7 Reasons NOT to get an iPhone

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(A Beep Beep guest post by Asa Fitch, the resident cheapskate personal finance reporter at The National, and editor of our finance blog, In The Black)

Yeah, I know, everyone loves his iPhone. Or his Blackberry. Or his Treo. Or whatever his thing-that-can-do-anything-except-print-money contraption might be called. But while there are plenty of upsides to plugging in with this übercool gadgetry, there are downsides, too. Yes, you can check stock prices wherever you go. You can set up meetings - or cancel them - on the fly. You can even tweak your portfolio or pay bills anytime. At the same time, there's a case to be made that you might find yourself a little saner (and perhaps even a little wealthier) if you eschew the newest tech-baubles and opt for a plain-vanilla mobile instead.

So here's why getting an iPhone may not be your best investment, presented as a listicle (because boy, do we love lists!).

Oh, and if you're wondering why there are only seven reasons not to get an iPhone, it's because there are exactly seven. Not six, not eight. Seven.

1. Because it drives you crazy

. I remember a few years back, when the sight of someone yammering away on a portable phone was anathema to people who justified their inability to afford a mobile by looking askance at those who could. Now that mobile ownership is pretty much universal, of course, the best way to set yourself apart from the crowd is to buy the fanciest and most expensive one. Thing is, those expensive phones (are they sprinkled with gold dust? Probably) often qualify as some of the most dementedly sanity-destroying objects ever invented. A constantly vibrating, pulsating and bleeping phone may make you seem in-demand, but is the nervous tic you feel whenever something beeps worth it?

2. Because it puts you in touch with your friends.

Umm...who doesn't want to be in touch with his friends? Me. I love you guys, but somehow I'd rather not be reading about Rex's trip to the vet when my phone vibrates at 2 a.m. 'Nuff said.

3. Because it has poor battery life.

More features eat up more power. If you're constantly taking pictures, texting, chatting, e-mailing and browsing the web, your batteries are naturally going to feel it, and battery technology hasn't been advancing at as rapid a rate as all the new functionality being built into new-generation phones. Forget to plug in at the end of a long day, and you're running on fumes tomorrow. A low-end phone, by contrast, can run for a few days on a single charge.

4. Because it makes you less social.

Owning a high-tech phone ironically entails some degree of solipsism. There you are, sitting in your chair, your friends or coworkers next to you, staring at a lit screen and communicating with other people. There's something weird about that.

5. Because it costs too much money

. As I

, owning an iPhone or a Blackberry ain't cheap in the UAE. Depending on which service plan you choose, you could easily end up spending upwards of Dh5,000 more than what you'd pay with a standard-issue phone in your first year. That's not small change.

6. Because you might lose it.

A friend of mine and his roommate together have three braindead iPhones sitting around in their house. One took a dip in a pool, frying its insides. Others were dropped, perhaps, or just stopped working. Owning expensive stuff is an equally expensive liability: if you leave your iPhone at a restaurant, forking over for a replacement won't be fun.

7. Because you can wait.

Early adopters, as the people who buy new technology first are called, are often dupes. They're the guys who have to deal with buggy software, poor design and lacklustre battery life before all the kinks get worked out. The technology sweet spot seems to be the second-to-latest generation, where prices are cheaper and companies have had ample time to perfect their products. That's where I think it's worth plopping down your technology dollar (or dirham, as the case may be).

[Brief response from Tom: You can't hide, Asa. Not from the Sickness that's inside you]