Here Is The Five Millionth iPhone Article You Will Read This Week
In America, home to the slovenly, technology impaired, white people, the iPhone comes out this week. The initial reviews seem to feel that the new gadget from Apple does a good job living up to its hype with only a couple of minor annoyances. I want an iPhone.
Yet here I am, in Japan, land of robot dogs and Nissan Skylines, without an iPhone. Japan will not get the iPhone until next year. I feel bad about this but I also see why Apple chose to wait to unleash the iPhone to the Japanese consumer. The United States runs on an antiquated cellular technology called GSM. There are upsides and downsides to GSM; the big upside being that a GSM cellular signal can cover more space than a Japanese 3G signal. This is a handy thing when you live in a country about fifty times bigger than Japan. The upside to the Japanese cellular network is that is it EXTREMELY fast. Loading a website on a 3G enabled phone compared to doing the same thing on a GSM phone would be like comparing the speed of a rocket to that of a three-legged, half retarded turtle, named, Sparkplug. Japan's cellular network is fast enough to stream full speed television signals to a cell phone traveling on a train without missing a beat. The reason I am saying all of this is because if Apple were to have launched the iPhone here, the performance of the phone would have been staggering compared to its American counterpart. The media would have reported the difference and not as many iPhones would have been sold in the US.
Supposedly, 3G phones take a bit more coding and tweaking than most American phones and that was Apple's excuse for not having the Japanese release ready to go. I think that is bull. I think the real reason is a Japanese release would have hurt the American one and the Japanese cell phone market is so flooded, Apple could not have sold nearly the quantity that will walk out of American retailers' doors later this week.
As much as I would like an iPhone, I am being forced to wait about eight months and this is a good thing for a handful of reasons:
First, AT&T's cellular service sucks. I would rather not be saddled to a sub-par cellular service provider when there are many other service providers out there that can do a much better job, hopefully by the time I am able to get one, either other service providers will be able to utilize the iPhone or AT&T will have gotten its act together; I am betting on the prior.
Second, the price of that phone is stupidly high. I understand the value of having a web browser, cell phone, and video iPod all in one and that is one reason I will not upgrade my iPod to a video iPod. The next time I upgrade it will be to an iPhone that will have hopefully either gone up in features or down in price. Paying $600 for a first generation gadget that is bound to improve with time just so I can have a status symbol is stupid.
And lastly, as I said above, this phone is the first in most likely several generations of iPhone. If Apple has shown us anything, it is that they are more than capable of releasing increasingly impressive revisions to their products. The iPhone will be no different. I am hoping that the next generation has a memory card slot, open support of third party software, and Flash and Java enabled. All of these things are doable and actually, most phones on the market today are equipped with two out of the three items I have listed, Flash and Java are still not widely used on cell phones but a few are popping up that utilize them.
So here I am, living on my little island, rather happy with the fact I can't buy an iPhone. In the end, I think my forced wait will be worth it and when I do get an iPhone, I will be happier with it than most of the people that will be gobbling them up in a couple of days.