Apple’s iphone comes out tonight. Whoopdy Do! Its just a stupid phone and it costs too much money – $499 and $599. My motorola phone is 2 years old and if it died tomorrow i think i would resurrect my REALLY old Sony Ericsson 68i which i loved. If i want iTunes then i will buy an iPod. If i want a notebook i will write on paper with pen – which i still prefer. Yes it looks cool. Damn cool. But I just cant justify buying it or the service. In fact, AppleMatters calculates the iphone will cost you $3000 over two years. Maybe you cant afford it either. Is anyone buying this phone? Engadget has the skinny.

I remember the days when Apple was a company that helped people become productive rather than their current role as a vendor of cool products. I attended Mac Expo in 2000 in San Francisco and my life changed . . . radically changed. It was productivity rather than products. I think those days are gone.

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Andrew Jones launched his first internet space in 1997 and has been teaching on related issues for the past 20 years. He travels all the time but lives between Wellington, San Francisco and a hobbit home in Prague.


  • “It was productivity rather than products. I think those days are gone.”
    I’m not so sure about that. I love my PowerBook G4 to death and if/when it kicks the bucket, I’ll be picking up something Intel-ish that can run essentially any operating system. As a web designer, that would be like greased lightning compared to my current workflow (PowerBook, a chunky Gateway laptop, and a cranky Ubuntu desktop).
    Sure, iPhone is ultra-spendy – the first 10GB iPod debuted at $499 too, and AT&T will be laughing their way to the bank. I won’t be getting one (moving to the UK in Sept).
    Leopard’s a bit underwhelming. iWork needs a refresh. And Apple TV has a lot of untapped potential. But Tiger is outstanding and I’ve never been happier with the digital half of my life.

  • Phil Hull says:

    I agree. I am a gadget guy but this is just too much. I have a T-Mobile MDA smartphone that I got for free after rebates that can do a lot of what the iPhone can do. (Although it’s not as slick, I will admit.) I am a big Apple fan and I’ve owned several Macs going back to a G3 in the beige box, but I think they’ve lost sight of what they used to be about.
    I still would give my right arm for a MacBook Pro.

  • Joshua Rudd says:

    Just remember that most people are already paying at least $1,800 over a normal 2-year contract period for just mobile phone service w/o all the bells and whistles.

  • Joe Kennedy says:

    Some Canadian news reporter reminded us the other day that for the $500 you lay down for the iPhone, you can give it to WorldVision and fund a new schoolroom and such. Leave it to the Canadians to give this American a conscience. Geez.

  • fernando says:

    I’ve lamented this a few times over recent years. It seems something went wrong when the focus went from professional productivity to creative cool.
    That said, I have no doubt I will pick up an iPhone eventually. But I would get more excited over a solid new version of Logic Pro and an Audio-oriented desktop computer between the iMac and the Mac Pro.

  • Nicholas says:

    I take the point to spending 3050 in 2 years. I wouldn’t really have a problem with spending 500 on an iPod, portable video player, cell phone, digital camera, and PDA. . . (if I had the money and needed something to do those things), but the total cost is what is unreal. . .

  • Nicholas says:

    Oh, and I should say that you are trailing in a recent popularity contest being run on the sidebar of my blog. You really need to up your celeb status. . .

  • chad says:

    $3000? try almost $6000 dollars for the highest plan.
    I agree with Joe. There are certain costs which technology that are expensive but end up doing alot of good once used, like a computer or the right software used to communicate the kingdom. But spending 6 grand on a stinkin cell phone?
    I just couldn’t justify it.

  • robbymac says:

    I love my Mac (cue music here)…
    However, even the iPod’s only last one year before they croak, so you’ve got to buy a new one pretty much yearly.
    I’ll take a G4 tower (which I currently use) anyday, and my dream for my next laptop will be a MacBook without even a second thought.
    But the iPod and iPhone can kiss my tuckus. Apple is making a big mistake promoting cool over content — we don’t need two Microsofts!

  • Rob Witham says:

    I agree Andrew. $500 is ridiculous and to spend $3,000 over two years is just outrageous. Stewardship does become a question at some point – doesn’t it? I am actually in the process of extricating myself from my current provider’s contract and converting back to a prepaid mobile service to keep my monthly costs lower.

  • Jeff says:

    Hmmm. As the proud, unexpected new owner of an iPhone, I just have to say… it’s well worth the cost. I’ve used a Treo 650 for almost a year and a half and it’s saved my bacon many times as far as appointments and contacts go.
    I never could use a PalmPilot, though I wanted to. When it became integrated with a phone, it helped in innumerable ways.
    I’ve played with this iPhone for less than 3 hours now, and the possibilities are truly phenomenal.
    You pay that much for any smartphone these days. However, if you just use a phone for a phone, I highly agree – don’t get an iPhone. It would be a waste of your money.

  • Jeff says:

    BTW, that guy’s article was a little ridiculous. In fact, VERY. Cost for the iPhone for me… an extra $20 a month. I already use Cingular/AT&T.
    Never had a data plan with my Treo, so signing up for the $20 a month Apple plan was easy and a no-brainer. Factor in that I will mainly use its web features with WIFI anyway, and I may even lose the data plan eventually.
    Oh, and the case was only $24.99.
    Let’s not promote Mac haters here by quoting articles that just bait you… 😉

  • Rich says:

    Yes, the phone is costly . . .
    But if your professional career calls for on-the-go multi-tasking, the idea behind the iphone is a revelation. It reeks of productivity and efficiency for some jobs, maybe not for yours. Yet.
    Don’t be so quick to lose heart. Steve Job’s dream of integrating digital life is still Mac’s driving pulse.

  • andrew jones says:

    nice to hear both sides. you may convert me yet . . .

  • Cathryn Thomas says:

    it’s a great idea… i was drooling…. however like anything else… once the hoopla cools a bit… price with come down.
    now i need to go deal with my coveting issues.!!
    shalom- and ps.. i do love my MacPro… but still learning.!!

  • churchless says:

    I unashamedly want one. I a sick of carrying my phone and ipod around. Will I still need my palm though for work? I can’t wait!

  • cloudburst says:

    i think that the ‘hype’ side of apple has saved their bacon, to put it mildly. w/o ipods, and other a-like ‘cool’ products, we may not get the opportunity to see real upgrades and progress being made. i’ve heard the latest ish of the MB pro is pretty solid, and using LED screens is wonderful.
    i guess i’m thinking ‘don’t bite the hand that feeds you’.. now if only the MB’s would get cheaper.. :/

  • Paul Morgun says:

    I would have to agree…since when has apple become sooo well American…ohhh right…never mind.

  • Helen says:

    I had a recent birthday and so, now I have an iphone.
    I disagree about not productive – the reason for getting it is so that when my husband is traveling we can both e-mail each other. Time zones, meetings and travel itself often make short e-mails easier to send and read than dealing with voice calls and voice-mails. So we were interested in me having a data-enabled phone.
    The cheapest data option on this is $20 a month – a lot cheaper than the $50 a month he (his company) pays for his blackberry data plan (plus $50 a month for voice).
    And we have a family plan so it’s $70 for voice service on three phones (one iphone and 2 voice phones) rather than $50 or more for voice on one.
    I like to be able to get in touch with my kids when they’re out with their friends, so I wanted them to have phones.
    We just started this so we will see how it works. If they use all the minutes up (they are shared) or do expensive non-included things on their phones, well – we will cross that bridge if (or when?) we come to it…

  • Graham Doel says:

    Sounds like your ready to switch to Linux. I love ubuntu and couldn’t live without it now.
    Or for the video fans

  • Hey Andrew, I came accross the article below and figured it was right up your “lamenting the productive apple days” so I thought I’d pass it along. It essentailly compares a Mac from the 80s (86 Mac Plus) against a 2007 AMD Dual Core and tests them in basic functions. You’ll have to read it to find out who wins.

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