Free (From the) iPhone: Reviewing the Contents of My Heart

I think this is a question every young man faces at least once in his life: Should I skip my best friend's wedding in order to wait in line for an expensive piece of consumer electronics? I have answered variations on this question in the past (Do I skip my first sort-of-boyfriend's commitment ceremony to go to a free Death Cab show? Yes. Have I skipped holidays with close friends and family in an attempt to bone exes, friends with significant others, and douchebags who have been stringing me along? Every Thanksgiving since I moved to New York. Do I feel guilty about it? Sorta kinda.) and almost always done the wrong (i.e. socially unacceptable) thing. This is how I got here. Picture it: Monday June 11th 2007. All the neophiles, gadget freaks and mac obsessives are frothing at the mouth. It's the Apple World Wide Developers Conference and the question on everyone's mind -- when are we getting our iPhones? The keynote speech by Steve Jobs (the closest thing to an address from the pope for the mac faithful) is slow and uneventful. We get One More Thing. Apple's browser is now available for the PC. We snore. And then we get One Last Thing: The iPhone will be available June 29th at 6pm. The other iPhone news (lack of flash, lack of java, confirmation that 3rd generation wireless web will NOT be here) is disappointing and underwhelming but we have finally gotten the date this we will get this sexy little expected disappointment in our hot little hands. I sit and ponder this after having skipped lunch to watch live blog coverage of the event. As I am dutifully downloading Safari for my work computer, it occurs to me that I will be on an island off the coast of Seattle when it launches at my friend's rehearsal dinner. There isn't cell phone reception there, much less cell phone stores. I immediately IM HT with my predicament. What should I do? Should I arrive late, missing the dinner but securing the phone? Or should I finally stand up for a friend and deny my intense, burning technophile lust? HT points out that I have spent the last hour and a half complaining about how Apple has become more of marketing machine than a tech company, the way the Intel transition has made obvious how painfully slow their development is, and the many failings of the phone outlined above. I type "But HT, it's the iPHONE!!!" I proceed to IM FT who usually supports me in my desire to purchase the newest and shiniest electronics. He says "Could AH wait in line and buy one for you? Or is he coming to the wedding?" The thought has occurred to me, but I feel like it would be wrong to make my boyfriend take a ferry to the wedding late in order to be the first to have a toy I don't need and can't afford. As the last two weeks have passed more and more (mostly bad) details have appeared. Then we learned the battery life and screen were better than originally announced. Some reports surface that the onscreen keyboard sucks and you can't use songs as ringtones. Than we learn the plans are incredibly cheap. Somewhere in the middle of this, I realize I just don't care. My Treo is genius. I can write blog entries on it, check my email, and take phone calls. I've dropped it a thousand times and it keeps on ticking. And most of all, it doesn't make me feel guilty for being a bad friend. The second the wedding's over though, I'm skipping out on the reception and finding an internet connection, even if I have to swim to the mainland. How else will I read the first user reviews that are rolling in? [HT adds: There used to be a much shorter and more interesting iPhone video embedded above, but for whatever reason, it stopped streaming this morning. I've replaced it with a sadly dull tutorial on iPhone usage, until MD -- currently in Seattle -- returns and can replace it with something better. Apologies!]

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