I don't know about you, but my iPhone has completely replaced my clock radio. There's just no reason to have an alarm clock on my nightstand when I charge my iPhone there every night.
Many have subscribed to this type of theory for years, eschewing a wristwatch for the ubiquitous clock that appears on the front of practically every digital phone ever manufactured. The logic being, why wear a wristwatch when I always have my phone with me?
Each night before I retire I tap on the Clock app on my iPhone, set the appropriate alarm, then plug it in to charge. It's a perfect system that has rendered my old school Sony Dream Machine obsolete.
I've found an interesting solution that turns the new school iPhone back into an old school alarm clock – Kensington's Nightstand Charging Dock for iPhone ($39.95). It's a 30-pin dock connector on a right angle connector that props the iPhone up at a slight angle in landscape mode for nighttime viewing. A free corresponding app, Rise&Shine is available in the App Store that turns the iPhone into a dimmable clock radio with three different number styles. My favorite is the retro style flip-clock.
The app also displays the current weather for your zip code and the five day forecast with a tap on the icon. The alarm time is gleaned from the Clock app so there's no need to set that again, and it disables the screen lock function so that the clock doesn't turn off after a minute or two.
I set Rise&Shine to the lowest brightness setting and it's still a tiny bit too bright for my tastes. But then again I'm overly sensitive to having too much light in the room when I sleep.
Kensington's Nightstand Charging Dock is an interesting and functional accessory that kills two birds with one stone and it frees up an expensive dock connector cable in the process. While it's not perfect it works for me, and if you're unsure you can always try Rise & Shine for free first.