in Personal

3 Reasons I Probably Won't Buy an iPhone

I’m really wanting a new phone – my current one (SMT 5600) has been through a lot and it’s about time to upgrade.   One of the phones I’ve been considering is Apple’s new iPhone.  After doing quite a bit of research on the web, I don’t believe the iPhone is going to be my next phone for a few reasons:

  1. No integrated GPS If I’m going to pay $500+ for a new phone that has really nice mapping software like the iPhone, it’s sure as heck going to have GPS support.  Sure, the iPhone may eventually support assisted GPS (where it uses the cell towers to determine the location) and that may work out well, but for now, it doesn’t look like any form of GPS will be supported in the near future.

  2. No tactile QWERTY keyboard I type at a decent speed on a regular keyboard and I know that speed will be drastically reduced on a mobile device, but I just can’t imagine how the virtual keyboard will work on the iPhone.  Apple says it takes a week or so to get the hang of it and then you’ll be typing at a productive speed, but I’m not so sure.  I type fast by not looking at the keys and can “feel” when I hit the wrong key and I don’t think that will translate well to the iPhone.  I have no doubt that the virtual keyboard will be really nice compared to using the standard phone keypad for text entry, but I don’t think it’ll be quite as good as a Treo/Blackberry type keyboard.  Maybe I’m under-estimating Apple here, but from the blogs I’ve seen where people tried to use the iPhone, I don’t think I’m too far off.  I’m sure this won’t be a huge issue for people that just want to send quick text messages, but if you’re like me and want the ability to respond to e-mails or post to a blog etc., then this may be an issue.

  3. Closed API and no SDK I realize most people don’t care about this at all, but as a software developer, I see this is quite a big issue.  Apple has said that third-party applications will be allowed on the phone as widgets (meaning HTML/JavaScript code that runs inside of Safari in the case of the iPhone).  It’s possible that Apple will expose key parts of the iPhone’s OS through javascript, but I haven’t heard anyone mention it yet.  To me, this means that you’ll have a powerful UNIX-based phone that really doesn’t do anything more than show pretty web widgets unless Apple decides to create more “real” applications for the phone.  Just seems like a waste of hardware too have so much potential trapped inside there with no way to access it – but maybe the widget interface will turn out better than anyone can imagine.

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