I had been contemplating on getting a new mobile phone for some time now to replace my old Sony Ericsson k750 that I inheritted from Raquel. I wanted a phone that can basically replace my wonderful iPod Nano as my main mp3 player so that I just have one device to carry on me instead of two.
When I discovered that the new iPhone 3G was coming out in Australia, I became naturally interested. What better device to replace my iPod than a device closely related to it. As I was reading up on the features of the iPhone and the potential mobile plans that were going to be out there, I became even more excited to get one when it finally comes out. The Optus iPhone plans looked particularly nice as it allows me to use 3g and Internet access without having to take on a very expensive monthly plan. I amd my friend, Justin, who was also very keen on the iPhone, were constantly discussing the wonders of the iPhone leading up to its launch.
However, as time passed, I had a better think of what disadvantages the iPhone had. Here are some of it’s drawbacks:
- No copy and paste! That’s right. No stupid copying and pasting of texts across the iPhone’s different apps. It can’t even do copy and paste within the same app. What was Apple thinking?!
- The SMS app can’t delete individual messages. It’s ridiculous! You can delete whole conversation threads between you and any one person. But you can’t delete one of the messages any person sends you.
- As of right now, it has fewer available free apps than a Windows Mobile phone. Hopefully, that’s something that can be remedied in time.
- It only has a 2 megapixel camera when most modern phones would at least have a 3 megapixel camera.
- Stuck to using only one method of inputting text: the iPhone’s signature virtual keyboard. The keys looked small. How does Apple expect its customers to accurately hit those keys?
- Battery can only be replaced by Apple. This one just slightly annoying for me as don’t usually buy spare batteries for any of my older devices.
That made me look for an iPhone alternative like the HTC Diamond Touch that my other friend, Marty, recommended (he owns one). I’ve been a Windows Mobile PDA user for many years so a phone powered by the same OS like the HTC Diamond Touch really appealed to me. Marty allowed me to freely play with his phone because he just didn’t want any more people joining what he calls the Dark Side that is Apple. I was getting more and more convinced to go with HTC as it had more features than the iPhone. I even made a list of the HTC’s and iPhone’s features and scored each according to my preferences. The HTC scored way more than the iPhone.
I went to Organiser World two weeks ago to get an unlocked HTC phone. They were unfortunately sold out so I had to have the shop reserve me one when new stock came in. My iPhone buddy Justin found this out and declared me a traitor. I just had to laugh.
It took Justin 3 weeks of waiting to get his iPhone from Optus in the city. Apparently, if I got one from Optus, I had to sign up first and start using their mobile plan as I’m waiting for my iPhone to arrive after 4 week’s time. Too long, I thought.
Friday of the same week, I got the call from the shop that told me that my HTC was ready for pickup. I can get it that Friday or the next day only. After that, they’ll just sell it to somebody else.
The new phone was well within my reach and I didn’t have to wait 3 weeks to get it. I planned to get it on the Saturday so that I have a little more time to make sure that I was making the right choice. I went to OW’s website to look at the price again. It was over $800 and I was then finding that to be a bit expensive. That made me doubt my choice a little.
I then looked for a suitable 3G mobile plan that could take advantage of the new phone’s features but still be inexpensive. The problem was that there wasn’t a cheap mobile data plan out here. It seemed like the best mobile deal to be had was tied to the iPhone. That meant that the different Australian telco carriers don’t offer those mobile plans unless you got an iPhone. Unfair, I know.
So, getting a new phone seemed like it was going to be a very expensive endeavour. That made me question my need for a new phone at all. Having noticed my apparent confusion about the whole thing, Raquel asked me what was it that made me think of getting a new phone anyway. I considered the question for a moment then replied that all I really wanted was to merge my iPod with my phone. That was why I wanted to get an iPhone to start with.
Sure the HTC had more features according to my score sheet, but in the end, I didn’t want to get a new phone for those listed features. I wanted a good iPod replacement that was also a phone. Using just that criteria, the iPhone wins hands down. Everything else I would get on top of that is just gravy. Also, it would turn out to be a much cheaper proposition to just go with an iPhone than with HTC.
After having decided to go with the Dark Side, I called up the Optus shop in the city to ask about the availability of the iPhone. They said it would take 4 weeks to get one, as expected. So, I then called up the Optus shop in Werribee to ask if they had the black 16gb iPhone at their shop. The person on the phone said yes. I couldn’t believe it. I had to rephrase my question and he again confirmed that the iPhone I wanted was available in their shop that very second!
I went to the Optus shop that day, signed up for the $29 Yes Plan that offered a 250mb monthly data allowance and free wifi access to Optus hotspots, and got myself a new shiny black iPhone! All on the same day.
Justin was understandably upset that I didn’t even have to wait for my iPhone. Marty, on the other hand, was just upset that I went with the iPhone anyway.
Now, I’ve been using it for 2 weeks and I’ve come to this conclusion: I absolutely love it! I don’t know why. It’s certainly lacking a lot of must-have features, but what it does have, it does it real well! Like the keyboard which I thought had very small keys, it actually works pretty well! And with a thumb, no less. I’m so comfortable with this method of text entry that I’ve typed this whole blog post and me previous one entirely on my new iPhone. I found that to be a big chore with my Windows Mobile PDA.
On paper, the iPhone may look weak but when I finally got to use it, it turns out to be a very delightful device. No wonder a lot of people are big iPhone fanatics. And a lot of these people were like me who thought that the iPhone wouldn’t be as nice a phone as it turned out to be.
I’m not saying you should get one too. All I’m saying is that I’m glad I got one.