The Debate... Touch vs Activated iPhone

Discussion in 'iPod touch' started by Scribble1412, Sep 16, 2007.

  1. Scribble1412 macrumors newbie

    Sep 16, 2007
    First post so dont hurt me ;)

    I've recently found myself very intrigued with the idea of an iPod Touch. Its time for an upgrade and I dont know how many times I wish I had the internet in my pocket. Not only that but my friends and I are always sharing YouTube videos.

    Now the Debate is Touch vs Activated iPhone

    First off, we have the highly anticipated Touch.
    Slightly Cheaper, $300 for 8gb
    Has the option for 16Gb
    3mm Thinner
    No AT&T to deal with

    And Then, the iPhone
    $400 for 8Gb but includes Dock, AC charger, Better Battery Life
    Has Applications the Touch is lacking
    Bluetooth for something.. Cool?
    Brushed Aluminum rather than the PLEASE-SCRATCH-ME Mirror Stainless

    Now in my situation... I dont even have AT&T coverage or any worthwhile GSM carriers. Not that I would want them anyways. My current understanding is that it is fairly easy to Activate the iPhone for everything but phone use. The issue with that is how likely is it that they're going to brick that feature with future updates? Chances are someone will always be able to get past it, but I'm looking for a little input on this.

    Then there is the Touch which is lacking the Calender Entries, Google Maps, and other entries. From my readings it seems like it will soon be easy to bring those apps from the iPhone to the Touch, but then again will upcoming updates ruin this? Not only that but this current screen issue is really turning me off.

    The iPhone seems to have Pro's over the Touch that I personally find worthwhile for the extra $100. Now all I need is the knowledgeable crew here to fill me in on what it is I'm missing.

  2. --Wolf-- macrumors regular

    Sep 4, 2007
    Chch, New Zealand
    Wait till the problems with the Touch are sorted, and it has been hacked.

    Then, take away the recessed headphone jack and bulkier size, and you have a, imo, much cooler device. I already have a good phone, so I don't want another.

    Touch ftw
  3. colto macrumors regular

    Sep 9, 2007
    OK here is my take on it. Buy an 8 gb iTouch. Get a bluetooth adapter for the bottom(several are confirmed to work), wait for the hacks to get new applications, if you are worried about the back then buy an invisible shield. That way you can keep your mirror finish and avoid the scratches. AC adapter isn't that big of a deal as you could always build a USB charger if you really wanted to for cheap. Battery life really isn't bad on my iTouch. Especially if you turn down the brightness.
  4. onionperson654 macrumors regular


    Aug 26, 2007
    I think to compare these it is best to simplify as much as possible.

    use the same price point, as $100 means vastly different things to different people.

    So $299 (or $399) for relevant ipod touch/iphone models:

    iPod Touch pros:
    -Double space at given price
    -Guaranteed to work and get support
    -Smaller size

    iphone (hacked) pros:
    -microphone and small speaker
    -non-scratchable (relatively) back
    -slightly better battery

    Other points:
    Software- will almost certainly be hacked onto the ipod touch, if not eventually by Apple themselves
    -the smaller size of the touch offsets the back on the iphone and at least some of the benifit of the slightly better battery

    So, you're left with a device that is working as it was meant to with double the space vs. extras like bluetooth, camera, and microphone/speaker.

    The key is if you are going to use the bluetooth (really only for headphones at this point for most people), a sub-par camera (dedicated cameras, even 2MP ones, are still far better, although you have to carry them along), and the microphone/speaker (skype? although most people will still need to have a contact number on a cell phone).

    If you are going to really use those extras, then strongly consider it. If not (like me), try to fight the urge for cool (but relatively useless) gadgets built in.

    UNLESS, of course, the don't FIX THE SCREEN on the ipod touch. Then all bets are off.
  5. --Wolf-- macrumors regular

    Sep 4, 2007
    Chch, New Zealand
    Apple aren't stupid. The screens will be fixed by the time people get theirs on the 28th or therefor after.

    OR at least the majority..
  6. macpluslaptop macrumors 6502

    Jun 5, 2007
    someone explain how hacks work?

    When you say that apps will be hacked to the iTouch soon, how would that work? Download the apps from some site and install them? Would they add Icons to the iTouch interface, and would they work as advertised (so to speak)?

    Would Notes and a Calendar input be available?

    Thanks for explaining to a non-techie.:eek:
  7. Scribble1412 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 16, 2007
    I've now found the 8gb iPhone refurbs on the Apple Store for $349 with free shipping... Now its only a matter of $50 which makes it even more tempting.

    I'm not going to be extremely pleased with the Touch if not hacked, I really want those Apps. The iPhone will be use useless to me if not hacked, due to them not working unless they're "Activated" with At&t. So in both situations I'm going to be doing things that Apple did not intend for. Definately seems like a far less severe of a hack to put Apps on the iTouch which is a plus.

    As far as me actually using the extra gadgets the iPhone has to offer I think I'd find them worthwhile. Especially the Built-In Speaker. And the extras like the scratch resistant (so to say) brushed aluminum back, dock, ac adapter, and bluetooth arent things that I want to go out and buy to make the iTouch equal. If I were to do that I'd be up to the same price and I wouldnt have it all integrated. Everything built into a little device without external addon's is very cool. I will admit that the Bluetooth probably wont get much use, and the Camera will get some, but not a ton.

    Ah I'm still in the same pickel as before. If anyplace in rinky dink South Dakota actually had the Touch and the iPhone on display together I think that would be enough for me to make my decision. Knowing the Touch will work out of the box is a big plus, but all the added extras with the iPhone for $50 is another plus.... Decisions Decisions..
  8. shoelessone macrumors 6502

    Jul 17, 2007
    This exact issue should almost have it's own subforum, because there are a TON of us out there dealing with this issue, trying to make this decision.

    What makes it worse, I have decided AT LEAST 5 times that I'm going ot buy the iPod touch because that's my best move. BUT, I have ALSO decided at least 5 times that I should buy the iPhone, because it is without a doubt the best move.

    My take on the issue goes like this:

    The iPod touch is a slightly smaller device that has the iPod functionality as well as a web browser which opens it up in the future for a lot of modification/added functionality. That said, it lacks an external speaker, as well as a camera and microphone (bluetooth as well, but I could care less about bluetooth to be honest)

    For me, the issue all comes down to hacking the device. In the end, regardless if I buy a iPhone or an iPod touch I will be hacking the device but in the case of the iPhone it is possible that at some point (or at least for a period of time) a firmware upgrade will further lock the phone down making it difficult/impossible to activate the phone. That would leave me with an iPhone without a way to use it. On the flip side, if I own a iPod touch, if I hack the thing and a firmware upgrade is released that breaks the hacks, worse case I can always restore the original firmware to the device and I'd be good to go with the latest firmware release from Apple.

    I've almost lost sleep over this, as dumb as it sounds, because I want a new mp3 player but I'm not rich so 400 dollars is a big purchase for me.

    So I've thought through this and I've thought about a few things. One big issue that i've thougth about is this: Is the extra hardware/software on the iPhone worth the trouble/money/risk of having a unusable iPhone.

    Camera: The camera is huge for me for a few reasons. The main reason is that with a camera I can use my iPhone to take photos where ever I am, and email them to people/facebook/my blog anytime I'm within a wireless hot spot. While I have a Verizon phone with similar functionality, both of my primary places of residence do not have verizon data service so don't allow me to send photos. Additionally, next summer I'll be backpacking around europe and if i bring my iPhone I'll be able to take photos and send them back home to family whenever I'm in a hotspot. Of course this won't replace my real camera, but it will allow me to send my photos/use the internet without having to pay for internet cafe usage.

    External Speaker: The external speaker is nice because you can easily share youtube videos/music with people you are sitting next to. Obviously you aren't going to win any awards with the thing, but the sound quality is enough to hear what's going on. This speaker would also be good to have if/when you get emails, so you can have audible alerts (although to be fair to the iPod touch, there is a built in albiet crappy speaker on it that can beep)

    Microphone: Although the mic might not be useful for the phone functions, there is already a sound recorder utility for the iPhone. I could/can record and email voice memos to people. Again, not super useful perhaps but possibly useful at some point. The other huge advantage of having a hardware mic: I'm betting in the near future a Skype(or other VoIP) client will be released for the iPhone. Probably not an Apple piece of software, but none the less something that can be used for making Skype calls.

    Mail/Maps/etc Applications: This isn't a HUGE deal because in time I'm betting the iPhone apps will be hacked onto the iPod, but at least for now the iPhone has the applications by default.

    AC Adapter/Dock/etc: I will admit that these things would be nice to have, especially the dock. It would save me from having to go out and buy one.

    Now, I've already sort of mentioned the downsides above, but basically the biggest problem is that in time a firmware/iTunes update could prevent the activating of the iPhone without service. Of course, chances are that in time a new hack would allow for activation once more, but you always run that risk, and you ALWAYS have a 400 dollar device that doesn't work like it should because you are using it in a way that it wasn't meant to be used. I've heard various reports of problems with the syncing, etc.

    Also there is the fact that the iPhone is longer, thicker, which isn't a grea thing if you are into having super thin. I personally wouldn't/don't care that much.

    So, here is what I've decided after weighing the options in my head (again and again): wait. I'm going to wait until a) A new firmware revision is released for the iPhone, I'll see what it breaks, how long it takes for the hacking community to rehack/reactivate/rejailbreak the iPhone and b) I'm going to wait to see what happens with the i) iPod touch hacks and ii) iPod touch hardware issues that are flooding this (and other) forums.

    Until those things both happen, I'll sadly be without a device. Hopefully Apple will somehow respond to the screen "problem" (if it really is a problem) as well as release a new firmware update for the iPhone. Then I'll go from there!
  9. i0Nic macrumors 65816

    May 17, 2006
    Sydney, Australia
    All these things are issues I too am thinking about.

    I have decided on the touch and here's why:
    The extras like camera and the speaker, sure they are nice, but honestly I think they are mostly trivial. I have these features on my new sony ericsson phone that I thought would be cool but I never use them. So at the least, if I really ever needed those things I could use my phone.

    The firmware and apple updates, I am not too tech savvy and it would be a pain in the ass to have an iPhone that doesn't work and I have to spend a lot of time and effort to hack it again. I want the Mail and editable calendar app on the touch, so I will hack the touch for those things... however if they break I will still have a useable touch after a restore.

    I am in Australia, so I'm just going to wait till my phone contract finishes in a years time and by then the iPhone will be here. By then it will also have 16gb storage, if not 32gb, and will probably be 3G and have GPS. So I will have the device I *truly* want then.

    Right now I can't seem to have the device I truly want, and the greater of two 'evils' seems to be the touch to me.

    edit- Oh yeah, I'm also definately waiting at least a month to see what the outcome is with the screen issue on the touch. I'm assuming it get's fixed pretty quick.
  10. shoelessone macrumors 6502

    Jul 17, 2007
    Yeah, I guess time will tell :(

    I just don't feel like I can make a good purchase decision until I see what happens with the firmware/hacking/hardware issues.
  11. aidanpendragon macrumors 6502a

    Jul 26, 2005
    To simplify:

    The Touch is a video player, first and foremost. It's got the capacity. If your screen is good (wait a few weeks), it's got a very good picture. It's got the lack of physical track or volume controls, which makes it less good as a music player (verified through field testing today).

    If you want it primarily to watch video (as I do), get a 16GB one and don't look back.

    If you won't watch much video, get an iPhone. Same web features, plus physical volume controls for music. You'll have to hack/unlock it, and live with any related update hassles. If that scares you, try the 999 SSN trick to get & not use/cancel a prepaid AT&T plan; you then should have an unlocked device with no fear that future updates will break it.
  12. Scribble1412 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 16, 2007

    Someone who feels my pain! This goes back and forth for me both ways just as it is for you. Another one of my issues is that I've got the itch to spend a chunk of money and its not calming down. I'm wanting something quick, but if I'm getting the iPhone or iPod is extremely trivial.

    The At&t prepay seems like a fine and dandy plan that involves no hex editing or anything like that, and I know that come time for an update I can hold off to update my unit and wait and see how it goes for others. I've sync'd my current iPod (2nd Gen Nano) maybe twice and never once looked for updates. Chances are I'll do the same with an iPhone

    So! My current status is iPhone, but an hour ago I think it was Touch. Any further imput on any of this definately keeps me thinking and I thank you all for your answers.
  13. netdog macrumors 603


    Feb 6, 2006
    If only Touch ran Skype and, but it doesn't. iPhone by a country mile.
  14. shoelessone macrumors 6502

    Jul 17, 2007
    I love you!

    I'm glad you feel my pain. Not because I'm glad you feel pain, but because it's always nice to know somebody is as serious about this as I am :)

    Problem with this is that (as far as I've heard) the iPhone will relock itself once you've cancled/resynced.
  15. aidanpendragon macrumors 6502a

    Jul 26, 2005
    I won't pretend to speak from experience. But if you've signed up for a legit plan with AT&T, I can't imagine your device would re-lock.

    From what other anecdotes I heard, it sounded as if, were you to cancel the plan within the x-number of days limit, that's a matter btwn. you and AT&T. Apple has the hardware sale & doesn't care about the rest (again, from what I've heard).

    Even if you keep the prepaid plan - if it works anything like their Go Phones - it's just a minimal set of prepaid minutes, which you could keep, let expire, etc. You're NOT in a contract, so AT&T couldn't force you to buy more minutes every month. I guess the phone might re-lock itself once your minutes expired, but that seems much pickier than I'd think Apple would be.

    Now, using SIM hacks to use the phone on another network - that's a different story, and does subject you to potential future problems. But if you were to just use the prepaid plan to unlock the rest of the device, and forget about the phone, that would seem OK.
  16. ellsworth macrumors 6502a

    Jun 13, 2007
    I'm on the same boat.. Same darn boat. Decided to just go ahead and get a refurb iphone. $50 cheaper, guaranteed to be free of bugs ;) (maybe, maybe not) Yeah it only has half the storage of a ipod touch, so ya just have to choose your media wisely. The speaker did it for me. I work with videos a lot and being able to share my work with people without limiting them to my earbuds is great, Yeah I wish I had the 16gig storage of the touch and the size differences isn't that big of a deal anywho. The iphone seems to be more solid, thicker which can probably withstand more pocket pressure (I could be wrong) All and all, like someone mentioned before, activate the phone with the 999 social and you'll be o.k with updates and firmwares etc. Case Closed.
  17. ImNoSuperMan macrumors 65816


    Dec 1, 2005
    iPhone wins hands down.

    iPhone all the way. It has all what touch offers and more. The extra memory for touch is not really a big factor. Yes it`s double than iPhone but still 16 GB is not enough for most peoples music collection, forget bout videos. So be it 8Gb or 16GB you`ll always find the memory not enough. A 32 GB touch might have proved to be atleast a justifiable choice against iPhone but at 16 GB it just aint good enough.

    Also with an iPhone you atleast have the option to get ATT/Tmo connection and use it as a phone. And in case you seem to be favoring iPhone yourself too. So just go and get yourself a brand spanking new iPhone. If you get an itouch you might regret it later coz of all the features it`s lacking compared to iPhone. You cant regret the iPhone since it`s just 100$ extra(or 50 if refurb) and you dont miss on any of touch`s features.

    So go get it. You know it`s worth it.

    EDIT: I just remembered there`s some problem with unlocked iPhone not playing youtube videos. But I dont remember if it`s Youtube not et al working after unlock or Youtube not working with other carrier`s edge service. So just make sure you confirm youtube works over wifi with an unlocked iPhone before taking the final plunge. May be someone using an unlocked iPhone can confirm it.
  18. wpwj40e macrumors regular

    Jan 10, 2006
    I keep going back and forth with the same thinking!

    I do not hink just "activating" the phone without AT & T is gonna get broken. There will always be a way to do it, it is after all your device. So thats less of an issue for me. I am on Verizon - so unlocking it is just useless. And until AT&T has decent coverage in my area - I cannot switch.

    iPhone Pro's:
    Mail/Google Maps/Calender Other App's:
    I like the mail app - especially since on the touch the .mac web mail does not work. I use .mac mail as primary and that would pretty much mean no mail at all for me. I have played with a friends google maps over wifi on his iPhone - very nice feature and one I could see using. Calnder/Notes would also be used. Just a "lite" pda and perfect for my uses. If they wer enot there - I would be okay - exept for mail.

    Glad they are there - but I would not pay more for them as they are features I would use infrequently. Camera maybe a bit - but similar to a camera phone - just don't use it all that often.

    Dock/Ac Adaptor:
    Sorta makes up the price difference between the 8gb touch and 8gb iphone. If you get the iphone refurbed - essentiall it costing you less than the 8gb touch once you add in the dock and ac adaptor. Being able to charge the ipohne without have a computer around is a must. So this is a purchase I would make anyways.

    Speaker/Volume COntrols:
    These actually are a big deal to me. Changing the volume without having to look a tthe screen and being able to go without headphones for youtubes etc is a feature I really like.

    As my primary use is to view video, then wifi, then music. The screen is a big deal for me. I have yet to see a touch with a decent screen.

    iPhone Cons:

    Recessed headphones - requires an adaptor - kind of a nit - but it is annoying.

    Being limited to 8GB verusus getting 16BG is my major stumbling block. I figured out how to make do with 16GB - 8 seems a stretch!

    Like the black trim of the touch and the thinner feel. Not deal breakers - just liked it better from an ergonomic appeal standpoint.

    RIght now am leaning towards an "activated" iphone for ipod features....gonna wait and see what happens with the next update due any moment now (for the iphone) to see if it gets any of the features the itouch has and how much the new firm ware "breaks" the myriads of hacks.
  19. shoelessone macrumors 6502

    Jul 17, 2007
    Thanks for the thoughtful response :)

    I love seeing other users who are in similar situations out there, it makes me feel like there is hope that eventually people like us will have a "best" decision.

    Anyway I personally hope the next iPhone update destroys every single hack, so that I can see worst case how long it will be for things to start working again.

    Of course, for those of you out there who have hacked iPhones already, I hope the firmware doesn't break anything :)

    edit: I should mention that personally I use my phone's camera all the time. It's a pretty decent quality camera (VX8300) and I believe it's better than the iphones, but still, in my opinion sometimes it's ncie to capture random things even at llow quality, and then be able to easily share them.

    Great news! I just had to pay 425 bucks to replace the rotors and a broken wheel stud on my car, so I've got a good couple weeks to wait until I buy anything!
  20. iShak macrumors 6502

    Dec 26, 2006
    the cheap chrome trim on iPhone is deal breaker for me ...
  21. Roessnakhan macrumors 68040


    Sep 16, 2007
    This thread made me re-think my 8GB iPod touch purchase a bit. Some features of the iPhone (e.g. Mail and the non-shiny backing) make me want one - but I can't justify the phone portion (even if I don't use it) or the crappy camera.
  22. infosprt macrumors regular

    Jun 29, 2007
    Temecula, CA
    With the Internet capability the software features missing on the iPod Touch will be available.

    When I read the realtime product announcement log of the iPod Touch features I noticed the Google Maps program was missing. So, went to work making one for the iPod Touch ( ). While I would be the first to admit the iTouchMap site it is slower than the Google Maps program running on the iPhone I believe is very usable on the iPod Touch due to WiFi requirement. And from what I've seen both adaptations deliver the same results.

    The lack of email on the touch is not much of a problem either since Yahoo, Google, Hotmail have great Internet based email.

    Weather, no problem, and accuweather both have iPhone optimized sites.

    Stock quotes, no problem .

    So what else is missing on the iPod Touch?

  23. TaKashMoney macrumors 6502

    Jul 15, 2005
    I really wish the iphone had video-out capabilities like the ipod touch!! I feel for every thing i like about one over the other, i find another reason why i dont like one over the other.
  24. hexonxonx macrumors 601

    Jul 4, 2007
    Denver Colorado
    I'm betting all my money that it won't be fixed. It will take several months before the screen problem is 100% dealt with. There are thousands sitting on Apples docks waiting to get shipped out and the majority of them have that problem not to mention the ones in production this week alone.

    It's impossible to fix them by the 28th.
  25. shoelessone macrumors 6502

    Jul 17, 2007
    Well, I've pretty much covered this already. But to quickly cover it again:
    Bluetooth (which I don't care about).

    Also, although you mentioned some alternatives, the reason the mail application is not simply replaceable by a web app is that it automatically checks for mail, and vibrates/sounds when you get a new email.

    Awesome google maps page though :)

Share This Page