Greg Roach's Berkshires Blog
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
  App Envy
This article touches on why I believe the iPhone has been a bigger success than anyone really imagined - the fact that AT&T was forced to let the people who made and used the iPhone define its capabilities.

Sadly, AT&T's cell service in my neighborhood stinks, so no iPhone for me. I was pretty much forced to go with Verizon Wireless simply because of reception. I have bought a very modern phone and I pay extra for things like web browsing, email, etc... but there are only a handful of useful applications available for it, and most of them cost a hefty monthly subscription charge for things that I might use once in a blue moon.

Compared to the thousands of apps for the iPhone, the selection and usefulness of the Verizon apps are pathetic. My guess is that very few programmers are developing them because Verizon keeps a very tight grip on what gets offered to its customers. For the iPhone, Apple controls the content, not AT&T. And that, in my opinion, makes for a world of difference. (Could LG start promoting apps for my phone? Not without Verizon's blessing.)

This is why I hope that Apple ends AT&T's exclusive grip on the iPhone when the contract runs out in 2010. I suspect that it would force the other cell providers and phone manufacturers to step up or lose ground. And Apple would gain at least one more customer in North Adams, MA.
I have an iPhone Touch, which is an iPhone without the phone, really . . . and the GPS, actually . . . and it's the best little gadget I've owned. The point many have missed about the iPhone is that it's not about phones, it's about compact computing. Thanks to all the apps, it's a slow build to making the freakin laptop obsolete for some users - although, like the iPod, it's also about selling Apple product to a populace that has been resistent. (My 10 year old Powerbook JUST died after a decade of solid service in various forms, dancing on the graves of all my friends' laptops over the years - it remains to be seen if iPhones have the old Apple stamina, though). iPods and iPhones are gateway drugs to the higher end computing.

Anyhow, I have tons of apps on my Touch - both amazingly useful and indispensable, as well as a few silly ones. I know Blackberry and Google Android users who look at what's available with envy. My experience with Apple is that they're as evil as any other corp, but they've always delivered on product, which is what counts, and they usually set the tone for the next step in tech product.
Excuse me, iPod Touch, not iPhone Touch. Oops.
Within the last month, AT&T dramatically increased coverage in the area. I've hit very few dead spots. It's basically all good until you get to Hancock (no Jiminy coverage, a few dead patches in south Williamstown, but otherwise really solid). Just fyi.
Thanks Ali. NOW you tell us. We just signed on for new phone contracts. No matter, we can't justify BOTH having iphones at $85 bucks a month and of course if one gets one the other has to have one. iphones (or soup) for us!
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