Friday, September 3, 2010

Gadget Guru?

Well, Apple's done it to me again. Yesterday Jobs and Co. showed off their revamped line of iPods, their new iTunes, now featuring "Ping" musical social networking, and their updated video/internet streaming box, AppleTV.

Typical...I grabbed my iPod touch back on Black Friday 2009.  I wrote about my search for internet in my Groomer last fall. after considerable research and soothsaying, I chose the iPod Touch because it was the best handheld solution for my needs, hands down...until yesterday...

Apple's added a new, more beautiful touchscreen, iOS4 multitasking, a faster processor from the new iPhone4, a built in microphone and finally, a pair of cameras. A 3 megapixel still camera on the back, and a frontside videocam for video chat. Like Steve Jobs says: "It's an iPhone without the phone" The microphone makes it a phone, as long as you're within range of a WiFi Access Point and have a Skype Account!

Prices went up about 10%

It looks like my ideal handheld device...damnit!

FaceTime the iPod Touch Video Chat App
You may remember the last Apple Big Show back in June. The iPhone4 was introduced to wide acclaim. Tech junkies lined up around the block at every Apple Store in the country to get the new device. It was another fairly large step forward, and almost as if on cue, AT&T's cell phone data networks groaned under the strain of all the newbies surfing the net everywhere. (In America, the iPhone is still exclusive to AT&T's cell network) Within weeks, major carriers announced the end of their "All You Can Eat" Data Plans, and the coming of Tiered Data Service. I was a little troubled, I hadn't forseen the end of "Unlimited" Data fact, I was waiting for aggressive bundling to drive pricing down before I took the Smartphone leap.

All the furor over data plan billing quickly took a backseat to widespread reports of iPhone4 antenna design problems that threatened to take the shine off the to speak, and the whole wireless sector faded away from the spotlight.

Never out of the limelight for long, Apple's Jobs, debuted the new music and media gadgets in time for Holiday Shopping Season again, Wednesday.

Not to be outdone, Verizon announced Thursday that they will offer Pre-Paid Data Plans on all their Smartphones starting in late September, including an "Unlimited Plan" at $30/month on top of your voice plan, and a 25Mb plan for $10/month. Back in November, I decided to wait on a Smartphone, and go with the iPod Touch. I opined that the price of the Data Plans would come to me. Nine months later, I'm looking like a swami...or semi-swami.

As with all things tech, there are tradeoffs to consider. Smartphones cost an arm and a leg. You can spread the misery a little when you sign on to a Data Plan. Buy a rich enough Voice/Data Package, and the carrier will "subsidise" your new phone, usually knocking about $300 off.

The Pre-Paid Data Plans don't subsidise your phone, so you pay full pop, or buy a used device...perhaps you've noticed, I'm the King of waiting out a bargain!

So, I'll still be biding my time...the newest whiz-bang tech will come to me in time...and at my price.

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