Should I buy an iPhone?

This is the question on my mind.

I went past the Apple & ATT stores in downtown SF (very close to my apartment) on Friday night and Saturday. Apple had a line so long I couldn’t see the end of it (outside the store), and ATT sold out phones early.

While the lines outside the store suck, it’s really fun to walk past them and be overheard saying, “I can’t believe they ran out of phones again!”.

Is this a truly great phone, or it just another fashion statement? Why so much buzz?

With Apple, the answer is probably again both.

I think the lines are a combination of true enthusiasts (developers who are writing applications for the iPhone store, and power users) and people overrun with loopy excitement for a product for which they would be hard-pressed to name 7 unique features.

So what is my attraction?

I’ve asked myself this question and really drilled myself. The phone is expensive (via monthly charges), and most of my “required” features (Exchange sync, web, GPS, etc.) are available on other phones (surprisingly, the Samsung Instinct doesn’t sync with Exchange’s calendar – information I got from a Sprint salesman and found many user reviews online claiming the same).

What it comes down to for me has a lot to do with the iPhone App Store. The “open market” nature of the store (developers get 70% of the revenue from sales of their applications), the quality of the SDK (developers, like the ones at Pandora, report that iPhone’s SDK is just superb), that the value of the experience of the phone will grow over time as the community of developers embraces it.

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