Christmas brings us the opportunity to gather with friends, share stories from the past year, and check out who has an iPhone. Call it the “Christmas Indicator.” My rough estimate runs around 20 percent for everyone I’ve met so far (and I’m typing this on the 28th, with the New Year’s party still to come).
Most of the iPhone owners had the 3G version, with a few 2G laggards. Interestingly, there were a few new phones that were not iPhones, with their owners making an effort to not buy an iPhone. I asked a couple of them why they decided not to buy an iPhone, and the answers were mainly a random assortment of myths and misinformation regarding what iPhones can’t do.
For example, one lady told me she needed Bluetooth and was told the iPhone doesn’t have it. I told her I frequently use a Bluetooth headset with mine and, while the iPhone can’t use Bluetooth to send camera photos, e-mail is a great (and probably more appropriate) channel. But she still wasn’t sold because she’s gotten into the habit of sharing digital content (pictures, ringtones, applications) via Bluetooth.
The other guy I talked to said he couldn’t live without a hard keyboard because he does so much e-mail, and that he needed a device that could sync with Exchange. I showed him how fast I can type on my iPhone and that one of my accounts is a push-enabled Active Sync Exchange account. He gave me one of those looks that said, “Damn, I didn’t know all that, but since I bought my Blackberry Bold brand new last week, I can’t feel upset about it, especially not at Christmas, so I’m just going to make an effort to be happy with my decision and wait a few months before I finally spring for an iPhone.”
Aside from iPhone evangelism (I’m not trying, really; it’s just happening that way) I got various Apple-related questions—standard FAQs, which I am sure all of you can answer. The only interesting line of inquiry was regarding the rumored iPhone nano. My take was, “Maybe there will be one in January, but I am pretty sure it will not have all the functionality of the iPhone 3G, if that’s what you’re looking for.”
The other big festive activity was sharing iPhone application tips with other owners. My selection this year: Remember The Milk, Evernote, Stanza, Facebook, Speed Dial 1 to 4, TwitterFon, 1Password, WordBook, LinkedIn, 12C Classic, vlingo, and iBlueSky.
Not all my time was spent mucking around with iPhone stuff. I managed to down a few great wines and (afterwards) check out what the fuss was about Rock Band (similar to Guitar Hero on the Xbox, but my friend had a PlayStation 3). I got 86 percent on the “guitar” and 98 percent on vocals (“Hungry Like the Wolf,” which was familiar to none of the youngsters).