Apple iPhone or Treo?

I've been reading all day about the Apple iPhone. It looks very cool. But I kept wondering, what does it have that the Treo doesn't have?

I just got the Treo 680 over the holidays, so the TL kid could take my Motorola Razor - he had a dinosaur of a Nokia.

Aside from the fact that the Treo's phone reception sucks and the battery needs daily recharging, I finally figured out most of its bells and whistles and I like it.

I love my video iPod, but I'm wondering whether I'd shell out $500 to $600 bucks for a new one just because it has a phone and a touch screen.

Logic like this escapes me:

Dave Hamilton, co-publisher of an Apple news Web site called the Mac Observer, said most of the functions Jobs displayed are available on other products.

"I'd say about 80 percent of the features that were talked about today are available on a Treo," he said, "but Jobs is so good at standing on a stage and making you think he invented it."

Still, Hamilton said he'd trade in his Treo smart phone, made by Palm, "on day one" of the iPhone's release. Typically, he said, Apple makes a user interface that is so simple that "you don't have to wonder what your device can do."

On the other hand, the Apple TV announced today at $299 will be out in February and that I'd wait in line for.

The Apple TV syncs with iTunes just like an iPod, storing the data on an internal hard drive. It can also stream audio and video directly from the internet or from computers in a local network.

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Will You Get an Apple iPhone?
No, my current phone works just fine. 38%
Yes, as soon as they are available. 23%
Yes, eventually 30%
No, this is all just sales hype 7%

Votes: 13
Results | Other Polls
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  • Display: Sort:
    Usable functionality (none / 0) (#1)
    by RSA on Tue Jan 09, 2007 at 09:50:03 PM EST
    Logic like this escapes me. . .

    What you may be missing is the enormous amount of time that's wasted when people can't figure out how to use a complex device, or suffer through a long start-up period of learning how to use it.  Consider that the first Macintoshes didn't do anything more sophisticated than existing PCs (okay, that's a bit of an exaggeration, but not much) but they made their functionality accessible to non-expert users.  Even if the functionality of the iPhone is not new, people may be able to use it more easily, and that has significant value.

    That's not to say that everyone needs an iPhone.  There are a lot of sunk costs in having become familiar with already existing technology.

    i would say (none / 0) (#4)
    by cpinva on Tue Jan 09, 2007 at 11:47:37 PM EST
    it depends on what you need, as with every other "new" bit of technology. if you're getting it because it has a feature you value highly, then clearly it's worth it. if it has a far greater ease of use than what you already have, again, it's worth it.

    on the other hand, getting it just so you can show off to your friends or colleagues is kind of a waste, to me anyway.

    ease of use cannot be discounted at all. if you have to spend hours and hours figuring out how to use something, it's greater functionality is offset by that.

    the bottome line: is it worth it to you?


    In 100 words or less.... (none / 0) (#14)
    by Deconstructionist on Thu Jan 11, 2007 at 03:34:20 PM EST
     Can anyone explain in plain English  why I need this?

    Cell Service Matters Most (none / 0) (#2)
    by aztrias on Tue Jan 09, 2007 at 11:38:10 PM EST
    The iPhone only uses Cingular. It uses GSM which means it is good for international travel.

    http://consumerreports.org January issue rates national plans by city and Verizon - which has a Treo Phone - is a top scoring service in metro area.

     "How good: Middling to low levels of consumer satisfaction. Static is a widespread problem. Relatively low marks for helpfulness in handling customer questions and complaints.

    Networks: Primarily GSM, some TDMA and analog. Many GSM phones can also be used overseas."

    Revolutionary (none / 0) (#3)
    by JHFarr on Tue Jan 09, 2007 at 11:44:50 PM EST
    Jeralyn, go watch the 90 minute QT video of the iPhone introduction at Macworld today. It's at Apple.com.

    This thing is beyond anything you can imagine without seeing the details. You have to see what a touchscreen can DO in Apple's hands. It means you can have 1,000 interfaces and zero physical buttons. It runs on OS X.

    Every other smartphone/handheld is just junk now. Apple did it, they really did it. Poor Microsoft.

    Watch the Macworld keynote. That's all you have to do.

    exactly (none / 0) (#11)
    by smiley on Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 10:59:06 AM EST
    Every other smartphone/handheld is just junk now.

    And so is the Zune, and so is every other 3rd-brand MP3/video player.  Original poster says that the logic escapes him- the only logic you need is "ooh, shiny!"  For a significant percentage of the US population, (1)new = better, always, no matter what, and (2)your cell phone / car / hair / clothes are the most important things about your personal image, and if you can be the first kid on the block with one of these you're infinitely cooler than all the suckers who are still using crackberries with b/w screens to check their work email.  

    In the game of "hipper-than-thou," this phone is the new holy grail.  The iTV, in contrast, is a total yawner.  Apple had to do SOMETHING to counter MS's growing dominance in the living room media server market, but what they did isn't very impressive.  There's no DVR capability, it doesn't compete with the SlingBox, so... who cares?  You've been able to buy a network box to stream media from your pc to your home stereo for about 5 years now... Tivo's been doing both directions for about a year, so this just isn't interesting to me.

    Now, if Apple were to take that extra $6/share they have because of the iphone, and they just bought Tivo outright, and then did a co-brand with google to make the listing service free, THAT would be a killer app.  


    Treo phone okay, treo computer better. iPhone? (none / 0) (#5)
    by jerry on Tue Jan 09, 2007 at 11:48:27 PM EST
    I use my Treo more as a computer than a phone.  The phone is okay, the compelling features are the computer features.  The apps that sync with my desktop.  Wireless web browsing.  Google maps.

    The iPhone, with it's "random access voicemail" makes it sound as though Apple really tried to understand what a handheld computer could do to make the phone experience better.  Palm hasn't done that, yet.  So I am hopeful the iPhone will light a fire under Palm's ass.

    If I were a overscheduled lawyer, I could imagine that random access voicemail could be a compelling enough reason to buy the phone.

    The other very compelling feature is Safari.  Wireless web browsing with the Treo Blazer browser works, but not very well.  No java script.  Netscape 3 compatibility.  Very slow.  Not enough screen or speed to do ecommercey things: rent cars, buy plane tickets, get something from Amazon.  The iPhone, using Safari could provice a much better web experience.

    After that, I think it will depend on what apps it comes with and how well it syncs with a desktop Mac or PC.

    I suspect Palm will either go under, or turn out much more useful Treos.

    Take a look at 2Dial and tell me why.... (none / 0) (#6)
    by jerry on Tue Jan 09, 2007 at 11:53:07 PM EST
    2Dial, http://shsh.com/, is an inexpensive application that provides a visually attractive, touchscreen interface to your voicemail.  

    Instead of having to remember to press "3" to go forward, and press "7" to delete, 2Dial changes the touchscreen display and provides you easy buttons for these and other voicemail functions.  And if you have a voicemail system that 2Dial doesn't already provide a template for, it is easy to create your own.

    So 2Dial for me is a must have application as it lets me deal with three different voice mail systems that I have to put up with.

    So a) How come Palm didn't see that something like 2Dial was needed for their Treos, and b) how come they haven't bundled 2Dial with all of their Treos already?

    At some level, Palm still doesn't quite get what a handheld computer could do as a phone.  

    iPass on the iPhone... (none / 0) (#7)
    by Key on Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 12:15:20 AM EST
    This engadget post sums up some pretty good reasons to skip it:

    The iPhone is not a smartphone

    And the reality slowly sets in about what the iPhone is and is not. Noted analyst and Engadget pal Michael Gartenberg stated that the iPhone is first party software ONLY -- i.e. not a smartphone by conventional terms, being that a smartphone is a platform device that allows software to be installed. That means hungry power-users -- you know, those people ready and willing to plunk down $600 for an 8GB musicphone -- won't be able to extend the functionality of their phone any more than Apple (but thankfully not Cingular) dictates. Other unfortunate realities about the device:

        * No 3G. We know you know, but still, it hurts man.
        * No over the air iTunes Store downloads or WiFi syncing to your host machine.
        * No expandable memory.
        * No removable battery.
        * No Exchange or Office support.

    Skipping it (none / 0) (#8)
    by pinknoiz on Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 01:04:43 AM EST
    It is simply way to early to assert that the iPhone is a restricted platform. The target audience for the keynote today was not the software development community.

    Check back in June or July, around the time of the annual developers' conference.

    (and I'm running Linux on my iPod right now...)


    iPass (none / 0) (#10)
    by Skyho on Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 10:30:54 AM EST
    The commenter you quoted apparently, like our beloved administration, ignores history.

    Repeating the wrong meme that "Macs are not expandable" never will make it true.  It would be a first if the iPhone was not expandable, either hardware or software, so, I could be wrong.  Historically, however, that meme has never held water with the "non-expandable" iMac sharing a multitude of devices through USB, the iPod running on Linux or file-sharing with Treos over IR.

    It is a sideways slam to the Apple developers.  I am reminded of the teenager who took advantage of the "drop-safe HD" to write software that allows one to use an Apple laptop as an expensive remote control for "flying" an object on a computer, even itself, all within a couple of days.  The adventureous who run Vista on a Mac, natively.  Those who put iPods in cars, running many "car" features with the superior iPod interface.

    If unsure, wait for v.2, good advice for anyone.  To criticize something without even seeing it is like making foreign policy not ever having ventured past ones borders.  The effort will be doomed from the start.


    iPhone runs OSX (none / 0) (#12)
    by smiley on Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 11:02:13 AM EST
    which in theory means that iPhone will be able to run any OSX application.  And last I checked, OSX is  a unix.  

    Cingular certainly will have concerns about allowing the hoi-polloi to load 3rd party software on the devices, but if you can do it with treo/palm, why not with apple?


    They need to merge (none / 0) (#9)
    by Dadler on Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 10:16:04 AM EST
    And then we can have orchards of Apple Treos.

    The older I get, the fewer gadgets and material things I desire.  It's all just junk to haul around.

    I Love Apple As Much As the Next Person, But ... (none / 0) (#13)
    by burnspbesq on Thu Jan 11, 2007 at 01:25:41 AM EST
    No iPhone for me until I can edit Word documents on it, in revision mode, and run TimeSlips.I don't need any more toys, I need better tools.