Stop Making Fun Of Me: Confessions Of An Early iPhone Adopter

Those of us who bought iPhones when they came out haven’t been very popular over the last year. We’ve been viewed as impulse-buying fanboys who got suckered into paying to beta-test an incomplete product on an inferior network. Then Steve Jobs sold us out. Now our co-workers won’t stop making fun of us. I bought my iPhone on June 29th, I still love it, and I can’t wait to buy a new one next week. Inside, my reasons why.

For all of the iPhone’s flaws—no 3G, no multimedia messaging, no flash (on the camera) or Flash (on the browser)—it’s still got more features than any phone I’ve used. The day after I got it, my fiancee and I drove out to Shenandoah for a friend’s party, and got lost. We always travel with an atlas, but it was useless for rural roads, and if I hadn’t had the iPhone and Google Maps, I might have actually had to get out of the car and ask directions. A GPS-equipped car could have done the same thing, but I don’t drive much, though, and as it turns out, I’m most in need of geographical assistance when I’m stumbling home from some bar, not driving. DC has a lot of circular roads, and although I know Fox & Hounds is near Dupont Circle, it usually wasn’t my first stop, so I couldn’t remember how to get there unless I checked Google Maps. While I’m on the subject of drunk iPhone use, let me also say that having access to YouTube and Wikipedia at a bar or in a hotel that doesn’t have WiFi is worth the full price of the iPhone by itself. (Ironically, if the iPhone had never come out, I not only wouldn’t be able to watch my favorite YouTube video (NSFW) on it, but the video couldn’t have even been made, as the iPhone is heavily featured in the video’s plot.)

Was the $500 I paid for my 4GB iPhone too much? Apple apparently thought so, as they dropped the prices pretty soon after, upsetting early purchasers. But they made up for it, in my opinion, by giving me a $100 Apple Store credit, which I’ve saved until the 3G is released. Before the new iPhones were announced last month, our techie brothers at Gizmodo posted a story called “How I Sold My iPhone In 24 Hours For More Than I Paid.” I followed the advice, and sold my year-old, 4GB iPhone for $300 the day after the 3G was introduced. Along with the credit, that’s $400 I’ve gotten back from my original $500 purchase. The 16GB iPhone will only be $300. Essentially, I’ve gotten to use my iPhone since it came out, and in a week, I’ll have a newer, better one, and $100 extra. Which I’ll use to pay for 20 months of previously free text messages.

Sent from my iPhone

(Photo: Ezee’s Emporium of Urban Treasures)

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