The other day I was griping about the non-availability of the iPhone in Spain. I solved that in the UK by buying a pay as you go model and then jailbreaking it. Why would I do that when there are perfectly good Blackberry's or Android phones?
A couple of years back, Robert Scoble opined that the iPhone was the way to go for mobile devices. At the time I felt it was a distorted view of the world, based, as I saw it, on the Silicon Valley culture of Mac everywhere. In the wider world Mac is far from everywhere but iPhone is a different story. Om Malik says:
Our favorite technology analyst, Ashok Kumar, in a note to his clients this morning points out that shipments of the iPhone in September exceeded Wall Street estimates of 7 million units by 25-30 percent. According to Kumar, the iPhone now accounts for 15 percent of the smartphone segment.
That's incredible progress given its relatively short time in the market.
Blackberry could have been a reasonable choice but then I'm not sure I want a device where many of the useful apps carry a significant premium. I also find I'm making less and less use of email and even then I'm on Gmail. As we saw recently, Google is making steady progress in the enterprise. Rentokil announced it is moving up to 35,000 users to GAPE. More apps are going the web route so that means I need a decent browser. As far as I can tell, the iPhone browser beats everything else hands down plus I can consolidate devices because the iPhone is really an iPod with a phone.
I could have gone for an Android phone and saved a good chunk of change in the process. But then the choice of Android phones out there is limited (at least to me) as is the number of applications. While the HTC Magic looked a contender - James Governor I know loves it - the phone quality is not up to snuff and the camera is poorly rated. But what really swung it for me towards iPhone is that I can get all the applications I need on a single device.
In a back channel conversation with other ZDNet'ers the old chestnuts of being tied to AT&T (or O2 in the UK, Telefonica in Spain etc) came up but as we know, that exclusivity is ending soon. The issue of Apple's policies regarding what applications can go onto their distribution network was also raised but then what geek doesn't want to operate in a totally free environment? Even so, when I see so many apps in the AppStore, including useful business applications, then it all starts to make sense. At least to me.
I may grow to regret my decision but then having been a perfectly happy iPod Touch user the last several years, I can't see why I should end up regretful. As always in these things, time will tell.