I heard a debate last week over an analyst’s claim that the iPad was cannibalizing sales of not just netbooks but also a whole range of consumer electronics devices - including TVs. I don’t put much credence in that claim but it did kick off a train of thought and it didn’t take me long to realize my iPhone actually had saved me money (or in analyst speak cannibalized sales of other devices). So herein I tally up expense-avoidance I attribute to my little “pocket computer”.
My old Canon SD450 point & shoot delivers images that are nearly always disappointing and I was keeping my eye on the Canon S90 as a replacement. With my old iPhone 3G I would have pulled the trigger before the holiday season. But the iPhone 4’s camera is a big improvement, and is superior to the SD450, plus has the huge benefit of satisfying the adage that “the best camera is the one you have with you.” Savings: $400
The second purchase I’ve avoided is a new laptop. My Titanium PowerBook is 7 years old and although it still works like a charm it is so hopelessly out-of-date as to be useless. It can’t even join my wireless network since it doesn’t support WPA. The OS is terribly backwards as well. Lacks FW800 and USB2 ports. Dot dot dot. I have a Windows laptop from my employer but I’m a stickler for not putting personal info on it or using it for personal tasks. So a refurbished MacBook Pro was on my list for use when traveling or just away from home for awhile. Although the iPhone can’t do everything I’d expect the laptop to do it comes close enough that I no longer have a MacBook on my shopping list. Savings: $1,000
My family really loves its music and we want it now and we want it here (here being wherever we are at home, including our home gym, or when running errands etc). Of course we all know the iPhone is an excellent iPod but also when combined with iTunes and the little Airport Express it provides a great whole-home audio streamer synced with our playlists. You can thank Airplay and Home Sharing for this. Just download the iPhone Remote app and you can pipe your music to one room or the whole house complete with visual playlists, album art and more. As a bonus you can stream to the new AppleTV as well. No need for an expensive one-trick-pony solution like Sonos. Savings: $500+
Finally, lest you think Apple is completely benefiting from this train of thought, I have not purchased an iPad. Like a laptop, the iPad can be used in ways the iPhone can’t. But overall the iPhone provides a good enough solution and satisfies the need for a a portable “cool factor” gadget. Savings: $600+
I can’t wait to run and tell my wife how much money I’ve saved in buying my iPhone 4! Hey, the reasoning is at least as good as what I hear from her about how much money she “saved” buying stuff that is “on sale.”