Last summer I bought me a brand new and shiny iPhone 3G - and even though I paid $300 for my cool new phone - I think I am absolutely getting my money's worth. This only goes to show you that value is not so much a question of price as it is of cost effectiveness. A couple of weeks ago when we went shopping for furniture on a random Sunday, I too note of what I was using my phone for and here's the full list:
eMail - big deal. Pretty much any smart phone will do that for you.
Real Time Traffic Reports - checking google maps while on our way to San Francisco, I decided to take an alternate route when I noticed some congestion up ahead. Unlike many GPS devices that charge you a monthly fee for integrating real time traffic, traffic data comes free with the iPhone.
Finding Lunch - when we stopped for lunch at a local TGIF that we have been visiting for years, only to find out that the place was out of business, it took us all of 30 seconds to find a new family restaurant in the area, using an iPhone application called "Around Me".
Furniture Pictures - out shopping? Taking pictures of the furniture and sending it to folks for their opinion or to yourself to remind you what you've seen or what you actually purchased, is very useful.
Identify Music - sometimes when I am out or simply driving around I hear a cool song and I tell myself I have to buy it next time I go on iTunes. Of course, I always forget. No more. While shopping at Macy's two fun songs came on the store speakers. I didn't recognize them, but "Shazam", an iPhone application that identifies songs it hears, sure did. Songs purchased on the spot, while still in the store.
Keep Up on the News - standing around in the store waiting for my wife to finish browsing I can check out the NY Times or some other newspaper. No more being bored.
Free Pod Casts - there is a tremendous amount of free audio and video content available on iTunes, including many university lectures, and personal finance podcasts, including a monthly podcast from Bill Gross of Pimco, which I listen to regularly.
Did I mention that thing also works as a phone? Although I do have to admit that I still suffer from dropped calls and periodically I have to restart the device to make sure it works properly. Another downside is battery life - the phone needs to be recharged daily. My service plan costs about $80 a month, but happily, my monthly cell phone bill is covered by my employer. Can you tell I really love this machine?
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