Opinion: Why You Shouldn't Buy the 2.0 iPhone

By Rob Enderle

May 30, 2008

Datamation's Rob Enderle attempts to counteract the inevitable inundation of Apple marketing for the iPhone 2.0.

Rob Enderle
Don’t get too excited: I’m not lobbying against the iPhone.

However, given that you are likely to be inundated with Apple marketing I figured it might be a good time to refresh what the problems with the device initially will be – and for folks to realize that no product is perfect for every person. The iPhone feeding frenzy that will soon kick off may have – as the first one did – people buying this version of the iPhone who probably would be still be happier with something else.

We learned a few things about the first iPhone. We learned where it worked well, we learned where it worked marginally, and we learned where it sucked. The 2.0 version of the iPhone expected to be released in the first ten days of next month is expected to be a vastly improved product. But one other thing we learned was that timing of your purchase is important because a large number of the folks who lined up for days to buy the first iPhone got, well, screwed.

Timing

Recall that with the first iPhone folks waited in line for hours only to find the phones readily available a few short days later. In addition, also recall that there were so many switching from other carriers to AT&T that the people who did the switching got overwhelmed and a lot of people had to do without their phones for extended periods of time.

It is even possible Apple will reduce prices again a couple months after the launch as they did the first time to accelerate demand into the back-to-school buying season, but this is probably unlikely.

Also realize that this 2.0 version represents a significant software change, which introduces third party software onto the platform. This is likely to cause some initial breakage as the bugs are worked out. On this last, the process that Apple has put in place to apparently assure quality goes beyond anything I’ve ever seen on a platform available to third party developers. So I think you can conclude that the breakage window will probably be relatively short.

This suggests your best bet is probably to not buy the iPhone on the initial launch weekend. Instead you might want to wait until volume catches up with demand and the facilities to switch the phone (if you are switching from another service) catch up, before buying the iPhone. I doubt you’ll need to wait a month, but it probably would be prudent, given what happened with the first generation, to at least wait a week or two while following any breakage reports to ensure your experience will go seamlessly.

With any new product there is a period of time when initial problems need to be worked out and that, particularly with a phone you depend on, any breakage is probably not worth having the device early. Reviewers will probably have the phones around the end of this month but they’ll be personally serviced by Apple to ensure positive reviews – so those initial reviews should be taken with a grain of salt.

Independent reviewers should have reviews up the day of the launch and these will likely be more reliable and give us a better sense where the new phone’s shortcomings are. (It is most likely to have battery issues, given this is a common problem with first generation 3G phones).

IT Support

Your IT department probably won’t like this version of the iPhone very much because, unlike the last version, this one will be near impossible to say no to. Still, if you are looking for your company to subsidize this phone it would be wise to wait until they actually cover it by policy which (assuming the phone works as anticipated) should eventually be the case. However, because this phone will still largely be seen as more of an entertainment than a productivity device I wouldn’t expect your firm to buy you one. And it will probably continue to be blocked in many, if not most, BlackBerry shops.

For the rest of this article, click here. Article courtesy of Datamation.



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