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Why I Purchased an iPhone

When the iPhone first launched, I posted about three reasons I would NOT be buying an iPhone…yesterday, I broke down and bought a 4GB iPhone.  So what changed?

1) Price

I have a 5th generation iPod – so I don’t need an 8/16GB+ player – so 4GB is just fine with me.  Apple decided to discontinue the 4GB model, so the price dropped to $299 from $499.  If you look at other smartphones out there, $300 isn’t a bad price at all.

2) Seeing is Believing (i.e. why the on-screen keyboard works)

One of my original concerns was the fact that the keyboard has no feedback at all.  After playing with the phone for a bit, it’s pretty obvious the keyboard is just fine.  There is a large keyboard for use with Safari for web browsing and that keyboard is great.  Then there is a small keyboard for SMS, e-mail, etc.  The small keyboard is usable, but it isn’t quite as good.  But when I thought about it, even the small keyboard is vastly superior to the other non-querty keyboards and it’s really not much worse than the hardware qwerty keyboards I’ve used on a Treo.

3) Did I really need GPS? No.

I originally thought I really needed GPS in the phone – and I admit, I think it would still be a great feature with the built-in Google Maps.  But after thinking about this for a while, I came to the conclusion that I would most likely use the maps to figure out what streets to take, finding where to connect to the interstate, etc and really didn’t need my position or real-time navigation.  I also have a Garmin GPS unit for times when I really do want a true GPS and I have a feeling it would work much better than anything they can cram into a cellphone anyway.

The one thing I’m still worried about from my original post is 3rd party application support.  The included applications are decent overall and I can certainly get the job done, but it would be nice to have the option to extend the functionality easily (e.g. adding a Pocket Quicken application).  I know it’s possible to do a hack on the phone to make this work (or was possible at one point), but this is still something Apple needs to address.

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