I held an iPhone for the first time a couple of weeks ago. We went to Alex and Melissa’s for dinner, and Santa Claus brought them one, so I got to play with it for a good long while.
There’s no doubt it’s a fantastic product. It was more substantial than I expected it to be (without being overly heavy), and material choice, quality, and melding is perfect. The user interface is eminently explorable and never intimidating. The screen is gorgeous.
And I don’t want one.
The “everything” gadget has never turned me on, and I doubt it ever will. I want my telephone, my camera, my music player, and my PDA to be different things. For one thing, more functionality and (often) higher quality is available in individual components. For another, if something happens to one of them (theft, dropped onto the sidewalk, etc.), then I haven’t lost the rest of them, too.
I wonder how much longer I’ll have that choice? Are there enough people who feel as I do, or is the Swiss Army knife device the new paradigm?
The only significant capability an iPhone would add to my life is the “anywhere” net access. That sounds appealing at first blush, but would I really do anything with it? I have high-quality access both at home and at work, and a Wi-Fi-enabled laptop and PDA. How much more connected to the Internet do I need to be? I can’t recall a single time when I had to have the net right then, and any significant discomfort was generated by its unavailability.
After all, for all of the affection I have for toys and technology, I’m still a GenXer who’s never sent a text message.
The iPhone won’t do anything else that I don’t have in another box, except radiate that Apple hipness. Clearly I don’t value that very highly, either: this afternoon I replaced the battery in my (“boring,” ancient, monochrome, 4GB) iPod mini, which I’ve owned since July 2005. I have friends who have been through three iPods in the same period.
I put the iPhone down with much the same feeling I had toward the first BlackBerry I played with, nearly eight years ago:
This is really neat, but they didn’t build it for me.