The Business section of Saturday's Herald showed a crowd of people gathered outside the AT&T store in Del Monte Center. The headline read "SOLD OUT, THEN NOTHING."

What was all the fuss about? A new phone. Not just any phone. Only the sleek lines of the latest Apple iPHONE can draw such crowds. This thing does everything. No, wait. The first iPHONE did everything. This one can do more than everything. It can do anything! Even things that nobody has thought of yet! Hence the crowd gathering outside the store to be the first to do anything with a phone.

Unfortunately, when people tried to actually use them, the sheer numbers of new subscribers overwhelmed the system and nobody could get them working.

Why the rush to get something that will still be there tomorrow? Why not wait until the bugs are worked out? Because Apple has everyone hypnotized into believing their sleek products are the best because they look the best. Hence they must be obtained immediately, before the next best thing makes them obsolete.

My experience with Apple products is mixed, however. Yes, they're good. Yes they look cool. But they're not necessarily the best. When shopping for technology, I don't just go with brand reputation. I look for positive user reviews, ease of use, and compatibility with other things I have. On the compatibility score, Apple fails every time. Apple is usually only compatible with Apple. As I learned when I shopped for my MP3 player, Sony's Walkman beat the iPOD hands down on ease of use, compatibility, battery life, and price.

As someone who works with technology, my advice is to get off the iWANT bandwagon, and shop around for the best value. You may find the crowd isn't so "with it" after all.


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