Ever since Verizon sent out invitations on Friday for a special event in New York City on Tuesday, the Internet has been buzzing with anticipation that the top wireless carrier in the U.S. will announce it soon will begin selling Apple's iPhone. Assuming it's true -- and I'm making that assumption -- expect long lines outside Verizon stores on the day the iPhone goes on sale. But one of the Internet's most popular personal technology sites thinks you shouldn't be in that line. (Also see: Verizon may be unveiling iPhone next Tuesday)
Gizmodo's Matt Buchanan on Monday advised readers to curb their impulse to run out and grab the Verizon iPhone 4 at the first opportunity. What kind of killjoy is this guy? The kind that makes sense: Apple will announce a new iPhone in June, as they have every year since 2008. It'll go on sale later that month, or in early July, as it has every year. That's six months from now. And it'll be better than the iPhone 4 in some tangible way. Maybe not on the order of the leap from the 3GS to the iPhone 4, but it'll have something new to offer. And everybody will want it, because that's how things seem to work with Apple: There's just enough new to make whatever Apple product you've currently got in your hand feel deficient in some way. He's right, too. As fantastic as iPhone 4 owners think their smartphone is, it's going to feel like an iBrick 4 when the new toy comes out. That's just the way of the world in which we live, where marketing and human nature combine to create insatiable (and often irrational) desires. The iPhone 5 envy will be bad enough for iPhone 4 veterans; imagine locking into a two-year contract for a smartphone, only to see it become outdated just a few months later. Every time you run into someone with the iPhone 5, you will feel envious, inadequate and, perhaps, a bit sheepish. For that could have been you, had you only been a bit more patient. Buchanan suggests Verizon may sweeten the iPhone 4 pot by reducing the contract to one year or some similar inventory-clearing inducement, though my experience with Verizon makes that prospect hard to fathom. Let's face it, though. If you've got a fever, and there's only one cure for it -- the iPhone -- all the well-intentioned advice in the world will fall on deaf ears. Still, Matt Buchanan and other voices of reason and restraint, you did your best.
Chris Nerney writes about the business side of technology market strategies and trends, legal issues, leadership changes, mergers, venture capital, IPOs and technology stocks. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisNerney.