Should I Get An iPhone?

Posted Wednesday, August 13, 2008, 8:50 PM

I don't have a mobile phone. I have never had a mobile phone. Their ubiquitousness bothers me; their inescapability irritates me; the broad assumption that we all have one frustrates me; the expectation I ought to have one disappoints me.

But I always knew that I would probably get one eventually, when the true need for one arose. Perhaps if I had a family of my own (I can safely predict that's not gonna happen), or was employed in a job that absolutely required one (I am unlikely to be in such a career, but you never know).

And now the iPhone has arrived in Australia, and I am wavering.

I am not a particular fan of Apple's "style over substance" approach to their products. They seem to spend rather too much money on something that looks cool, sometimes at the expense of usability, and usually use it as the centrepiece of their promotion: "Buy this, it's only slightly better than anything else out there, but it looks really pretty!" And a lot of people seem to like the prettiness more than the substance; The new MacBook Air only has its slimline design going for it, at the serious expense of practicality, and yet it's selling well.

I'm not anti-Mac, or pro-PC, I am loyal to PCs only because it's all I've ever known and see no need to change. Re-learning an OS, under the illusory expectation it's better, when it may be much of a muchness for my kind of usage, isn't something I'd want to spend time on.

But the iPhone... just seems to be so cool! And I don't mean in that "style over substance" way I'm decrying, because I wouldn't just give up my principles on a whim. The substance really is what makes it cool - it is usable, functional, full-featured, and, I have to be honest, represents the future of GUI design.

I think that if I do decide to get a mobile phone, it will have to be an iPhone. I won't accept anything less.

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