Farewell, my iPhone…

iPhone 3GS in BlackThis morning at around 9:30—a mere 24 hours or so before taking delivery of my incoming iPad WiFi+3G—I handed off my iPhone 3GS to one of my coworkers. She’d agreed to buy it from me so that she could escape having to sign up for a long-term AT&T contract.

It was kind of strange. When I got up this morning, it was not to the sound of my iPhone alarm but rather my regular alarm clock. Instead of reaching over to check the morning emails, I had to…uh…get out of bed. When I got dressed I discovered I was “listing to port” since there was no phone in my right-hand trouser pocket like usual to balance me out.

I still think that the iPhone has been one of the best pieces of technology I have ever owned or used in my entire life. It revolutionized a lot of things from smart phones to “pocket computing” to human interface design. I used it every single day from when I bought my 1st generation iPhone through today. So why the heck did I sell it then?

The only problem I ever had with the iPhone was that I’m not a “phone-talking kind of person”. It always secretly infuriated me that I had to pay lots of money every month for cell phone minutes I’d never, ever use. I had thousands of them! The cheapest plan you could buy still gave 450 minutes (and that’s not counting the thousands of “Night & Weekend” minutes) and in a chatty month I might use 60-75 of them. But after paying the $39.99, they’d roll over, and over, and over every month until after a year they expired and went into the cell minute dustbin. This irked me to no end.

What I did on my iPhone was use email, the web browser and several applications. All this will be done better, stronger and faster on an iPad—and without the $69.99 a month recurring bill. If I need 3G, that would be at the most $30.00 per month.

But what about making phone calls when I do need them? Well, mark my devilish ingenuity: I use Skype. I’ve had a Skype account ever since my first trip to Japan in 2006, but I mostly only used it when I traveled. You can get Skype on the iPad. The ingenuity part is that I bought a local call in phone number to give people who want to call me from the phone—that was $30.00/year. I then purchased a one-year, unlimited calling plan to anywhere in the USA or Canada for $30.05. There you go—all the calling I’ll ever need for a whole year for less than a month’s iPhone bill. And besides—what did we all do in the not-so-distant past before cell phones? We called regular phones and left messages when necessary. I have a home phone and a work phone where I—you know—actually use the telephone. I’m not bothered at all.

I plan on having my iPad with me all the time, so there’s not much I’ll miss. But just in case, I bought a 5th Gen iPod Nano (the one with the video camera) just to have as my emergency backup pocketable device.

So farewell, iPhone—I knew you well…

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