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Cooler Than the iPhone

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A wonderful quote popped up on the Quote of the Day section of my iGoogle page the other day which read, "The future, according to some scientists, will be exactly like the past, only far more expensive". John Sladek, an American science fiction author, passed away in 2000, before the release of the original iPod but he no doubt would have thought that Apple products pretty much validated his prediction.

Apple's latest range of gizmos, such as the iPhone, do engender the feeling that you're holding a bit of the future in your hand, but hot damn, they are expensive! OK, if you take each one at face value, they're not bad value, but if your an Apple fan(bois) then you're going to need be well heeled to keep up with all its products, or at least, comfortable with a sawn off shotgun and furnished with the address of your local bank. If I recall correctly, when freeing an iPod, from its delicious packaging you find the words, "Don't steal music". Perhaps it should add to that, "Don't Rob Banks".

In case you hadn't noticed ‘it' was launched by Steve Jobs last week at the Apple Store in Regent's Street. I was there. "I saw you on TV!" someone said to me, . "looking bored". I wasn't bored, I was glum, because I knew I wasn't going to be getting a free one.

Far from it, in fact. We're all used to not having to pay for our phones, and along comes Apple with its Jesus phone and everyone's willing to pay through the nose. The minimum contact on O2 will cost £35 for £18 months - equivalent to £899 over the course of the contract. Yes, you do get an unlimited data tariff, (or at least equivalent to 1,400 average web pages a day, which is effectively unlimited) and access to 7,500 Wi-Fi hot spots, courtesy of the cloud, but it only gives you a measly 200 minutes and 200 texts. The minutes I'd easily get through in a month. The next step up is a decent 600 minutes, but that'll cost you £45 a month - so that's £1,079. Ouch.

One person I was fascinated to find out what they thought of the iPhone was Stephen Fry - yes, the writer, broadcaster and your general friendly neighbourhood genius. There is a group on Facebook, of which I am a member, called ‘Jeremy Clarkson for Prime Minister'. This is all fine and good, but we really all know that it should really be Stephen Fry. You see, as you might already know if you're switched into the Blogosphere, Stephen Fry has started a blog in which I was delighted to see him mingling internet terms, such as IMHO, in among his carefully crafted sentences.

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