The Apple Convert
I never thought I'd say this, but I just bought an iPhone 3G. This is my first Apple purchase since I bought an original Macintosh way back in 1984. I can't wait to see what great stuff Steve Jobs & Co. have to offer when I'm ready for my next Apple buy in 2032.
A few weeks ago I bought a Blackberry Curve for my new job at O'Reilly. I seemed to be the only Blackberry user there and I quickly developed iPhone envy. That's when you see too many of your colleagues doing really cool iPhone things, the kind of stuff you simply can't do on a Blackberry.
Another factor also came into play last week. While attending the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco I got to hear famed venture capitalist John Doerr talk about his passion for the iPhone. At one point, he held his iPhone up and said he believes this platform will ultimately become more important and influential than the PC platform.
Read that last sentence again and let it sink in. Doerr wasn't saying the PC platform is dying out and the iPhone will one day be more important than it. He's saying that as revolutionary as the original PC marketplace was (and has been), the iPhone platform is poised to have even more of an impact.
The impact Doerr is referring to isn't just limited to the device being a good phone, of course. It's about how the iPhone is (and will become even more of) a multifunction device, including serving as an enabler to all forms of content.
Do I want to read an entire book on this tiny screen? Probably not, but I can honestly say I would have been less inclined to buy a Kindle if I already had an iPhone. (Sorry Amazon.)
Stay tuned for more iPhone reports in future posts. And my thanks to the local AT&T reps who pointed out that, within 30 days of my original purchase, if I was willing to pay a $20 restocking fee I could swap out my Blackberry. Imagine how thrilled I was to find out I was on day 27 of the initial 30. That may turn out to be the best $20 I've ever spent!
P.S. -- As I've said about the Kindle, if you're in the publishing business you owe it to yourself to personally experience new technologies like the iPhone. You can't really gauge its impact if you're not using one yourself. I think Doerr is right. The iPhone will continue to be a disruptive factor for a lot of industries, including publishing.
Hey, I bought the original Mac in 1984, too, and have had my iphone for a couple of weeks now (no other Mac purchases since '84, but I have bought several ipods).
I love my iPhone, and I think I agree about the impact of devices like the iPhone. In just a few weeks, it has changed many things for me:
1. I prefer to read e-manuscripts using Stanza on the iPhone over my Sony Reader. Why? I always have my iPhone with me. No, the battery does not last as long, and the screen is smaller, but those negatives are not enough to make it a deal-breaker.
2. I've discontinued my XM Satellite Radio subscription, which I've had for more than 5 years, in favor of last.fm and Pandora on my iPhone. I have a car stereo with an aux input, so I just plug in my iPhone and fire up one of those two apps. They play music that is chosen to appeal to me from input I've made on their websites, and it's commercial free. The only hiccups are occasionally if I'm switching from a 3G area to an Edge area, but those are momentary buffering delays. If I find myself in an area with no service (i.e., Vermont), I switch to the songs I have loaded on the iPhone through iTunes.
3. It's much faster for me to check my many email accounts through the iphone than at my desktop using my email client.
I still have a Blackberry through work, which is unfortunately the only approved device to use with our Microsoft Exchange, but i suspect that they may come around in a few years to allowing iPhone use.
Posted by: Ann Kingman | November 09, 2008 at 01:18 PM
Welcome to the tribe Joe!
Posted by: Michael Covington | November 09, 2008 at 05:11 PM
Joe that is great news. I have noticed you have been using twitterberry for twitter. You won't look back now that you can get a fully functional twitter app for your iphone.
Posted by: Mark | November 09, 2008 at 07:14 PM
I have an iPhone. I've already read several books on it, including an eARC sent to me. There's so much more I can do with my iPhone than any previous phone or device, and that's only going to improve.
Welcome to the collective.
Posted by: Carolyn Jewel | November 09, 2008 at 07:40 PM
Did I read that correctly? You actually might not have bought your kindle if you'd had the iphone first? That is one heck of an endorsement! :) Now I feel good about buying an iphone and using it as a reader - w/ your blessing. ~ Kat
Posted by: Kat J Meyer | November 10, 2008 at 10:10 AM
I never would have thought that reading books on my iPhone would be as enjoyable as it is! I use the ereader service and have now read three Terry Pratchett novels and I can't stop. Portability, ease of purchase, and very good screen readability -- the only down side is flipping pages every 10 secs. I've bought more ebooks for my iphone than print versions during this last month and I probably will cut out most of my print novels shortly and switch to ebooks (as long as there is an ebook version available, and if not, I'll wait for it).
Posted by: David von Glahn | November 10, 2008 at 11:33 AM
Re: the small screen: I have a Palm Z22 that I use to read ebooks. I've read several dozen books on it by now and so has my wife. I iniitally thought I'd never get used to reading that way but now it's as non-obtrusive as turning pages. I read a paper book for the first time in months some time back and I was amused to find that I had to re-acclimate to it for a bit.
Give it a try and give it some time.
Posted by: Robert | November 10, 2008 at 03:43 PM
That's great, Joe. I just got an iPhone too, and I love reading books on it. I still hate the keyboard on the iPhone (and much prefer to write emails on my Blackberry Curve), but now that I've used the iPhone I can see why so many people in the publishing/media industries envision almost all media moving onto this one single device.
Posted by: Maggie Hilliard | November 10, 2008 at 05:53 PM
A company in New York is launching iPhone-only style magazine:
How long before someone launches iPhone-only publishing company? It's probably already happening.
Posted by: Lucas W. | November 12, 2008 at 03:44 PM
Thanks Joe, I just got my ipad which I'm taking back because I find it a bit cumbersome. I love iphone however, it's better for reading than kindle imho.
Posted by: book publishers | April 14, 2010 at 09:51 AM
And now the I-pad is out it appears that your predictions are coming true. I agree with some of the comments above, the lack of a keyboard is a major deterent for anyone who wants to use the device to send emails or type up articles etc.
Posted by: Electric Car Kit Guy | May 22, 2010 at 11:46 AM