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ATPM 13.07
July 2007





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Mac About Town

by Mike Chamberlain,

Dear Steve: Hurry Up and Slow Down!

Let’s all ’fess up right from the beginning, shall we? You’ve drooled over the latest and greatest that Steve Jobs and the happy computer elves at Apple have dreamed up. You’ve gone back to the Apple store and looked. You’ve visited, you’ve read the reviews and, finally, you have decided to pull the trigger and “get it.”

Because you are a savvy shopper and a well-informed citizen of the digital age, you know that the clock is ticking as the smiling sales person hands you the bag or the DHL truck pulls away from your curb. You know that your gleaming, perfect, latest “whatzit” has already been rendered old news by the next-generation product that is already in the product replacement line of the merry band in Cupertino. So, regardless of how delighted you are with your new purchase, somewhere deep in your unconscious is the niggling knowledge that you won’t be happy forever. Your unease can be heightened, of course, depending on how deep in the product life cycle you gave in.

In the past year I’ve lived at both ends of the spectrum. Last fall I bought a new MacBook Pro Core Duo through my office, fully aware of the rumors of the coming Core 2 Duos. I calculated that I could live without the bump in speed so, three weeks before the change was announced, I made the move. Initially, it looked as if it had been the right call. That is, until it was revealed that the new laptops could be upgraded to 802.11n but my “old” MacBook Pro was out of luck. Don’t remember seeing that consideration in any of the info I read!

Life is strange, however, and a few months later I found myself moving up to a new office. Because of the ability of running Windows on a Mac, the IT folks gave me permission to select a MacBook Pro for my personal computer. This time I waited. The result was that the day after the new generation of LED MacBook Pro’s was announced, I placed my order.

The truth is that the smug look on my face (illuminated by the glow of a bright LED screen) is the result of forces totally outside my own control. I needed a computer when I needed a computer. One time I was at the end of the cycle and the next at the beginning. The current rate of cycling means that, in Apple’s case at least, you will have about 6–8 months of having the “new toy” but will then rejoin the majority of us with “last year’s” model. As long as Apple continues to push the envelope and bring out the latest, there’s no other way for it to be.

As an Apple “fan-boy,” I’m willing to live with the pain.

So…do I buy the iPhone now or wait for 2.0? 2.1? Steve, call me!

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Reader Comments (3)

Jeffree K Lassitter · July 2, 2007 - 08:52 EST #1
You've already answered your own last question: You either need a mobile smartphone now or you don't?
Kevin Smith · July 2, 2007 - 15:20 EST #2
It all depends on what you have now...

I had a Nokia N80 until last month, at the time I needed a smartphone and the N80 was the bells and whistles solution I wanted, however, 11 months later my needs had changed, I didn't want to be available 24/7 and the bulk of the N80 meant I most often left it at home an diverted all calls to my non-smart Nokia 6210 work mobile.

Last month I dropped the cash and bought myself out of my old contract for £275 so I could upgrade to to Nokia E65 which was a smartphone small enough to carry with me and with the features I needed. Instead of diverting my personal calls to my work mobile it's now the other way round.

I've not been without a smartphone for the last 4 years and wouldn't want to go back to a normal phone, I don't have one for the on the move editing of office docs and being available at all hours. I have it for media, web access and the mobile lifestyle I want.

No more do I have them annoying conversations in the pub about what something was called or what year a single was released, I just look it up on Google via my 3G connection.

I won't be buying the iPhone yet because it doesn't support 3G. I never use WiFi on my mobile because I have a 2GB per month data allowance on my plan which I never come close to hitting and gets speeds of over 350kbps which is more than adequate when I'm on the road.
The line that 3G coverage isn't prevalent enough yet just doesn't wash with me, the last 3 mobiles I've had have been able to automatically switch between 2G and 3G networks as they are available without dropping calls and although battery is lower than pure GSM, it's something that is improving all the time.

Hopefully by the time the iPhone hits Europe, it'll be 3G, otherwise I'm not buying, besides, I've got another 10 months to use up of this contract yet.
Alan Xenos · March 25, 2009 - 21:11 EST #3
I still own a iBook Tangerine 300 that handles my needs just fine. Don't really need any newer.

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