least, will be much more interesting.