The iPod Conundrum Solution

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My iPod died/is dying. If it was a horse, I would have put it out of its misery a few weeks ago... but it's a piece of electronics, so I have been watching it deteriorate into a useless chunk of metal and plastic for the last few weeks while I pondered how to replace it.

4.5 years ago when I purchased "Torben the Truculent" the concept of the smart phone was still in its infancy, and the only iPod options were related to the size of the harddrive and the thickness of the brick. Now, there are four types of iPod, an iPhone, an iPad, and the non iOptions such as the Droid. Things have gotten complicated and expensive. On top of that, I have a work blackberry that for $9/month includes voice, data, and my work email, so I'm not stranded in the electronic wilderness.

For some time, I've wanted to have the iPhone with its sexy data connection and functioning browser that actually allows the user to retrieve information off the internet, rather than an extremely limited chunk of the web (the blackberry). But, now that is decision time, I had second thoughts when considering the expense of a data plan and voice plan, etc. So, I exercised my life skills and made a decision chart to help me sort through the options.

NetworkAT&T (-,-)T-Mobile (-,-)Verizon (+,+)AT&T (-,-)
Voice$50 (-)$9 (+)$50 (-)N/A
Data & Taxes$50 (-)$0 (+)$50 (-)$40 (-)
Device Cost$300$300$300$730 (-,-)
ServicesData & WiFi (+,+)WiFi (+)Data & WiFi (+,+)Data & WiFi (+,+)
Cameras2 (+,+)1 (+)2 (+,+)1 (+)
CompatibilityiTunes & Music (+)iTunes & Music (+)No iTunes, no music (-)iTunes & Music (+)
Apps$ (-)$ (-)Open Source stuff (+)$ (-)
DataLimited (+)Only WiFi (-)Unlimited Plan (+,+)Limited (+)
48 month cost300 + $5*48 + $100*48 = $5,040 (-,-,-,-,-)$300 + $5*48 + $9x48 = $972 (-)300 + $100*48 = 5,100 (-,-,-,-,-)$730 + $5*48 + $40*48 = 2,890 (-,-,-,-)

Of course, not all +'s and -'s are to scale, but it was like getting hit by a thunderbolt when I realized I could buy the iTouch now and wait a few months for the iPad price to come down, then buy the iPad and pay for a data plan and the total cost of the two units would be less than buying a phone. So, I have my solution. iTouch now, iPad later if I feel I still need/want it.


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Not to throw a wrench in your value calculations, but consider the effect of carrying multiple devices. I put a high priority on having just one brick in my pocket, and consequently seeming less happy to see people. I actually own the BB/iPod Touch combo, and the result is that I leave the iPod at home nearly all the time. Sure is cheap though.

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