Category Archives: iPhone

Apple iPhone Forced to Unlock in Europe – Crying to the Bank …

While Apple is being forced to unlock the iPhone in Europe, it is tragic … because Apple is going to pay so much more in taxes from the HUGE profit they will be making … yea, that’s quite a tragedy.

The deal will be much like T-Mobile’s just-announced revised deal in Germany. Get the iPhone for $590 (in USD) if you sign a 2-year contract (monthly rates are like the US – about $50 to $100 (converted to USD)). If you want to buy an unlocked phone, it’s @$1,500 (USD).

So the consequences for Apple will be either make $500 + $20 a month from T-Mobile for each iPhone customer … or make some $1,300 in one fell swoop now.

Oh, what a tragedy for Apple.

While $1,500 is a lot for a phone, people have a choice but the bottom line is it doesn’t hurt Apple’s bottom line.

Consumers can get the full experience with T-Mobile or get slightly less with another carrier but don’t have to worry about a contract. It’s a win-win for Apple.

That’s why Apple is on a roll. They win by winning and they win by “losing.”

They will not only INCREASE sales but make more money upfront as a “consequence” of the ruling.

So, yes, the tax department will have to work a little harder and Apple will probably have to come up with more upgrades to deter people from buying a US phone (where the dollar is much cheaper), unlocking it and using it in Europe but all the bricking fears will silence most buyers – most that want an unlocked phone would rather pay $1,500 for an official phone they can take into an Apple store versus saving some money upfront but maybe worrying that every 2 months, there will be some major upgrade and their phone might die … you can bet adding the ablity to run 3rd party apps next year wll be a major upgrade and brick many unlocked older phones.

Again, win by winning and win by “losing.”

That’s how you plan ahead and run a business – where your worst consequence is you make more money and have more tax hassles …

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Filed under Advertising, Apple, Financial, Internet, iPhone, Marketing, mobile, Retail

iPhone “Free” Custom Ringtones Are Back – How To Make Your Own

UPGRADE SOME COMPONENTS FIRST

You will need to make sure your iPhone is updated to 1.1.2 and iTunes 7.5 & maybe even Quicktime 7.3. Of course, your iPhone upgrade is best handled by clicking on UPDATE after you dock your iPhone and turn on iTunes 7.5. This is a pretty big upgrade including a firmware upgrade so it will take 10-15 minutes in total – maybe sure you can do it un-interrupted.

READY

Yes, you can still pay $.99 for a ringtone from Apple which is the least amount of work required and sounds the best – but it’s very limited – maybe one of every 20 tracks is available to scrub as a ringtone, you also can’t merge different parts of a song together and of course, personally, if I buy a song, I should be able to mash, squeeze it and manipulate to my hearts content as long as I’m not selling it … but anyway, custom ringtones are back and here are some basic guidelines to converting your tracks to .m4r ringtones.

STEP 1

You will need some software that can open music tracks and let you edit portions. It’s would also be nice if that software offered you features to manipulate the sound – in particular, useful features available to you include:

Raising/Lowering Volume
Fade In & Fade Out
Boosting Bass

Note, the update of 1.1.2 seems to have raised the volume again (yes!) so you don’t need to increase as much as previously, in fact, I actually had to turn the ringer down slightly.

Fade In & Out is SO much classier than it just jumping in to the track and jumping out.

Boosting the Bass – most AIFF to mp3 to AAC to .m4r conversion seems to strip out the bass so it can sound kind of tinny – try to boost the bass a bit but not too much.

Also keep in mind, it has to be below :30 seconds.

WHAT TO USE?

If you are extremely lazy, the track sounds okay and you don’t care about FADE IN or OUT, you can even use iTunes. Insert your CD. Click on the track, Select GET INFO and shorten the in & out points to what you want and select CONVERT TO AAC. You now have a :30 track. Go down to instructions beoow on conversion to .m4r and you are set to go.

You can kludge iMovie also to get a FADE IN & FADE OUT but much more work is involved. If you only intend to create one ringtone, it is a way to go.

Or QT Pro will also allow editing but again, not very precise and a last resort.

REAL EDITING SOFTWARE

SOUND STUDIO

If you got SOUND STUDIO with your Mac purchase as I did you are set (currently, it’s $79.99), select IMPORT WITH QUICKTIME to open any MP3 file, highlight the areas you want and paste into a new file – you can even clip, edit and smooth out your edits – just keep it around :30 seconds and use the Fade in and Fade Out – then EXPORT with QUICKTIME to create an AIFF file. Then drag into iTUNES and convert to AAC.

GARAGEBAND

I don’t use GarageBand much but it’s free if you don’t have SOUND STUDIO. Create NEW Podcast. Open your ITUNES LIBRARY – search for song, drag TRACK to JINGLES – edit and manipulate away. Export PODCAST TO DISK – it will already be an AAC file.

Note, podcast export files are low fidelity but then it is a ringtone so you can decide.

FISSION

Rogue Amoeba also offers FISSION if you don’t have SOUND STUDIO. It’s around $32 and offers additional MP3 features other than just editing. Can’t go wrong with a solid app like Fission.

OTHERS

There are probably 50 other editors ranging from freeware to studio quality music editors if you have other software you prefer – just make sure the volume is okay, add fade in and outs and boost the bass a bit.

STEP 2

Once you have your tracks as AAC files – the easiest is to use the FREE Make iPhone Ringtone courtesy of Rogue Amoeba.

Download the MAKEIPHONERINGTONE app. That is the direct link to the app – Rogue’s blog notes are here.

Launch MakeiPhoneRingtone – drag your AAC file onto the front panel, it will auto convert, launch and place the file into the newly created RINGTONE line in your iTUNES LIBRARY.

Then sync and you are ready to go.

So, good luck – as long as you can convert the file to AAC, MAKE IPHONE RINGTONES will take care of the rest.

So if time is money, then you have the easy way but if you don’t mind a few minutes of work to save $.99, there are lots of ways to go.

Thanks to Engadget, we have the legal go-ahead.

ALSO

Remember you can assign different tracks to different people in your contacts … just make sure your boss & your significant other gets an appropriate track …

For those who need a primer on using Apple’s iTunes ringtone maker feature, read our previous post.

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Filed under Apple, Apple Mac, Computing, Design, Gadgets, Internet, iPhone, Marketing, Media, mobile, Music, Retail, Toys

NBC Direct.com: iTunes Replacement in 11 Steps + Ads!

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NBC decided to dump iTunes because they wanted to go down their own path.

Why offer consumers, viewers and customer convenience when consumers will do ‘whatever we at NBC say?’

NBC – we’re so good – people should jump through flaming hoops to watch us!

iTunes was oh so simple and boring.

Sure, ONE CLICK could buy, download, sync and load onto an iPod but who wants portable downloading TV as convenient as normal watching TV?

We at NBC can add so many more steps!

Okay, ready to watch NBC Direct on your computer?

Here’s all you need to buy first:

A Windows PC

Then you will you will need to download and install a few things:

Internet Explorer
The .NET Framework
Windows Media Player
Windows Media Player Security Update

Five restarts later … and a quick prayer your DLL file is not messed up …

NOW, we’re cooking!

Oh wait, the lawyers do want you to know a few more things:

US residents only!
TV shows will be available for 7 days!
Whatever you download dies after 48 HOURS!
We’ve added the commercials you love best (no fast forwarding)!
& of course NO downloads to iPods and no not even Zunes or SanDisks.

NBC’s motto?
“We want to make it so inconvenient you just throw up your arms and watch at home like it’s 1975 … (ah, pre VCR, the good old days …).”

ITUNES – ISH, ISH

The resemblence to iTunes is uncanny … well, for the 3 GE execs who sat down for Zucker’s presentation – they didn’t have to spend 4 hours downloading, re-downloading, scrubbing and patching their PC to get this working. All they had to do was walk into the conference room and see THE OFFICE up & running and sign off on this $15 million project to buy more servers and license the other white meat DRM.

I don’t know what this project actually costs but I presume it’s probably exactly the same amount of iTunes revenue NBC is giving up – just corporate karma.

So, in other words – no iTunes, no iPods, 48 hours to watch, short shelf life, lots of Windows downloading to get it to work and commercials …

This could only be dumber if they hired the Dog Bounty Hunter & Britney Spears to be the spokespersons … but not by much.

GE sure thinks Jeff Zucker is a genius … I am so selling my GE stock.

So, what’s my other choice … what is this TORRENT, TORRENT, TORRENT, TORRENT, TORRENT & TORRENT thing you speak of? How will I ever find a TV show that just aired in HD to load onto my iPod … if only there was an internet solution, if only it weren’t 1975 and I was in some peachy future of 2007 where I was connected to millions of others on some vast network … oh, if only …

Via MASHABLE.

And our thoughts on Zucker.

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Filed under Advertising, Apple, Computing, Design, Gadgets, Internet, iPhone, Marketing, Media, media companies out of shape, Retail, TV

NBC-U Jeff Zucker, His iTunes Numbers Don’t Add Up

NBC-U Jeff Zucker is now mad people consider him and his Hulu venture idiotic so he is trying to talk as if he actually understands digital and the television business going forward.

He now claims that $15 million from NBC iTunes sales is not enough for him.

Nevermind that is 7.5 million impressions of NBC shows … or that 7.5 million people were willing to pay for it instead of downloading it for free … instead, Zucker’s very confused.

The bottom line is he wanted to raise prices and Apple did not – no biggie, that’s a business decision, right or wrong – that is his right as the guy NBC/GE’s board decided to hand the major decision making to – they have appointed him as the brains of the operation.

But instead, he tries to open other areas of discussion that he is clearly not qualified to discuss.

He babbles about Apple controllling distribution. At no point has anyone ever raised the issue about exclusive content – so how exactly is Apple controlling distribution when previous and going forward, NBC can sell their shows in every format including on their own website. The only distribution point Apple controls is iPod distribution … network TV, DVD retail, other internet venues, VOD, etc, etc … all NBC – what exactly is the problem with another distribution point? Most companies consider a NEW distribution a good thing (see, Zucker, how this works, if another store can sell your thing, you make more money).

He also talks about wanting to get iPod revenue because clearly we’re buying iPods to watch NBC shows … uh, sure – even if that were remotely true … shouldn’t then the auto makers pay Goodyear because cars without tires aren’t much fun? Or hey, is NBC paying us to use OUR airwaves? What is Zucker’s position on that issue?

So, he’s mad that Apple is not willing to raise prices and has only added $15 million to NBC-U coffers … so he picks a fight with Apple that he clearly doesn’t understand. What is the alternative to $15 million from Apple?

ZERO.

At what cost to sell at Apple iTunes? Practically nothing – how much is to digitize a show to load onto a jukebox that you NEVER have to reload – that requires no real maintance on your part? Apple handles EVERYTHING else?

If you sell a series on DVD, you have to project how many you can reasonable sell and that retailers will order – convert the series to DVD format, create a menu, design jewel case artwork and box, get it manufacturered, shipped and have provisions for returns and damaged discs.

Which is simpler?

So, instead of having yet another format for consumers … another $15 million (even presuming that iTunes sales do not grow) from a different non-exclusive source, he choose to walk away from that …

But that’s not enough for him – instead he thinks he can launch another YouTube.

So, it’s not just good enough to subtract $15 million from revenue but let’s spend how many hundreds of millions to launch a YouTube 1.1?

They already have 100 employees for a site months away from launch … it takes most startups years to pass 100 employees.

I don’t know YOUTUBE’s headcount now but I’m sure before the Google buyout, they were under 100 …

Zucker seems confused about how a startup works.

Of course, GE doesn’t seem to mind he still doesn’t understand anything – GE & Zucker a few years ago paid $600 million for iVillage.com, launched a TV show to promote it and have thrown in hundreds of millions of free promotional spots in order to grow the page views … so far, no real growth at iVillage with some reports that the other massive women’s site has surpassed them. The TV show flopped.

Again, it’s fine to launch new business ventures – no real problem with that but why roil the waters by trying to annoy Apple? Why give up $15 million dollars in revenue for no apparent reason? Did Apple say NBC couldn’t launch streaming on nbc.com or hulu?

No.

Zucker seems to think it’s an either or proposition?

He can’t conceive that some people might prefer to get a show commercial free? AND willing to pay for it? (nevermind the promotional value of people who actually want to watch a show?)

He can’t do a new business unless he walks away from something?

Can he multi-task?

What’s next? Because Zucker doesn’t control DVD pricing at WM or Best Buy – only sell DVD’s at NBC.com?

The bottom line is instead of a steady stream of revenue, he’d rather hire hundreds and spend hundreds of millions to launch Hulu … spending billions to make millions? That doesn’t sound like GE, sounds more like a certain company in Redmond …

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AT&T Has 20 MORE iPhone Questions

A few weeks after the iPhone hit the market, AT&T sent out an extensive 20-question survey (covered in this post).

Now, AT&T has followed up with another email survey – some questions the same – obviously to gauge differences between mid-July and now mid-October but others are more detailed in asking what you would like to see changed on the iPhone.

So be sure and answer the questions so they know what you think of AT&T, Apple, the iPhone – and what other features you might like to see …

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Apple Will Open iPhone To Outside Applications

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Steve Jobs stumbled a bit around the quick price drop of the new iphone so maybe he is learning because the Apple web site confirms that Apple will be opening up the iPhone and iPod Touch to third party developers.

While the recent iphone update (ver 1.1.1) bricked hacked iPhones, it also bricked iPhones running legitimate third party apps. Oops. What to do?

Jobs said Apple intends to release a software development kit (SDK) in February 2008 that will enable coders to create applications to work directly on the iPhone and the iPod Touch.

More chat apps (such as AIM) and games (no more Bejeweled apps – give us FPS!) could be on the way soon if the track record of third party app creation is any indication. The first guy that figures out how to get Skype on the iPhone is going to get rich. Imagine skirting the deathstar and making free calls via Skype using the iPhone’s wifi hookup. Sweet!

It is possible that Apple will insist on approving all software, and on limiting sanctioned distribution to an Apple-owned Web site (helloooo, iTunes), much like it already does for software for Macintosh computers and operating system widgets

Apple has always said that the iPhone runs Mac OS X at its core, but in practical terms it’s really a new operating system that Apple has put together for the iPhone with common DNA from Mac OS.

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iPhone Buying Guide: Should I Buy An iPhone? Part II

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Part I covered the “extra” features of the iPhone – most not revolutionary and not even evolutionary but here’s a strange concept to them apparently for cell phone manufacturers and mobile service providers … something really, really radical …

A concept strange to them …

EASY TO USE.

What a strange concept.

Anyone can throw 100 features into a room but if the lights are off – what’s the point? How can you actually use them if you can’t find or see them?

That’s where the iPhone is different.

Yes, it’s fashionable and yes, it’s got lots of hype but the bottom line is you can LITERALLY access 20 of its features with ONE tap or TWO. There’s no complicated menu sequence to memorize … as noted in Part 1 of our post – straight from the Moto manual:

“Moto instructions for using “Quick Dial.” Go to TOOLS menu, select DIALING SERVICES, Select QUICK DIAL …”

Gee, imagine how many steps are required for something you don’t want to do so quickly?

In Part 1, we covered all the ONE tap features listed n the top portion of the phone and ALL fine or great, amazing features and reasons you’d want an iPhone but now comes the meat of the argument …

THE PHONE

Yes, most cell phones are relatively easy to use as cell phones and this is one area where a plain cell phone actually beats the iPhone because if you want to dial a number from the keypad, it does take two taps to bring up the keypad but more on that later.

When you TAP on the Phone icon, you get the “phone” section which is a large screen with small icons at the bottom – in order, FAVORITES, RECENTS, CONTACTS, KEYPAD & VOICEMAIL.

Again, features many if not all phones offer but once you drill down a bit, again, the iPhone is hard to beat.

FAVORITES is pretty obvious. In CONTACTS, you click on those phone numbers you want to readily access and call often – your FAVORITES …

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Then TAP once to make a call. You can also access FAVORITES by pressing the “home” button on the front panel twice.

The RECENTS is pretty self explanatory – you can scroll through to return or to call again – both SEND & RECEIVE recent calls are together because really, does it matter if you want access to the number whether you called them or they called you?

CONTACTS is also straightforward in one sense but again, smooth and easy to use in another much deeper sense.

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I never did find sync software that would transparently and smoothly sync and track your contact info from phone to computer UNTIL NOW … so you only have to enter in names & contact info once – already a HUGE timesaver – and it syncs both ways with your ADDRESS BOOK app … iPhone syncs with the address book you already use on your computer — Address Book or Entourage on a Mac, or Outlook or Outlook Express on a PC. If you keep your contacts on the web using Yahoo! Address Book, iPhone can sync with them, too.

What’s even better is if you are on a phone call with them, put them on the speaker phone and you can tap CONTACTS, look up their name and start entering notes at the bottom of their contact page … again, possible with lots of other phones but how do you reach the notes screen without cutting them off?

The KEYPAD … again, not a major thing but who would not want a keypad this large so there is no mistaking when number you have tapped on?

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And unlike some phones where the DELETE key deletes the entire freakin’ number so you have to start over, DELETE only deletes the last number you tapped on.

The last icon in PHONE is for VISUAL VOICEMAIL.

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That’s right, instead of trying to remember if #7 slows the message playback or erases it or if #6 is save and #1 is to hear it again, it’s ALL right in front of you and best of ALL – look over all your messages – each one is on a separate line. If you see the 1st and 3rd message is the work idiot, you can ignore it and just listen to message #2 by taping on the messages you want to hear. See the slider at the bottom – miss a phone number or want to hear a portion again, just finger slide the bar and forth to hear one portion again and again – no more listening to an ENTIRE message AGAIN just to hear the phone number 3 minutes into a 4-minute v-mail. BRILLIANT!

Yes, that’s right – just hear the portion of the voicemail you want again and again by using the slider.

And ONLY listen to the messages you want to.

A couple of other great things about the phone portion …

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After you dial or TAP on a name/number, you will get this screen – switch to SPEAKERPHONE?, just TAP once on SPEAKER – on my Moto phone, SPEAKER alternated with a CAMERA (why? NO IDEA!) or the PDA phone that required three menus to get to SPEAKER phone. If you need the keypad back to punch in numbers, just tap KEYPAD and you get that back … If you need to conference or add other callers, I have NEVER seen another cell phone that allowed you to link up with ONE tap. And as noted, you can tap on CONTACTS to access his/her page and add info.

Again, the simplest wins – large keypad, easy access to most frequent numbers, listen to only the voicemail messages you want to and you can access EVERY phone feature with ONE or at most TWO taps. EVERY FEATURE!

MAIL

Once you get MAIL setup, it’s easy … the smoothness of your setup depends on what emails you want to access – this is the ONE area that Apple sort of feel down upon. This was our post a while back on getting setup – if you run into problems, you can read it to see if it’s useful.

Once you are up & running – then it could not be easier. Tap MAIL and it begins to search your mailbox(es). On EDGE, it’s slower than WiFi but that’s to be expected.

You can view old Excel spreadsheets, Word Docs and PDF’s – they look just as they should.

Sending email is easy. Tap on the ADDRESS BAR to bring up CONTACTS. Then tap out your words and hit SEND.

SAFARI/INTERNET

Again, hard to believe but you can surf to 90% of sites without it seemingly very different than your normal web surfing experience. You don’t get FLASH objects so you lose a tons of ads and of course, game sites don’t usually work but beyond that, you’re not losing a whole lot. If you’re wondering why Flash might be missing and why you might/should not really miss it – here is our take on the issue.

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And sure, surfing the net on EDGE is slightly faster than old dial-up but what are your alternatives? When you’re sitting at Gate 23, waiting at the DMV or on a commute train – would you rather sit there or surf the internet (and/or check your mail/stocks/weather/etc …)? Waiting 20 seconds for a page to draw at home or at the office is infuriating but when you have an hour to wait at the doctor’s – what’s an extra 20 seconds when the alternative is the pamphlet on “internet addiction?”

And of course, the cool scroll, pinch and screen rotation are all available here. And for some who cannot access company mail via MAIL, you can access your company’s webmail via a browser.

I also found it to be a nice shopping guide – there was a long line at a store and I was debating if the DVD was really worth it – I checked Amazon’s price and decided it was worth getting in line. Nice. I can even keep tabs on sports games and scores in progress – though Yahoo’s Game Channel is flash so it’s not 100% interactive …

If you don’t normally use SAFARI, you can import bookmarks into SAFARI and then configure them as you like – then the iPhone will sync your bookmarks from SAFARI. Of course, when you are on the iPhone, you can save new bookmarks and it will sync with SAFARI when you open iTunes.

IPOD

And of course, it’s a fully functional iPod with Video Capability. I think most everyone knows what’s what here but if you need a video demo, Apple’s demos will show off its features better than any words I can write.

The COVER FLOW feature is very cool but the video is amazing – while it would be nice if the movie store offered more choices but the TV choices are pretty nice (missing some NBC shows now though). Of course, you can always convert your own DVD’s – our HOW TO GUIDE.

FEATURE SUMMARY

So, yes alot of phones promise you hundreds of features from voice activation to 5-MP phone to a music store but the bottom line – how much time do you have to learn to use it? The iPhone does NOT have the longest list of features but EVERYTHING is literally ONE tap or ONE tap and a finger flick away – the iPhone is the first Apple product in a long, long time that actually includes a manual but you almost don’t need it because everything is clearly labeled … You want to look at your PHOTOS, it’s not 20 items down a tiny phone screen marked MULTIMEDIA and then a sub-menu called PICTURES, it’s simply labeled PHOTOS.

And just because you are doing one thing does not mean you can’t do another thing – you want listen to music and check the weather … you can make a call and type notes. (There is one downside to an EDGE connection versus if you’re connected on WiFi, you cannot surf the net while talking on the phone).

Most cell phone ads look great on TV – but in reality, everything is hidden away in tiny obscure menu choices or even the large screen cell phones like this new LG …

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(By the icons on the right, it looks like it’s in ‘phone mode,’ and on the left is a web’n’walk button (presuming for surfing) but then underneath the phone icon is a web browser – for surfing the web when you are not walking?)

The iPhone is like the iPod – it is NOT NEEDLESSLY complicated.

If you want features and you don’t want to spend 10-hundred hours learning how to get full use of your Phone-PDA-DAP? Then buy an iPhone if your time, and your brain memory capacity is money.

It’s as simple as that.

When you just look at a checklist of an iPhone and discount the touchscreen, the iPhone checklist is not overwhelming to its competition but its strength is its simplicity …

It is NOT … “Moto instructions for using “Quick Dial.” Go to TOOLS menu, select DIALING SERVICES, Select QUICK DIAL …”

It is simply a cell phone, PDA, iPod, Internet, Email capable device all rolled into one object that’s easy to use throughout. ONE tap is usually all you need to access about 15 features.

If this is worth $399 to you, great – the iPhone is perfect for you.

If you are really only interested in talking to others, then any cell phone will do you.

(Yes, the Blackberry’s are nice for corporate email but really, just only for that – and presumably your company will pay for one).

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE

There are a couple key and MAJOR points that a lot of people skirt over.

SOFTWARE UPGRADES!

Because the iPhone is not a normal cell phone, they can actually ADD and IMPROVE features with upgrades as they have done so recently – adding functionality to certain buttons and allowing more customization and adding the iTunes WiFi Store … so instead of being locked in, they can add and change things around at no additional cost.

ITUNES

First, you do not have to hand over your personal info and SSN to some guy in a kiosk – you activate your iPhone on iTunes in the comfort of your own home so even if something goes awry, you are at home. This includes porting over an old number – remember to turn off your old phone while this is going on.

Then iTunes will not only sync your music & video purchases & library, calendar, photos AND address book, it keeps track for you so as long as you sync regularly, it BACKS EVERYTHING UP including all your iPhone settings, photos your took, notes and bookmarks – does your cell phone do that now? Sure, if you buy an SIM copier and if you remember to save to the SIM card and not “save to phone.” How much is that worth to you? That even if lose your iPhone or a Mack truck drives over it – when you plug the new phone in – you can tell iTunes that this is now the “new iPhone” and it will sync and copy everything to this new phone. You can literally CLONE your phone in 10-15 minutes! Does your phone give you that choice now?

This leads me to the next part …

REAL ANSWERS AT THE APPLE STORES

There are very few if any manufacturers who sell you something and have hundreds of stores across the country (and eventually the world) available to answer ANY and ALL YOUR QUESTIONS. Sure, there’s the 800 number to call and you can buy the 800 service AppleCare – but during your warranty period and even after, there is a TRAINED employee you can walk right up to – who can answer your questions and in my case, actually resolve a problem by REPLACING MY PHONE – free. Does your kiosk do that? Can you imagine an employee at a kiosk who will replace your broken Moto phone? The glass cube Apple store is even open 24 hours! How re-assuring is it to know that you can always walk into a store and they will take responsibility* for THEIR product instead of just claiming it’s the other company or the retailer who you should be talking to.

* Yes, if you try and hack your cell phone by dropping solder on the circuit board or mess with OS, you are on your own.

FINAL SUMMARY

No, the iPhone is not 100% perfect for 100% of the people but then what is – are there a few things that could be improved upon, sure. And yea, AT&T’s network is not the best but hey, I can’t get a decent pastrami sandwich in the SF Bay Area so that’s life … better to have an iPhone on an average network than still being on a 2-year contract on a slightly better network with a middling cell phone.

The iPhone is NOT for everyone. It will cost you a few dollars more upfront but if you want to have productive downtime by checking your email, surfing the net or checking out bits of info – then the iPhone is brilliant. If you want a phone/PDA/DAP where all the features are actually useful and at worst, two taps away instead of buried under 6 sub-menus using words that make no sense – then the iPhone is your only choice.

Sure, some people would like you to believe because it’s attractive and it’s coveted by people that it’s superficial – the iPhone is many things but it’s not superficial. It’s simply the best phone/PDA/iPod productivity tool. This post is not about whether it should be opened for hacking or your problems with AT&T – that’s not what this post is about. This is just a guideline as to why you might want to get an iPhone. NOT everyone needs one but if you have needs or interests like we’ve outlined in the two posts, you should get one.

And you can see 1-minute video demos of each feature live in action at the iPhone section of the Apple website here. Just choose the topics on your left.

(If you want a phone to hack, here are 12 from WIRED).

This is in German but it shows you how surfing on the iPhone is so much better than surfing on Nokia’s browser …

You can also check out this cool site to play with the iPhone ONLINE!

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