iPhone (Minus the Phone)


Yesterday Steve Jobs announced new changes to the iPod line and a new price for the iPhone. The iPod nano is now short and wide with a bigger screen; the regular iPod (now called “iPod classic”) now holds up to 160GB of media; and, in preperation for the Christmas shopping season, iPhones are now $200 cheaper coming in at $399.

(UPDATE: Early iPhone adapters are understandably upset over such a drastic price drop only two months after the iPhone’s debut. In response, Apple has announced a $200 rebate to anyone who purachased an iPhone in the last 14 days, and a $100 store credit to anyone who purchased an iPhone before that.)

But the biggest announcement was the new iPod touch. It looks like an iPhone, complete with touch screen, but it’s actually a fancy widescreen iPod. It’s sort of an iPhone without the phone. It comes in 8GB and 16GB models, priced at $299 and $399 respectively. Or, for the same $399 you can now get an 8GB iPhone.

I’ve had an iPhone for about two months now and I absolutely love it. For my personal needs, it has been extremely useful. If you’ve wanted an iPhone but have been holding off because (a) it was too expensive, or (b) you didn’t want to switch to AT&T, now might be the time to take the plunge.

So, which one should you buy…iPod touch, or iPhone? Here’s a brief comparison of the two:

iPod touch: Pros
• You don’t have to switch your phone service to AT&T, or pay AT&T’s monthly service rates for internet and email. You keep your current service on your current cell phone or PDA.
• The 16GB model holds twice as much music, photos, and movies as the iPhone.
• You can browse the internet and view YouTube videos just like on an iPhone (but only over wi-fi).
• UPDATE: You can make the music controls (play, pause, etc.) appear on the screen at any time by double-clicking the Home button, even if the machine is asleep or locked. You can’t do this on the iPhone.

iPod touch: Cons
• It’s not a phone. You still need to carry around two devices (your cell phone and iPod) instead of one.
• Internet browsing is limited to wi-fi. If you are “out and about”, you can’t get online unless you are in a wi-fi hotspot.
• It’s short on features. No e-mail, instant messaging, or voice mail. No camera. No google maps. No weather, stocks, or notes.
• UPDATE: No microphone or speaker.
• UPDATE: You cannot add or edit calendar events, they are view-only. (Contacts, however, can be edited).

iPhone: Pros
• Plenty of cool extra features that the iPod touch lacks (see above).
• You can access the internet just about anywhere. If you have a decent cell phone signal, you can get online using AT&T’s Edge network.
• Since the iPhone is a phone, ipod, camera, and PDA (sort of), you only have to carry around one device.

iPhone: Cons
• You have to switch to AT&T to use it. This can get expensive. Unless you are already an AT&T customer, you will have to pay to get out of your current contract. Then you must pay a monthly fee to AT&T to use the internet over their Edge network.
• Only 8GB of storage, which fills up fast.
• Due to a recessed headphone jack, you have to buy an adapter in order to listen to music on your headphones.

UPDATE: Here’s another difference between the two devices, from macrumors.com:
• iPod Touch has separate Contacts app and separate Video app. On the iPhone, Contacts is built into the Phone function and Video built into the iPod function.

If I think of more Pro’s and Con’s I’ll add them. In my opinion, both machines are amazing and either one would be an excellent choice, depending on your needs and lifestyle.