Vodafone releases dear wee iPhone

(This is the Online column, written for The Southland Times)

The much-anticipated iPhone is set to finally make its official New Zealand debut tomorrow but the cost of owning one of the little beasties has probably rained on more than a few parades, or perhaps (in honour of its manufacturer) even upset a few apple carts.

iPhonesThere’s no doubting the iPhone 3G is an awesome wee machine and I’m sure there will be plenty of Kiwis queuing up to buy one.

However, with the news that the running costs for the $199 8GB model on a two-year plan will come in at a whopping $250 a month, I’m sure a few eager buyers have decided they aren’t so eager after all.

If you want to cut back on the monthly bill, you can opt to pay a bit more for your 8GB iPhone, or pay nearly a grand for one that isn’t locked into a plan. The 16GB model is, naturally, a bit costlier.
I feel the pain of those who were hoping to be fondling the touchscreens of their new toys tomorrow but, on a personal level, I’m not particularly disappointed. I like shiny gadgets as much as the next person but I’m not totally in love with the idea of owning an iPhone.

Don’t get me wrong, I am certainly a fan of the whole iPod deal. In fact, my Nano is keeping me company as I write this column.

And apart from annoyance at being stuck with Quick Time on my computer with the installation of iTunes, and the persistence of the iTunes updater in trying to sneak in Safari (Apple’s browser) when it updates, I’m pretty happy with the whole iPod-iTunes experience.

However, I don’t necessarily want my music to be tied to my phone. A phone is a phone and that’s all I want it to be. Hey, I don’t expect my fridge to make coffee or my television to whip up an omelet now, do I?

It’s beginning to feel like we’re all speeding towards a time where everyone and everything will multi-task as a matter of course — and, much like the Borg, resistance is futile — but we’re not there yet so fight the good fight with your non-multi-tasking phones and MP3 players.

Viva la revolution.

If, on the other hand, you want to tell Vodafone you think the iPhone prices are a bit much, there was a petition online where you could add your name.

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