Why I Didn't Buy An iPhone

IMB_iphone1 Earlier this weekend, I sent a tweet noting that I was in the market for a new phone as I looked to upgrade my cell phone contract with AT&T and I mentioned that I was considering an iPhone. As I expected, I was immediately responded to by over a dozen folks talking about how much they love their iPhone and how it has changed their life through technology. Don't get the wrong idea – I have tried the iPhone and I think it's a great product. This is not an anti-iPhone post, but rather an exploration of something many of my digerati counterparts and connected colleagues may find shocking … that someone could choose not to get an iPhone and be ok with it. So here's my reasoning:

  1. IMB_LG_Vu I have a Blackberry for work. Being a digital kind of guy, I get asked on occasion why I don't have an iPhone. My main reason so far is that I have a Blackberry from work where I can already get email, browse the Internet, access maps and locations online, send Twitter updates and more. The only problem is, my work doesn't pay for cell phone access – so I still need a phone to make calls. But to get another phone and pay for a data plan myself seems redundant (and no, I'm not saying they are equivalent choices – the Blackberry is definitely more limited with what you can do).
  2. Expectation of Apple price gouging/discounting. As I started thinking about purchasing the iPhone, more than a few people suggested to me that I may want to wait for an upcoming announcement from Apple about a newer version, or perhaps a discount on the current models. Given their track record, the honest truth is that I don't trust Apple not to lower the price or introducing a new product as soon as I purchase it. For TODAY, that offered me enough doubt to spend some effort looking for other options instead of just blindly going for the iPhone.
  3. Avoidance of significant ongoing investment. Currently, I don't pay for any data plans on my personal cell phones and don't purchase any accessories like applications, ringtones or games. If I got an iPhone, not only would I pay a higher upfront cost (many other phones were virtually free after a rebate) – I would also need to pay a recurring data plan fee which I would otherwise avoid, and any incremental fees for applications I buy (and based on all the cool applications I know exist and those I've seen from friends, I would end up buying quite a few). At the end of the day, all this adds up to over $1000 extra dollars per year to get the iPhone. Ultimately, I'd rather spend that money elsewhere.
  4. Found a deal too good to ignore. The more practical reason I didn't go with an iPhone (and perhaps the most important) was because I found a deal in the AT&T store where I could get two new LG Vu* phones (also with a touch screen), for about $10 each – after factoring in the instant rebate and my corporate discounts (none of which are available on the iPhone). That combined with the fact that I needed two new phones instead of just one and reviews talking about the great sound quality of the phone were the last piece of this experience that helped me decide.
  5. I actually enjoy not being an "Apple guy." As someone who has written a lot about brand personality and how individuals respond to the more personal attributes of a brand, I am a BIG admirer of their marketing and how it inspires a cult of Apple supporters (reinforced by products that live up to the marketing). I have also been vocal in the past about how I'm not a blind supporter of all they do either and take pride in not being a "fanboy." Does this mean I don't have any Apple products? Definitely not. But I'm not in the category of people who believe Apple can do no wrong, and I'm happy about that.

So there you have it, my five reasons why this weekend I decided against getting the iPhone. Let the barrage of comments telling me how much I'm missing out on begin …

*DISCLAIMER:
LG is currently a client – but I have done no work on the LG Vu and didn't get any pricing or consideration from LG for writing this or choosing their phone. Honestly, it just happened to be the best phone for my current situation (and is currently AT&T's best selling model this week and next due to their March Madness promotion where you can get 2 months of mobile TV for free).

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