iTouch or 4 GB iPhone?

An interesting dilemma was posed today in an email to me -- "Is the better buy a $300 iTouch or a $300 4 GB iPhone?"

To start with, the 4 GB iPhone might be a bit hard to find, although there seems to have been a certain amount of 4 GB returns because the owners decided they wanted the 8 GB model. Apple discontinued production of the 4 GB iPhone, so if you decide that device is a better deal than the equivalently priced iTouch, get one quickly because that's one opportunity you're not likely to see again.

Someone who is considering the choice between the iTouch and an iPhone would most likely be thinking about the iPhone without cell service activation. The primary benefit of the unenabled iPhone over the iTouch is that you get a nice digital camera in the package, essentially for free. I don't know enough about the iPhone and which features are usable without the cell contract to know what other benefits it would have compared to the iTouch. Whether that phone and the photo capabilities of the iPhone without cell service are better than the 1.3 mp phones in most people's phones is an important part of deciding whether to get the iPhone instead of the iTouch.

One feature the 4 GB iPhone without contract would be missing compared to the iTouch is Contacts. That feature is normally part of the AT&T-provided service, so the non-activated iPhone would need to wait until someone hacks the iPhone to allow installing your own programs before it would have an offline Contacts capability. Three other features the iTouch doesn't have are the external speaker, Bluetooth capability and a microphone. Whether you'd miss those depends on how you use your PDA/music player right now. Most people probably wouldn't miss them.

What it appears to come down to is whether you'd like to trade the Contacts feature in the iTouch for the camera and external speaker in the iPhone. As an internet-capable PDA for Luke, the iTouch Contacts win out. As a converged portable internet access device/PDA/music player/always-available-camera for me, the iPhone camera wins out. Thanks for the article link, Andy!



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