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Jumping on the early-adopter iPhone bandwagon? Not so much

Early-adopters of all things high-tech have been standing in lines and burning up blogs with praise and criticism for the new Apple iPhone that, after much hype, is now available. But what does that mean to the rest of us? What exactly is an iPhone and why would you want one?

“Let’s put it this way,” said Jimmy Nelson, vice president of Allen and Hoshall Engineering, “it’s like comparing DOS to Windows.”

An iPhone is, according to Apple, “a revolutionary new mobile phone that allows you to make a call by simply tapping a name or number in your address book, a favorites list or a call log. It also automatically syncs all your contacts from a PC, Mac or Internet service. And it lets you select and listen to voicemail messages in whatever order you want — just like e-mail.”

Close to home

How will the new gadget be received in the Magnolia Sate? Many Mississippians are devoted to their Cellular South service, based right here in Jackson, and Blackberries and Treos, so will the iPhone be mostly iHype when the dust settles?

“I’ve had a Palm Treo for about a year, but the iPhone looks awfully sweet. Right now, I can ride down I-20 and surf the Internet.” He added, “With the added features of the iPhone, I could really be dangerous.”

Bo Pentecost, a real estate agent with Realty Executives, likes to have the latest gadgets. “I’m an Apple user, and I think the iPhone looks fantastic — pricey, but fantastic.”

Pricey is right, when you consider that so many cell phone companies use free phones as a loss leader to get people to sign contracts. According to the Associated Press, the highly anticipated gadget retails for $499 for a model with four gigabytes of storage and $599 for one with eight gigabytes. The phone will be available at Apple and AT&T retail stores as well as Apple’s Web site.

Revolutionary, but…

Pentecost said he wouldn’t purchase the new iPhone anyway. “I can’t because Cellular South has a monopoly with their unlimited call plan. However, I believe that [the iPhone] is going to revolutionize how we think about phones. Not to mention it is also an iPod, which can alone retail for about $350. It also has all the applications that I would use as an Apple computer user already.”

Lynn Combest is an account executive for Leading Edges Advertising in Meridian, and she, too, likes the latest gadgets.

“I’ve read articles about the iPhone, and I’ve seen the commercials. I’d like one, but it depends on the cost for the plan that goes with it.”

AT&T has announced the monthly plan will run $59.99 and includes: 450 minutes of voice time; a $79.99 plan includes 900 minutes; and a $99.99 plan includes 1,350 minutes. All three offer 200 text messages, unlimited data services, minutes that roll over month-to-month and mobile-to-mobile calls. There also is a $36 activation fee.

George Smith of Smith, Turner, Reeves, CPA, said that he has seen the ads for the new iPhone on television, and thinks it looks “kind of neat.”

As to whether or not he’ll purchase one, he said, “Maybe, but it has some drawbacks. For example, it will be difficult to dial telephone numbers without eye contact with the panel. I can dial my present phone in the car without looking. But I have to wonder if its really as fast as shown on TV.”

If nothing else, Smith said he thinks the iPhone will offer entertainment that other devices can’t. He currently owns a Treo. “I probably wouldn’t switch if the only thing I get is some fun features. I’m not sure how it will help with business use.”


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