When I first got the iPhone in early July 2007, it was a necessary research expense. Only by sampling the features and, most importantly, its ease of use could I determine the prudence of increasing my AAPL stake. By testing it frequently using my 2, 4 and eight year olds as test subjects, I knew that Apple would dominate the cell phone market. So when it was down from $200 to mid $120s in February and March, I quickly bought some more AAPL.
The financial aspect of the iPhone settled, I switch my focus to its suitability for non-tech savvy boomers. The iPhone is a great product whose features will come easy for any Blackberry addict. The rub, as with many technological advances, is that you have to read the instructions. Smartly, Apple has a multitude of great videos that replace the usual written manuals.
That being said, the iPhone learning curve is shorter than a Blackberry, but because more use Blackberrys, for now, it is easier to get hands on help from peers.
With the recent release of the “new” iPhone and 2.0 software for 1st generation iPhone users, now seems like a great point at which to asses the iPhone.
As my friends know, I bought the 4 GB version for $399 with the $100 “apology” rebate. I did not, like some people, feel slighted when then lowered to 8 GB from $599 to $399.
Every day with my iPhone has been a joy. I can give it to any of my children and they can find games they like, take pictures, listen to music or watch kids videos. I can be instantly updated on all 200 stocks I track anywhere except underground and in a plane. The same for Mets games.
My appreciation for the iPhone is shared by my oldest daughter, who understands its potential as well. We have a side deal that has her getting my current iPhone once AAPL hits $200.
Of course, this means that I would be getting the new iPhone. While I wait for AAPL to rise I was able to upgrade my current phone to iPhone 2.0 software. It was quite tedious to complete the upgrade, which was well documented (Current and New iPhone Users Plagued by Software Problems).
It was all worth it. The case may be the same but the old iPhone is now longer. Back in 2007, shortly after I purchased my current iPhone, I stated that it’s all about the software. The iPhone’s features, even the touch screen, can be duplicated by any of Apple’s rivals. What separates the iPhone is the software. Nothing reinforces that more than the 2.0 software. I may not have GPS but I do have the App Store.
I’ve already downloaded 20 free games and about $50 in paid games. My favorite so far is Apple’s own Texas Hold’em while my kid’s favorites include Super Monkey Ball, Zen Garden, Enigmo and the free “Hal” type Panic Alarm.
Before the iPhone but with the example the iPod, I had always hoped that Apple would devote some of its energy to building a better, simpler, TV remote. One of the new “apps” is Apple’s free “Remote”. Not only will your iPhone control TV and computer but its easier too. This feature, like many other Apple “smartphone” features, will quickly be replicated by the likes of Nokia or RIMM. But will any other company besides Apple have hundreds of outside developers improving the iPhone.
The 2.0 upgrade also improves both the calendar and address book. Beyond the great games are the expected assortment of free news feeds, weather and other basic tools.
To fully appreciate the new enterprise features, like push mail and automatic calendar synchronization, I also signed up for the 60 trial of MobileMe. MobileMe is Apples version of push mail service. Basically, if you don’t use Microsoft exchange but want the same push mail features, Apple offers MobileMe for $99 per year.
As with the software upgrade, the MobileMe service seems to be overloaded right now, so I’ll reserve judgement for the its speed of update until a week or so. Other then the acknowledged speed issue the functionality is pretty cool. I haven’t connected the iPhone to the computer all day and it has all the appointments I entered on my Mac Mini today.
My original investment decision remains intact and only a significantly higher price that $175 will change my view on AAPL. So far as the actual product…BUY ONE.
If you spend a few moments watching the following from Apple you will quickly see why the iPhone is no Blackberry.
iPhone: Watch the Guided Tour