Why I need to get an iPhone

Not spending the weekend at SXSW Interactive feels gnawing and incomplete.  I am a tech entrepreneur, after all.  Shouldn’t I be running around 6th Street, badge dangling around my neck, iPhone out, tweeting #SXSWi hash-tags all day.

Why I need to get an iPhone
The beauty of iPhones makes Steve Job's Calligraphy classes evident

The answer is probably.  I’m pretty sure that I missed out this year, especially given the panels by such Thought Leaders as Gary V and Ramit Sethi, not to mention missing any opportunity of carousing with Jonas and Kevin.

Why am I not at SXSW this weekend?  What’s the real reason?

The real reason is that I don’t own an iPhone, and everybody knows that you have to have an iPhone to attend SXSW.    I’m only partly kidding.

There are two SXSW parties that I’m a factor at.  Both are Piryx parties, and since Jonas is the COO of Piryx in addition to Tech Ranch Founder, I get to show up and be counted.

But in actuality, my lack of an iPhone is causing problems.  Keeping me out of South By is just one of them.  As much loyalty as I have to my Sony Walkman phone (I know, right), I’ve begun to realize that working with a bunch of techie entrepreneurs makes not having a smart phone a liability.  I owe my phone some loyalty.  The camera broke, it doesn’t record video clips anymore, and it hasn’t worked as a walkman since it survived being run over by my Silverado.  I’m blown away the thing hasn’t left me by this point.

This isn’t the 1980s, but status symbols are alive and well.  If your gadgets don’t show how geeky you are, you’re out.  From the CTAN investor who publicly mocked my phone at a Door 64 meetup, to the girl who asked me to text her my phone number only to stop and ask if I, “could text on my phone,” I’ve gotten the hint.  I hear you world.  It’s time for the iPhone.

Now the question is how practical I should be about getting the dang thing.  Fortunately, my last 2 year phone contract just expired, so when I’m ready to go buy the phone, AT&T (or Verizon) will take the brunt of the iPhone’s cost.  At this point, I have 2 questions that will determine when I pick up the phone.

1. What new features will Apple inevitably roll out in June for the next generation of the phone?
2. Will the iPhone finally loose its bonds to AT&T and will I have the option to join the far superior Verizon network when I upgrade to the iPhone?

The first question is kinda geeky, I understand.  But if the new version of the iPhone upgrades to 4g speed, that’s surely worth waiting for.  Apple tends to roll out new and necessary features with each iteration, so it’s something to always consider when buying their stuff.

The second question is pretty important.  The AT&T network can really suck wind at times, and the biggest complaint I hear from iPhone users is the spotty data coverage.  Even Steve Jobs gripes about it.   If I’m going to take the plunge, sell out, and buy into the tech hype, I’d better have a decent wireless network so next year at South by Southwest, I can judge all the people who show up with cell phones that look like this one:

Why I should buy an iPhone
Phone: Post Chevy Silverado run-in
This is reason enough to buy an iPhone
I told Yoko that I can't text her my number from my "rotary" phone

I only sorta hope this helps…


  • Actually, that doesn’t look like such a bad phone!

    I will say this. I have one of the original blackberry phones, one I bought soley because it was known to be durable and I was tired of self-destructing tech products. As it turns out, I got sucked into texting, email access on the road and the whole mobile office bit. While after five years the software is aging, the device is still solid as a rock. I think the only reason I might change up phones is for a bigger screen so that I can see google maps. My fear of switching to an iPhone, besides cost and network, is that not having a keyboard will greatly decrease my productivity. I’ve heard repeatedly from people that will point out that the iPhone is great for having web access and light saber games, but with a keyboard they get more actually work, and communication, done remotely.

    • Thanks for the reply, Kai the Jedi. Yeah, I noticed your phone after class the other day. It’s a brick. Solid. Long-lasting. Clearly 5 years is just the beginning for that phone.

      The bigger screen thing is definitely a big deal. There is so much that we’re asked to do with a mobile device anymore that we need as many pixels as we can squeeze into our pockets. I will add that the iPhone thing probably wouldn’t be primarily for productivity. The Android, even though it’s really clunky, has the keyboard and will be more open-source. Honestly, the idea of carrying the office home with me is unappealing. Maximizing productivity isn’t always my focus. Abject snobbery gets closer to the truth… ;-P

      And plus, I should think that a Jedi, like yourself, would really get into the light saber games..

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