who's buying an iPhone?

31st Oct 2007 | 00:00 who's buying an iPhone?

And who's quite happy with their Sony Ericssons

It's now less than two weeks until the launch of Apple's iPhone in the UK. And if the recent release of Mac OS X 10.5 (aka Leopard) was any indication, the queues outside Apple Stores are going to be massive.

The iPhone has certainly captured the collective tech imagination. Its geeky allure is driven by Apple's slick design, the phone's smart flexibility and its innovative multi-touch UI approach.

But universal iPhone fever also speaks volumes about the poor quality of competing smartphones. Let's be honest - the iPhone isn't that good. It just looks stupendous when compared to the Nokia N95, the Sony Ericsson P1 and the HTC Touch.

As launch day approaches, who on the team is willing to plunk down £269 and drop into an 18 month O2 lock-in?

"Not paying a fanboy tax"

"There are a few key reasons why I won't be buying an Apple iPhone. The main reason is that, whichever way you look at it, it's a complete rip-off.

"Why should I be forced to pay fanboy tax on a device I'm not that bothered about owning? The iPhone plus the contract will cost a minimum of £900 and in my book that's ridiculous. Spending that much on an iPhone is akin to being mugged by Apple. And that would stop me from enjoying my purchase.

"So while I'd love to own an iPhone, I'd have to surrender my self respect in order to get one. And that's something I'm not (on this occasion, anyway) prepared to do." James Rivington

"Can it withstand minor accidents?"

"I have no intention of buying an iPhone any time in the near future. When it costs less to own one, then maybe I'll think about it. But for now I want a phone I can take to the pub with me - one that doesn't mind a bit of beer every now and again and, crucially, can withstand minor (sometimes major) accidents.

"To be honest, I'd also prefer a more rounded phone - specifically 3G and a better camera; not just an iPod stuck to a phone. In short: the iPhone does look cool, but it's not for me." Julia Sagar

"A great second phone"

"On the fence I shall sit. I'm still really very undecided about what to do. My heart says 'yes', my head a definite 'no.' If I did get one, I'd need to keep my current handset, since there's no way I could have it on my all the time. Gigs or clubs certainly aren't environments I want to take a £300 handset I've paid for. I drop my current Sony Ericsson ALL THE TIME.

"The length of the contract doesn't really worry me, neither does the £35 a month. I pay close to that with Vodafone at the moment, and the lure of unlimited data and hotspot access more than makes up for the extra outlay.

"After the iPod classic launch I was thinking about buying one of those, so if I buy an iPhone instead I can even justify most of the initial cost. It requires a rather cavalier attitude to my bank account. I guess I'll let you know in two weeks time. Mind you, my current deal ends in November. Perhaps it was meant to be..." Dan Grabham

"I like buttons on a phone!"

"It's not easy for me to say it, but the iPhone is better than I thought it would be. And I don't think it's a rip-off on contract, considering what it offers.

"But I just don't need most of these features from a phone, and my price plan and choice of handset reflect that. A stripped down version might get me interested should Apple build one, but I'm happy to let the fanboys and early adopters take the lead for now.

"This may be heresy to the believers, but I actually like buttons on a phone. Thanks, Apple, but no thanks." Martin James

"Not put off by £269"

"The Apple iPhone is truly a great device. Like other Apple products, it just works - really well. The interface is wonderful, the touchscreen amazing and it's crammed with useful features, whether you're using its phone, web, or music functions.

"But will I buy one? Hard to say at the moment. I don't think I'm put off by the £269 price tag. And the more I think about it, the price plans available for the Apple iPhone make sense. But the extra initial outlay is enough to make me think twice about actually buying one. That said, Christmas is just around the corner so prospective present buyers take note..." Anna Lagerkvist

"One less gadget to carry"

"Me? Absolutely. Although I'm really, really tempted to hang on for a 3G version, in reality I don't actually need it. Why? Because I already own a 3G phone and I never use it for web surfing or reading emails. I can do that at work or at home.

"I want an iPhone for music, movies and photos, to listen to podcasts and because it means I'll have one less gadget to carry in my over-stuffed pockets. It'll be dead easy to use too - I hardly ever listen to music on my Sony Ericsson Walkman phone because it's too much of a faff to get the music off my Mac.

"Even in version 1 guise, the iPhone works brilliantly, does all the things you need it to do and will cause an idiot grin to spread across your face every time you switch it on. How many devices can you say that about?" Rob Mead-Green

"The best of a bad bunch"

"Enough of the doom and gloom. Yes, I'll probably buy an iPhone. And it'll be against my better judgement. It's not because I'm against the idea of owning an iPod and have always steered away from buying one. It's because there's obviously a better iPhone coming next year.

"This will be the iPhone with more memory - at least 16GB if the iPod touch is any indication; and the iPhone with 3G connectivity - making mobile web browsing a far better experience. It's certainly coming. The big question is when? If it's mid-2008, anyone like me who queues up on November 9 will be stuck with a outdated 2.5G iPhone for another 12 months.

"Despite this, the iPhone is currently the best smartphone in a bad bunch. And so the insistent, early adopter part of me is likely to tempt me into a Carphone Warehouse with a loosened wallet. Either that, or I'll pay OTT for an unlocked handset from some unscrupulous web dealer. I hear there's a brisk trade..." Dean Evans

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