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From Jeff Atwood:

Let me start by saying up front that I am a fan of the iPhone.

Let me start by saying up front that I am not.

He brings up one of my biggest criticisms of the iPhone:

EDGE data connections, on the other hand, are none of those things. When my Samsung Blackjack is using an EDGE connection, it's like downloading the internet through an overclocked dialup modem. It's, in a word, unbelievably painful. It's the difference between "hey, let me whip out my phone and look this up really quick on wikipedia" and "eh, isn't worth the time investment." For reference, when downloading files, I see data rates of around 10 kb/sec with EDGE, and easily five times that (or more!) with 3G. Every time I see my phone displaying that little "E" icon that denotes an EDGE connection, I frown. It's a warning sign that using the internet will now be an unsatisfying, tedious, dialup era chore, instead of the fun, tiny-little-cable-modem experience it could be with 3G.

So you might be more than a little concerned, as I am, that the iPhone only supports EDGE data connections-- and doesn't support 3G data connections at all! It's a cruel oversight for a phone that has such an outstanding web browser. Jobs' answer to this criticism is that the iPhone supports WiFi, and iPhone users should seek out WiFi connections instead of suffering through EDGE cellular connections.

I have WiFi on my PPC-6700.  I almost never use it.  The point of having wireless web capabilities on your phone is that you can use it wherever you are. I generally have my laptop with me too, which will always be a far better surfing experience than you're likely to get on any phone.  If WiFi is my option, my laptop is my choice, not my phone.

Plus, it's hard to use public WiFi on a phone.  They don't make it easy to use on anything other than a PC.  As Jeff points out:

I've lived the WiFi lifestyle when I've travelled, and it's not pleasant. Free, public WiFi points are a dying breed. Most WiFi points these days are locked down tight with passwords and encryption. And if they're not locked down, they want to charge you exorbitant rates for a few measly hours of WiFi access. It's like this at every single airport I've been at in the last year. And every Starbucks. And pretty much every other commercial venue.

Like Jeff, I also love the ability to tether my PPC-6700 to my PC and use it as a cellular modem.  I don't have to pay for internet at hotels.  Or anywhere I go.  I just use it.

Finally, let's look at the cost.  I paid about $150 for my PPC-6700 a little over a year ago.  The iPhone has a fancy UI, but in many ways (as described above) it's not even as powerful as my 6700.  At $200, the iPhone is interesting.  At $250, the iPhone is interesting but overpriced.  At $600, I laugh at people when I see them holding one.

I think that if you really want an iPhone, wait a year. By then, they'll come out with a second version, that really will be better than your typical Windows Mobile Device.  And might actually be worth the Apple premium.

Jeff sums it up:

It's not my goal to crush anyone's dreams of owning their first iPhone. I know you've heard this a million times, but never, never has it been more true for any technology product: wait for version 2.0 before buying.

Posted on Tuesday, July 10, 2007 12:20 PM General | Back to top

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