Pierre Bernard

My little hideout on the net

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The iPhone temptation

Almost a year ago, in January 2007, we were on ski holiday in the Swiss Alps. Christian Trotobas called with news from the Macworld keynote. Steve Jobs had just announced the iPhone.

We went to the nearest WiFi hotspot (and shared a connection over a FireWire cable) to get the details. Apple had indeed reinvented the phone. The iPhone combines everything you want to carry around: phone, organizer, music player, camera, map. Actually Apple invented a new attitude towards mobile devices. With unlimited data plans, one has the Internet always within reach. You can always have a peek at Google Maps. No second thoughts about surcharges.

I recently had a chance to play with an iPod Touch. The interface is nothing short of a revolution. So intuitive, so fluid. It really is a league of its own. I pity the manufacturers of other music players. wouldn't buy an iPod Touch though. I just don't have enough pockets to carry both an iPhone and an iPod. Especially in summer, pockets I don't sit on and are free of keys and spare change are at a premium. This encounter however has increased my craving for an iPhone.

I believe the iPhone is of historic importance. It sure is for Apple. By setting new standards it will be a historic milestone for the whole industry. In the past Apple has already set a couple of such milestones. And I was at the party. I had a original Mac 128K and a first generation Newton MessagePad MP 100. I have a tradition to keep up with.

Word is not out yet when or if the iPhone will be available in Luxembourg. As it happens I will spending quite some time in Germany over the next 10-20 month. Thus I may consider the German T-Mobile offer.

And this is the very reason why I am going to sit out this one. T-Mobile's cheapest iPhone plan is 50€/month. That's hefty. That's more than I pay for DSL flatrate! For that price you get 100 outgoing minutes, data and WiFi flatrate. That would about match my usual needs. The catch is that I plan to spend the next 12+ month at home working hard to grow the Houdah product catalog. Thus I will have little need for mobile data plans.

What really keeps me from buying the iPhone are however the vexing conditions of the T-Mobile contract:
- 50€/month is just barely acceptable
- 0.39€/minute beyond plan is just plain unbelievable. I am used to paying 0.10€/minute on free plans. Competition goes as low as 0.05€/min!
- The iPhone is SIM-locked to T-Mobile and will remain so even after the 24 month contract has expired!
- If I leave the country, the iPhone will become useless

I hope Apple can reason their partners by the release of a second generation iPhone. I am hoping for a GPS receiver, a SDK, free roaming among iPhone partners, ...

FreeRice.com: Feed your brain

I just stumbled across an interesting site. FreeRice.com combines vocabulary trainer and charity. FreeRice has two goals:

* Provide English vocabulary to everyone for free.
* Help end world hunger by providing rice to hungry people for free.

For each word you get right, FreeRice donates 10 grains of rice through the United Nations. So far 782,877,540 grains of rice have been donated.

This is made possible by the sponsors who advertise on this site. Apple sponsors the site with .Mac and iTunes ads.