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Why I recommend the iPhone--and don't.

Ronn explains his "conflictedness" over the iPhone.

The iPhone's value proposition is a bit of sleight of hand.
The iPhone's value proposition is a bit of sleight of hand. CNET, Inc.

Since issuing my verdict on buying the iPhone (no), I've been repeatedly asked to explain the discrepancy between CNET rating it a robust 8.0, yet my personal advice being to eschew it for now.

The answer in a word is value. For the average (read non-early adopter) consumer, it just doesn't make sense. There's the usual list of negatives (as a phone it's terrible, EDGE works slower than you'd like, , and it has no live TV availability) but more importantly, there's the hurdle of a two-year contract.

The next version of the iPhone will be much better, sleeker and--most likely--cheaper. And if sales indeed shape up to be less than expected, we may get a break with either additional carriers or perhaps just a one-year commitment.

So why an 8.0? It's innovative, its picture quality is unreal, and its PDA functionality is great. There are lots of incredible features. But unless having the newest and finest without concern for the cost is your priority, pass on this one. It's almost ready. You're gonna *love* iPhone 2.0!