Why the iPhone could be worth the steep $600 price tag

“How do you sell 10 million [iPhones] if no one wants to buy at the price you’re selling? The answer, I think, lies in a little-noticed feature in the iPhone: Wi-Fi,” Tim Beyers writes for The Motley Fool.

Beyers continues, “Early coverage of the phone’s prospective features rightly gave little credence to this feature. It’s not like Wi-Fi is available everywhere. And try logging onto the Internet from a handheld device the next time you’re at Starbucks. Not exactly easy, is it?”

“Expect the iPhone to change that. Mac OS X, after all, usually sniffs out and easily connects Macs to Wi-Fi hotpsots. The OS X-powered iPhone will too. And mixing in a Safari browser that can operate in widescreen mode should make signing on to a premium Web service, at worst, manageable,” Beyers writes. “But if it’s a breeze, $600 could look cheap. Why? Skype.”

“What’s a Wi-Fi phone? It’s a device that allows you to make Skype calls without a computer. Instead, it uses a Wi-Fi connection to log on to the Web and into your Skype account. From there, software recreates the Skype interface to give users a working phone,” Beyers writes.
Beyers writes, “Skype on the iPhone could give users that without the angst of relying on VoIP as a line replacement. Would that be worth $600? At least — and that’s just one feature.”

I plan on getting an iPhone for this reason alone, not skype, but WiFi. I’ll get it from Cingular, get it unlocked so I can pop in my T-Mobile SIM card. I know many people are going to do the same thing I am panning on, we don’t want to switch to Cingular, but we’ll buy it from them outright and get it unlocked. $600 is a lot of money for a smartphone, but this smartphone runs OS X, has Safari, 8GB of memory, oh and also it’s a touchscreen iPod. What’s not to love?