I have a confession to make. I have never owned an iPhone. It’s not that I don’t want the most amazing pocket computer ever made. It’s just that I don’t want a phone. Or rather, I don’t want the contract that comes along with it.
For years I carried an iPod Touch, and then the iPad came along, with its monthly, non-contract 3G tariffs. Since then, I still hankered after an iPhone, mostly for its great camera, but also its portability. But right now I use an iPad 2 for everything, even listening to music on the go.
With the launch of the new iPad, though, I think Apple just destroyed any chance of me buying an iPhone. Here’s why I’m going to buy an iPod Touch instead.
The new iPad’s retina display is great and all, but what really gets me going is the camera. I actually use my iPad 2 camera more than is healthy, even though it’s an embarrassment to camera phones from as far back as 2005. With a 5MP sensor, better low-light sensitivity, auto-focus and the lens array from the iPhone 4S, the new iPad’s camera is more than enough for 80% of my photography needs.
What could the iPhone add to this? Not much. It’s pocket-sized, sure, but I always carry a bag, and the iPad is light. It has a flash, but who uses those anyway? And the iPhone, unlike the iPad, comes with an 18-month contract which I can’t just drop if I go live in another country for a few months.
So why do I need an iPod Touch, if the iPad is so damn perfect? Because there are times when smaller is better. Shopping lists, podcasts on the go (even I think that using the iPad as an iPod is dumb), quick-entry of tasks into Omnifocus are a few uses. Another is checking maps in foreign countries, where you might not want to pull out a $900 tablet and show it off.
But there’s one more thing. The iPad can now share its 3G connection. This means it can sit in my bag, while I quickly look up something on the iPod Touch. And if I want to snap a photo of something real quick, with the iPhone’s crappy camera, I can, and it’ll be shared via Photo Stream (the iPod thinks its on a Wi-Fi connection, remember).
What about phone calls, you ask? I make calls to exactly one person: The Lady. For everything else I use FaceTime or Skype. For these rare times, and for emergencies, I have a Spare One phone, picked up for €40 at this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
Is this stupid? The way I see it, I spend less than I would on a long iPhone contract, get almost all the benefits, and get to buy two new gadgets. What’s not to like?