Tech Tuesday

Smart Phone Chuckle

New iPhone not so 'disappointing' to buyers apparently, and what to consider if you want to buy a smart phone.

A couple weeks ago - Smart Phone Wars Heat Up - I talked about the impending launch of a new smart phone from Apple. There was a lot of buzz about a new iPhone 5 and what that might mean over the iPhone 4 which has been VERY successful.

Low and behold, Apple launched the 4S, a significant upgrade of the original 4, but not a 5. Some pundits were disappointed, perhaps because they had predicted the 5 and now had egg on their faces. I liked the comment of one, however, who said this was a logical progression (I'll explain in a moment).

But I think Apple got the bigger laugh. In one day, the iPhone 4S sold 1 million units on preorder - which is 67% more than the iPhone 4 sold on its first day. It made me chuckle.

Saw this morning that some are thinking that perhaps it's some kind of spill-over from the loss of Steve Jobs (Apple's founder) the day after the 4S launched. Analysts will always grasp at straws.

I agree with the writer who looked at the iPhone 4S and saw what Apple has done in the past. When the iPhone first launched I waited. It was a very cool phone - you have to remember when it first came out there was nothing like it. Now everything looks like an iPhone.

I got the second-generation iPhone 3GS (works on 3G and had a faster brain) - which looked a lot like the first iPhone, but was significantly improved.

The 4S could be viewed the same way - with its new faster, dual core brain, better camera and the new operating system (iOS 5 will improve all later model iPhone, iPad and iPod products) - this is a significant launch.

And if you're a Sprint customer, it's really good news for you - the company is going to offer the 4S under its unlimited everything plan (for now).

If you're on AT&T, Verizon or Sprint and your contract is coming up - the 4S may be worth a look. Even without 4G speeds, it's a solid phone (full disclosure, I'll get mine when the hoopla dies down). As for the lack of 4G, until someone comes up with a phone chipset that conserve battery power, Apple is going to wait. Laments I've heard from 4G users (folks in town, because there is NO 4G in the country) is that their batteries don't last long at all.

The smart phone choice

Which brings me to part two of this blog. If you're considering a smart phone, now may be the time. The holidays are coming and the deals will start to pop out of the woodwork. We all know the grab 'em/hold 'em strategy of cell phone companies, which means you'll wait until your contract is up. But when it is, it might be worth a look.

Email is so important to everyone now and these phones - iPhone, Android family, Windows mobile - make it easier to keep up when you're away from your desk. Checking market prices is easier too with mobile sites and apps - check out the Farm Futures App for iPhone and Droid - too. And with the free or cheap pricing some phones offer, it's worth a look.

But these are more expensive phones so make sure you get the insurance too - just in case. Given the rigors of farming insuring your smart phone may make sense.

These handheld computers are becoming valuable tools for the folks that use them. And with all the choices available from every carrier, you have plenty to look at. While I won't say "enjoy shopping" to an ag audience, perhaps "enjoy the market research" in looking for a new smart phone.

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