Thursday, Jul. 31, 2008

Apple iPhone 3G

Whatever cell phone you decide to take on the road, you're likely to be told by the next person you meet that you've made a foolish choice. The two leading contenders among business types — Apple's iPhone 3G and RIM's BlackBerry 8830 World Edition — are both quad-band smartphones that will work in almost any country the State Department will let you visit. We prefer the iPhone because it's easier to use and has better software; a week after it went on sale there were 46 travel programs available for download on the App Store, including a widget that tracks airport security wait times. But we're not zealots; if you've trained your thumbs to touch type on the BlackBerry's miniature keyboard, you have our admiration and our blessings. Whatever you do, arrange your overseas data and calling plans before you go abroad — or turn off data roaming completely. Otherwise your e-mail on the road could cost you more than your flights.

List price: $199 for 8GB, $299 or 16GB

Philip Elmer-Dewitt