Confessions of a semi-reluctant iPhone buyer

Confessions of a semi-reluctant iPhone buyer

Last Thursday I got a (very) early birthday present—an iPhone 4. Before you say “So what.” or “Wow, did you wait in line overnight!?!”, I want to say that about a year and a half ago I wouldn’t have thought I’d have or want an iPhone.  So these are the confessions of a semi-reluctant iPhone buyer.

I switched from a “regular” cell phone to a Blackberry 7130e about five years ago. Oh it was glorious and amazing. I could get email everywhere. I could tether it to my laptop and have Internet access whenever I needed it (WiFi everywhere was still a dream back then remember). I got used to the slim keyboard style (the kind that is still used on the Pearl), but the EVDO speeds were pretty amazing for the time. A couple years ago I had grown weary of the 7130 and its wee keyboard (you think your iPhone makes strange word guesses, try smart type sometime), so I switched to a Curve. This was all just before the iPhone was released in Canada. I was with Telus at the time (and still am in fact) and with a year left on my contract, there was no way to swing canceling my Telus contract, switching to Rogers, and buying a new phone. Just wasn’t going to happen. Also I didn’t think that the iPhone at the time was that great an email device (this is what I used my Blackberry for a lot). While I thought the iPhone was (and is) a revolutionary device, I didn’t think it was for me. At least not yet.

Another year passes and Telus is offering the iPhone, by this time I wanted one. My girlfriend (now wife) had a iPhone 3G and I found that browsing and just using the thing was great. Use my Blackberry for checking out websites? Yeah, I’d rather not thank you. Oh and the apps. The apps on the iPhone were so much cooler than my Blackberry. Yeah, I tried the Storm, and what a terrible phone that it was. I never tried the Storm 2 or the Torch, but all things point to RIM just not being able to get the whole touch thing down. Well since I was only a year into my contract with Telus I wasn’t eligible to get an iPhone at the promo pricing. I tried. I really tried. Still I am, at heart, frugal so I couldn’t justify getting a new phone “just because it was cool”.

Then the iPhone 4 comes out.

Wow, now that’s an amazing device. I’d had my iPad for several months by then and had finally groked the whole iOS thing. Everything made sense and worked. Oh and the apps … the apps were just as glorious as I had hoped. After checking if I could switch to my wife’s Fido plan and save us some money (nope, no more family plans there) checked Telus and (be still my heart) I qualified for the promotional pricing. My wife knew I wanted an iPhone very badly by this point, so she and my mother-in-law planned to give one to me for my birthday (which is in November, btw) and that I should just get one sooner rather than later.

So I did.

So, what happened? How did I go from “nope, my Blackberry is awesome and I don’t think I’d like an iPhone” to “I really want an iPhone and I know it will be a great device for me”? It’s all in the use case. First, I don’t talk on the phone very much. I email, I text, I check maps, talking not so much. In fact when I do have to talk on the phone I prefer to use my Bluetooth headset. While email on the Blackberry might still be better than on the iPhone , the more used an iPhone, the more I liked it. Looking at the smaller, cramped screen on my Blackberry was just painful after using the real browser on the iPhone. The thing is, it’s not that I was sucked in by Apple per se, but the larger form factor, the touch screen, the resolution of the screen, and the entire UI. I had tried the Sony Ericsson X10 mini and the only think I didn’t like about it was the size. It was just too small. If I had been sent the larger Xperia, then I probably would have loved it. So it isn’t iOS, it’s how the device works. It’s how fast and easily I can do something.

So, yes, I poo-pooed the iPhone at first. So I thought that, while it was going to change everything from the moment it came out (it did), that the device wasn’t quite there yet (I still maintain that it wasn’t). So, I eventually changed my mind and realized that an iPhone was more than hype, even if it might not be the best phone in the world, and got one. So what that all the computers and phones (plus iPad) in my house are Apple devices. I guess it turns out that I just like the way they work, look, and get things done.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have more apps to download for my new phone.

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