By the time Steve Jobs had covered the essentials at his appearance at the Apple Store this morning and unveiled both pricing and mobile phone carrier exactly in accord with our predictions (£269 inc VAT for an 8GB handset on an 18-month contract on 02, if you really hadn’t heard), I was pretty much through with the iPhone.
It’s too expensive for the likes of you and me (unless you’re a Mac fan, a City boy on an obscene bonus or a complete fashion victim) and an iPod Touch plus a smaller, less costly device that lets me get online and do email is a far more likely scenario.
Data-only tariffs on smartphone handsets are where it’s at as far as I’m concerned. I can upgrade my phone when I wish, take advantage of better deals more frequently and, for the times when I do want to jump online, there’s my BlackBerry Pearl or another smallish device which I use far more easily to tap out texts and write curt emails.
Really, though, it’s each to their own. There will be plenty of people who take the opposite view from me and who would dearly love to have a single, iconic item that they can use to get online, text message, use for photos and music and make and take calls. In this era of compact, lightweight flash memory video players, the iPhone seems awfully big.
As a colleague commented this afternoon: “It’s alright for you; you’ve got a handbag to slip it in”.
What doesn’t surprise me is that someone has already created a Facebook Flyer (a link that looks like a Facebook app button but actually takes you to an advertising splash page) giving visitors to the social-networking site the chance to Win this iPhone.
As per the taxing questions posed on the now defunct phone-in competitions on GMTV et al, you have to choose between Microsoft and Apple as being behind the iPhone. And then you get to type in your mobile number and enter at a pound a pop per text to the Wixawin Trivia Game subscription service. Note that’s a subscription service. Not only that, but it will cost another £1 a time for every message they send you – prepare to be spammed – until you can take it no more and text STOP to 81121. At that point, presumably, you are removed from the prize draw.
Further inspection of the sign-up terms reveals that ‘subscribers compete to win high value prizes by playing the weekly Trivia Game.’ Weekly? At a pound a pop for each text you send and each reply they send you? The game goes on from now until 31st December. Conservatively speaking, that’s a £80 outlay per person between now and the end of the year if you sign up now, even if it’s just a single weekly text to enter and another to confirm your entry.
I must point out that there’s nothing wrong with this and the company running it is signed up to the Icstis code of practice. I just wonder how many people, having been pumped up by many month’s of the iPhone hype, plus months in the wilderness with no phone-in quizzes to enter, are going to get sucked into paying a hell of a lot for nothing.
Even at £35-a-month for 18 months and at a cost of £269 a time, it makes far more sense to go and buy an iPhone.