Friday, November 15, 2019 2:47

Late to the party – life as an iPhone switcher.

Posted by on Saturday, August 8, 2009, 6:59
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This is the "innovation S curve". Actually, the curve extends and turns into a normal curve with a smaller number of late adopters and a long tail of rusting edgers.

In the world of technology innovation, there are the early adopters, the “me too’s” and yes, those who live on the rusting edge. I’ve owned my share of Apple gizmos over the years and in many cases, was one of first to go home with the latest, greatest.


Motorola Marco - The iPhone of 1996. This device was an Apple Newton MessagePad 100 with a built in packet switching radio. You could send and receive email messages and faxes (remember those?) from anywhere in the large footprint of the ARDIS network.

While cleaning the porch yesterday, I found a box of old Apple Newtons and even a Motorola Marco; the ‘way ahead of it’s time’ wireless device based on the Newton 100. I have a fond memory of sitting in a Sun server seminar. The trainer was doing a mail server demo.

All of a sudden, a ‘new mail’ alert popped up. Yes, I had sent a wireless email from my seat in the 5th row.

So it was surprising to my family and friends that I waited so long to drink the iPhone Koolaidâ„¢. Part of it was being tied to a contract with my former provider, but mostly it had to do with waiting for a couple of generations of early adopters to shake out the bugs and for Apple and AT&T to work out their codependency issues.

Things may still be a little confused in the corporate relationship world, but the iPhone 3Gs is a winner. It’s an amazing device and has become my constant companion.

Home of the "death star". AT&T corporate HQ in (where else?) Texas.

That’s not to say that there aren’t a few issues with the device. Mostly they have to do with AT&T’s policies but Apple also has some ‘splaining to do. For example, I’m writing this post on my iPhone. The on-screen keyboard is brilliant, but sitting in my travel drawer is a nice folding Bluetooth keyboard. Sadly, I can’t use it with my iPhone unless I choose to ‘jailbreak’ it, voiding my warranty, the EULA and according to some people, violating the law.

Then there is the whole issue of connectivity. I live in the fringe area of AT&T coverage. I get a good signal in the backyard but once I go inside, it’s hit-or-miss. How difficult would it be for AT&T to provide an automatic switchover to VOIP when the GSM network fades?

I suspect that between competitive pressures and governmental oversight, the network issues will soon disappear.  In the meantime, I promise to be a fan of the iPhone and a bit of a grump when it comes to the network.

Dave Brightbill is a researcher and writer and a long time MacGuy.

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