I usually follow a simple rule when it comes to consumer electronics: I avoid buying any first-generation products. That doesn't mean I haven't ever done it, but I tend to wait for generation two or three before I plunk down my dough, particularly when it comes to heavily hyped stuff.
As I've written before, I'm a prime candidate to buy the Palm Pre. I'm a Sprint customer who has a contract conveniently expiring in June and I have a phone (the Mogul) that's on its last legs. Ideally, the Pre would cost $50 less and not have a mail-in rebate, but at least Sprint didn't price the thing at a pure $299, as I'm sure it would have preferred to do. Pricing aside, the biggest hurdle I'm facing is the fact that the Palm Pre is a first-gen phone--and platform--and I'm really not a first-gen guy.
By contrast, the iPhone will be on its third generation and its platform is already fairly mature. We'll find out exactly how the new third-generation iPhone specs out at next week's WWDC event, but it's safe to assume that many of the small, nagging kinks that were found in earlier editions of the iPhone will have been ironed out. I don't expect it to be perfect (no phone ever will be, because there's always something better around the corner), but I feel pretty good about getting a lot more iPhone for my $199 than those who purchased the original non-3G model (which was originally $599--with contract!) or even the iPhone 3G.
Sometimes, of course, a brand new product can come along that's so far ahead of the pack that even the introductory version is too tempting to avoid.… Read more