I've been resisting the cult of iPhone for years now. Hanging around iPhone users when you don't have an iPhone yourself is like hanging around stoners when you don't get high. At first, they seem like a lot of fun -- but after a while, they just get annoying. Could you stop with the giggling and the pizza already? I'm over it. And who cares if you have an app that lets you pretend to drink beer? Does that really make you cool?
The peculiar iPhone-user mating dance hasn't helped either. Within minutes of meeting each other, these strange creatures begin their song of love: "SQUAAWK! Do you have a GPS app?" "SQUAAWK! Do you have the pretend-to-drink-beer app?"
Android users, in my experience, don't suffer from the same sort of self-righteous smugness as owners of iPhones. They suffer from a different sort of self-righteous smugness. "I'm not such a sheep," their geeky coolness indicates. "I'm a rebel. A crazy person. With an 8 megapixel camera, so how do you like me now?"
And then there's me: your digital crusader, champion of Facebook, Twitter, SaaS, the cloud, social media, connectivity, and all things Interweb-related. A regular titan of technology, as it were. The only thing you have to ignore is the utter uselessness of my own little useless phone. WiFi? Accessible but difficult. Screen? Tiny. Qwerty keyboard? Not on your life.
No, something had to change, so I decided that it's time for a new device.
I trawled through Google a bit, and it pretty much came down to the iPhone vs. the Evo (and, no, it's not just because of that YouTube movie). I then turned to the source of all digital knowledge: my MediaPost colleague, David Berkowitz. "Android for phone, iPhone for everything else," he counseled. What if I'm only getting one? "IPhone, definitely."
That's it, I thought. That's all I need to know. Off I went to the Apple Store, credit card in hand. Got the shiny box. Brought it home. Told some friends. Got the worst possible reaction. "You fool!" said one. "Everyone I know who has the iPhone 4 hates it!" said another. "Will they let you take it back and exchange it for an iPhone 3?"
Buyer's remorse kicked in and overwhelmed me. What had I done? I was a true laggard; the early adopters had come and gone, and I was left trying to convince people that I'd never wanted an iPhone in the first place.
Even though I had already made my purchase, I continued interviewing people for phone preferences -- seeking, I suppose, some validation of my new toy. Another MediaPost colleague, Max Kalehoff, showed me his beautiful Evo. A doctor friend and Apple fanatic showed me his Droid. "I wish I could have stuck with Apple," he told me, wistfully. "But I'm a doctor. When somebody calls, I have to be able to answer. It all came down to reception."
I haven't activated my phone yet, and I may yet live to regret it. Take note of the purchase process, though. It's still going on, even with the product in hand. Perhaps I'm just wishy-washy when it comes to decisions in general, or perhaps I'm just resistant to cool phones. Either way, the "Decision Engine" couldn't help me feel better about this purchase, nor could Google's soulless algorithm offer a solution. We rely on our emotions to take facts from information to decision, and search engines are notoriously short on emotion.
That being said, they're generally replete with facts, so you can bet I'll be going back to them to see if some nugget I've overlooked could be my foundation for a new era of total phone confidence.
Got a preference? Let me know what it is and why, here or via @kcolbin.