Count down to Friday — and now’s the time to find good deals on recent-model, used iPods

Khoi Vinh writes about the limits of his stupidity, which just-about (except for the R.E.M. tickets) sums up my thoughts on when I’ll get an iPhone:

“I’m cringing at the idea of queuing up outside the Apple Store to get my hands on one. That’s about where I draw the line, I think. Standing in line too easily dredges up memories of long spells in line at my local shopping mall trying to get decent tickets to see R.E.M. or some such act when I was sixteen — I guess I’m glad I experienced that kind of extravagant stupidity once, but I’m not about to do it again. Ever. The fact that I’m more or less mentally committed to buying an iPhone at the first reasonable opportunity — regardless of what potentially scathing reviews its touch-based keyboard will undoubtedly receive — is enough, I think. I’m not going to physically plant myself on a sidewalk through heat, rain or multiple mealtimes just for bragging rights. It’s just too much; this personal investment in having an iPhone of my own by Saturday isn’t that important to me. On the other hand, if you have a surefire plan to share queuing duties, let me know.

The 16-year-old volunteered to camp out for me — if I’d get him one. Forget it, I said.

Actually, having been burned in similar ways, I’m a bit like Eric Rice, who says that despite already having AT&T phone service, he thinks EDGE is awful for wireless internet. He also knows of Apple’s consistent record in not getting the kinks out of the first batch of new products. Been there, done that, many times. Eric is going to wait a while.

I will probably order an iPhone online and get it when I get it. Intuitively (I won’t know until I try it), I still think the least impressive thing about the iPhone is that it’s a phone. As Apple is sure to come out soon with an upgrade of the iPod that has all the features of the iPhone, without the phone, I would wait for that if I weren’t so programmed by Steve Jobs to run purchase everything he tells me to. What do I mean, “all the features, except the phone”? Well, watch all those iPhone ads and you’ll notice something. They’re about all the cool stuff you can do if you have an iPod with wifi and accelerometer features — and then at the end, there’s a throw-away line that goes something like, “and, oh yeah, it’s a phone.” Well, frankly, I already have a phone. It’s all that other cool stuff I want.

That said, I reserve the right to be wrong — as I often am when it comes to Apple products. For example, I thought the iPod Shuffle was ridiculous when it first came out because, at the time, a nano cost just a little more and had many times the features and memory. So much for my theories.

Here’s some advice to those who want to upgrade to a newer iPod, cheap. Now is the time to look on eBay for some really nice, used ones — recent models with all the video bells and storage whistles. The early-adopter wave that will be purchasing iPhones all own nice iPods, already — and many will be selling their last early-wave purchases on eBay to help defray the costs of purchasing the new iPhone. The supply will be heavy for the next few weeks, so there will be some great deals. Happy shopping.

I learned that trick from observing the 16-year-old sell old videogame platforms to help fund the purchase of new ones.