PxT
Don't call me a gadget whore. I prefer the term gadget escort.
Apropos of nothing, let's take a trip down memory lane and the history of my personal/hand-held gadgets, shall we?

It starts in 1997 with the Palm Pilot Professional.  I had yet to become a "professional" of any sort but I somehow scraped together enough credit-card debt to purchase this svelte beauty.


It sported a zippy 16Mhz processor and 1MB of internal RAM and had 160x160px display resolution.  Once accustomed to it I liked the hand-writing recognition and could scratch out (short) usable notes pretty quickly.  The ToDo List and Date Book apps were my go-to apps just about every day to figure out what I was supposed to be doing.  Great little machine.


Next up (and concurrent with the Palm) was my QCP-2700, during the summer of 1998:

(Hey kids, see what cell phones used to look like?  They didn't even have games or email or anything!)  This was a pretty good phone for its day: several different ringtones, a pretty reasonable & navigable UI and it actually made and held calls OK too, even in the Sprint service black-hole of Davis.  Although, to be fair, when I was in my apartment I did have to put it down in exactly the right spot on my desk in order to get a signal. I actually liked this phone but my need to upgrade eventually kicked in and in October 1999 I replaced it with the venerable Nokia 6110.  Incidentally I believe this was the very first item I ever bought on eBay (feedback: The "ideal" eBay customer ... fast response & payment. Highest recommendation!!  Not sure why "ideal" had to be in quotes.  Perhaps I was not really ideal at all?)


At this time, seemingly everyone who had a phone had the Nokia 5110 which was inferior to the 6110 in many ways but had interchangeable face plates.  I pretended like the 6110 was better but really I wanted those face plates!  This phone eventually went through the washing machine and met a hasty demise.  That, unfortunately, caused me to replace it with the Samsung SPH-N200

This one was a pretty shitty phone but at the time it looked good and was relatively small.  This phone too, ended up in the washing machine.  Seems to be a bad habit of mine.  It was quickly rescued though, and after a bit of drying out only the battery was toast so I found a replacement battery and kept using it for a while longer.  In hindsight I should have just given up because it wasn't a good phone. 

Meanwhile in August 2002 I acquired a Sharp Zaurus PDA:


By now it's November 2002 which means it's time for a new phone - a Sanyo SCP-4900:

TO be honest I don't even remember this phone, and if not for having written about it on this blog previously I wouldn't have even known to mention it.  Must have made a good impression.  That one lasted less than a year until October 2003 when I got the Treo 600:


This one was the first truly all-in-one that managed to replace my phone and PDA (The Future: Welcome to it!).  I hung on to this one all the way until April 2005, the longest tenure yet for any phone.

By that time the Treo 650 was out and so I was required by law to upgrade:
This one was pretty great - except that the user interface was essentially unchanged from that original Palm Pro way back in 1997.  Palm didn't exactly trip over themselves in order to bring innovation to the table during those years - they mostly just coasted on their wave of good sales.  Which, of course, would set the stage for a competitor to come in and steal their lead, but more on that in a second.

In April 2006 I started my then-new, now-current, job and with that came the awesome responsibility of being on-call 24x7.  That meant work paid for another new cell, this time the Motorola RAZR:

The RAZR was, of course, stupidly thin and the in phone for just about everyone at the time.  Unfortunately it was also a piece of crap.  As I wrote later the screen was essentially unusable in bright outdoor light, the lettering on the buttons eventually wore off, etc.  I carried this one along side the Treo 650 because it just wasn't worthy of being my full-time phone. 

That all changed in July 25, 2007 when I got the first iPhone.  From here out I'll assume you know what I'm talking about and spare you the pictures.  From there is was a short and predictable upgrade cycle to the present day:

July 2008 - iPhone 3G.  June 2009 - iPhone 3GS.  June 2010 - iPhone 4

By my count that is 10 phones (and two PDAs) in 13 years.  I'm gonna go ahead and guess that I am the gadget industry's target market.

Where does that leave us as we approach summer 2011?  The iPhone 4 is clearly the best phone I've ever owned, and I'm very happy with it.  It's hard to even imagine how it could be improved other than getting thinner and faster (coincidentally, traits that I also personally aspire to).  Will there be a new model this summer?  I honestly don't know, but when the next iPhone does land in stores you can bet I'll be in line.