My Most Powerful Business Tool: The iPhone

Every once in a while, when I pull out my iPhone to put in a calendar item or check my email, someone standing next to me will strike up a conversation about smartphones and eventually say something like “I would get an iPhone, but they’re too expensive for me” or some other comment that seems a little ignorant and a comes off as a little annoying.

I always do careful research before I buy things, and I can feel good about my purchases after the fact. But what’s interesting is that aside from the Apple-bashing and occasional snarky comments about how I just have an iPhone because I’m an Apple “Fanboy,” people who make fun of iPhone users are missing the point: the iPhone is the most powerful business tool I own.

Why? Well, there’s the obvious fact that it’s a phone, and in the 21st century, you absolutely must have a cell phone to do business. On top of that, it’s also a very inexpensive phone. I pay $69.99 for unlimited minutes to anywhere in the USA at any time. No restrictions at all. That’s a darn good deal. For comparison, a few years ago, I had a Motorola phone, and I paid $129/mo for an unlimited plan with Sprint. So for a dollar-to-dollar comparison, switching to AT&T cost me 46% less per month just for phone service alone.

In addition, the data plan I have with my iPhone 4 is amazing—$45/mo for 4G of data and internet tethering. So for a whopping $114.99/mo, I’ve got everything I need in my back pocket at all times. Not bad, eh? Add on the $20/mo for unlimited text messaging (which is a total scam, but every phone company scams people on text messaging plans) and my total bill is $134.99/mo for an amazing phone, internet for my laptop while I’m on the go and text messaging. Where do I sign?

Here’s the other thing people miss: the apps. When Apple released the app store, they introduced a whole new dimension for phones (albeit, an obvious idea waiting to happen). What the new functionality of 3rd party apps has done to the “smartphone” industry is brilliant: instead of an iPhone being a phone with cool extras built it, it’s a powerful mobile computer that also has a phone built in. It’s game-changing. That’s the true power of the iPhone. Still don’t believe me? Check out the tools I have at my disposal on a daily basis:

  • GPS/driving directions
  • Calendar/day planner
  • Clock/alarm clock/meeting reminders
  • iPod/music player
  • Email
  • Text messaging
  • Calculator
  • Compass (ok, fine… I never use this)
  • Voice recorder (for voice memos)
  • Weather App
  • Camera
  • Video camera
  • Photo gallery
  • Notepad
  • Internet Access
  • Contact manager/address book
  • CRM (customer relationship manager)
  • Flashlight
  • Powerpoint/slideshow
  • and of course, a telephone

All this for $135/mo? That’s approximately $4.45/day. Are you willing to spend five bucks a day to increase your productivity by a zillion percent? I am. And that’s why I have one. If it prevents my missing one important meeting with a new client in a month, it’s worth it. If it increases my productivity by a mere two hours a month, I’ve just paid for it. And I’d say that’s true for just about any “smartphone.” I’ve just decided that the iPhone is the best out there. And yes, I’ve seen all the other Blackberrys, Droids, Palms, Evos, etc… They don’t even come close. The iPhone has been a standout in the industry since it was first released. And the Blackberry was just a giant among dwarfs until the iPhone appeared on the scene as its only serious challenger.

That’s my highly biased and opinionated take, anyway.

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