Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

My CrackBerry and My SighPhone

With the drop in price of the iPhone in its new 3G mode to the low, low price of $199, Apple (AAPL) CEO Steve Jobs was signaling that he was pricing them to move.

Or, as the old retail cliche goes: Stack them high and watch them fly.

The bid to bring the groundbreaking smartphone to the masses is a good thing, of course, in order to move its influence well beyond the early-adopter crowd and generally elite market that it has been most popular in.

I was one of those customers, of course, buying an iPhone almost as soon as it was available.


But, from reports, even though the 2.0 version is obviously better (although I have yet to see one), I will not be doing that again when the new iPhone 3G (pictured here) comes out in a few weeks.

Why not?

No, it is not because AT&T’s (T) network is so weak–as it has been for me–because I am already locked into a two-year contract anyway from my first iPhone.

No, it is not because I am cheap either–I will buy any gadget that shows up on my doorstep.

No, it is not because I don’t admire the iPhone for many of its qualities, such as its spectacular touchscreen, Web and multimedia experience (although a better camera would be nice).

It’s actually because of the same rap everyone has made on the first iPhone–the virtual keyboard that I still find irksome to use, which makes my email and texting experience completely frustrating.

Add to that the continued lack of a cut-and-paste function–it makes the decision not to upgrade an easy one.


On the other hand, I will be first in line to decide on which of the next versions of the RIM (RIMM) BlackBerry I will happily overpay for.

That would either be the BlackBerry Bold (pictured here), a tasty-looking upgrade to the traditional one with better everything (screen, multimedia, connection).

This is an easy yes for me, because I have been a fan of the BlackBerry from its block-of-soap format to now, largely due to its huge usefulness as a communications device.

True story of my obsession: I was clicking away and sending updates, right up until the drugs kicked in as I was wheeled into the delivery room when I was having my son.

I know, I know! I am a freak.

But the thing is exceedingly useful to me and has been, as I often joke, one of the most reliable relationships of my life.

That’s why I am a bit wary of the second possible BlackBerry choice–its iPhone-copycat called the Thunder.

Despite my so-so-experience with the iPhone, I do love its touchscreen technology, a feature I miss with my standard-issue BlackBerry.

So, that will obviously be the most attractive part of the Thunder to me.

My great hope, of course, will be that it will have more than a virtual keyboard, but one with real keys to click.

Because the lack of one is a nonstarter for me, which is exactly why my iPhone 1.0 has become a glorified and much more expensive iPod Touch for me.

(By the way, here’s a post on Walt Mossberg’s first impressions of the iPhone 3G and here’s a Voices piece by Dan Gillmor, who is also dubious about getting one.)

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There’s a lot of attention and PR around Marissa, but their product lineup just kind of blows.

— Om Malik on Bloomberg TV, talking about Yahoo, the September issue of Vogue Magazine, and our overdependence on Google