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Commentary: Why you should avoid the iPhone

  • Story Highlights
  • The iPhone has been released in the UK and Germany
  • There was a huge frenzy at Apple stores to purchase them
  • Try to resist the urge to buy one yet, says CNN's Adrian Finighan
  • iPhone will inspire the mobile world to raise its game and match technology
  • Next Article in Technology »
By CNN Anchor/Reporter Adrian Finighan
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LONDON, England (CNN) -- So, Apple's much hyped iPhone is finally available in Europe. Well, in the UK and Germany at least. French readers will have to wait just a few more days until they can get their hands on one.

Is it the revolution everyone was expecting?

Tell me now that you know nothing of it, that Apple's pre-launch marketing has failed to reach your eyes and ears, and I'll assume that you've spent the last few weeks vacationing on Mars.

The iPhone is everywhere -- on TV, online, in print, on billboards and even on the sides of London buses.

Such was the frenzy of excitement on launch day here that hundreds of people lined up for hours in the cold London drizzle to ensure that they were among the first to own what's become known in the U.S. as the "Jesus Phone" because of all the hype surrounding it.

I want one. Badly. And very probably you do too.

But here, absolutely free of charge, is possibly the best bit of advice you'll get all year. Whatever you do, don't pick one up. Resist all temptation to wander along to your local Apple or mobile partner store to "see what all the fuss is about." Run away as far and as fast as possible when your iPhone owning friends and colleagues offer to let you "play" with their new toy.

Why? Well, the moment you hold one, the moment you realize that the beautiful thing that you have in your hand is the device that you've been waiting for it'll be too late.


One minute you'll be gaping in awe at the magnificent, intuitive touch screen, cooing over its ability to display full size Web pages and photos with ease, marveling at the simplicity of the gorgeous Mac OSX style interface -- and the next, unable to resist its charms, you'll be at the checkout parting with £269 ($550) and signing up to give Mr. Jobs and Co. a further £810 ($1,600) of your hard-earned cash over the next 18 months.

And why am I warning you off?

Well, the iPhone is far from perfect. Yes, in many ways it lives up to the hype. Yes, it is an innovative, fabulous, desirable gadget. And yes, it is the best thing since sliced bread. But it is still a very long way from the truly "convergent" device, the holy grail that will revolutionize the way we use mobile technology.

I won't bore you by listing all of its shortcomings here, save to say that anyone looking for a mobile office will find the iPhone experience a frustrating one and would be best advised to stick with one of the many Smartphones already on the market.

Some of the iPhone's weaknesses will no doubt be fixed by a future "software update" from Apple. Others, like the non-expandable, measly 8GB of flash memory, the disappointing 2 mega-pixel camera and the frustrating 2G data transfer speeds on the mobile network owners will just have to live with.

However, despite its shortcomings, the iPhone is the device that has strapped a much needed rocket to the rear end of the mobile industry. It's forcing manufacturers to raise their game. Things move quickly in the world of mobile technology and, in just a few short months, rest assured there'll be a host of devices boasting iPhone type features at much more affordable prices.

And how are today's iPhone pioneers going to feel when Apple, faced with all this competition and innovation, produces an improved device? The blogosphere is already abuzz with rumor about plans for iPhone Mk2 and they'll be stuck with Mk1 until the end of their contracts.

So, if I were you, I'd resist the temptation to get an iPhone. Just for a few more months. You'll be glad you did. You never know what's around the corner, but I bet it'll be worth the wait. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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