Mixed feelings

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Like Ezra, I’ve got mixed feelings on the iPhone:

It’s almost as if Apple shouldn’t have gone with the worst cell phone network in the country. But still, the iPhone looks so pretty, and this is mainly sour grapes from a Verizon user who will cackle happily, but in truth, sadly, every time someone with an iPhone loses a call. “Maybe you should touch your screen again,” I’ll archly suggest, hiding my intense longing behind a wall of cynicism and cruelty.

Sure, I enjoyed the 23″ Apple Cinema Display and G5 tower I used when I was editor of The Mustang, but I still preferred my PC. And yeah, I’ve loved both iPods I’ve owned. But my conversion to the dark side began and was complete the second I started using my MacBook. OS X (I’m on Tiger) is simply amazing. I rarely use my PC (which was the fourth I built from the ground up) anymore, and I’m seriously considering wiping the system so I can use it as a file server for my photos.

So, when the iPhone was announced, boy, did I want one.

I just renewed my contract with Verizon, and upgraded from a Treo 650 to a Treo 700p. ((I should note that I love the Palm OS, and the display on the Palm version is much better than the one found on the Windows mobile version)) The decision on a new phone was simplified by Apple’s decision to go with AT&T for the iPhone provider. Had they gone with Verizon, I’d be waiting in line at the Albuquerque Apple Store so I could get my hands on one.

I don’t, however, want to put up with this:

In a Consumer Reports study, AT&T’s signal ranked either last or second to last in 19 out of 20 major cities. My tests in five states bear this out. If Verizon’s slogan is, “Can you hear me now?” AT&T’s should be, “I’m losing you.”

Then there’s the Internet problem. When you’re in a Wi-Fi hot spot, going online is fast and satisfying.

But otherwise, you have to use AT&T’s ancient EDGE cellular network, which is excruciatingly slow. The New York Times’s home page takes 55 seconds to appear; Amazon.com, 100 seconds; Yahoo. two minutes. You almost ache for a dial-up modem.

The hilarious thing about Web surfing iPhone-style is that you have to buy a data plan — even if you just want to use the iPhone as a music player with WiFi capabilities. Heck, in a perfect world, I’d activate the phone service but nix the data plan — hotspots are almost ubiquitous here in Silver City, much less in urban settings. That’s an almost ideal application, since the WiFi speeds seem to be one of the iPhone’s greatest strengths.

Oh well — until it comes to Verizon (or AT&T gets its act together) I’ll have to wait in smug, desperate satisfaction like Ezra.

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