An iPhone: The Best $600 You'll Ever Waste

Who can put a price tag on the device's amorous effect?
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Now that the initial deluge of iPhone press coverage has slowed to a trickle, I feel compelled to irritate all of you by adding my own opinion to the mix. The two most important selling points for the iPhone have been totally left out of every story I've yet to come across.

First of all, it's a babe magnet. That alone makes it the best $600 I've ever wasted on a totally unnecessary discretionary purchase. I'm sure it has the same effect on men that it has on women, but I haven't been devoting much attention to what my new gadget does to dudes.

Anyone who's seen the

Cramer/Mason Chronicles, my series of videos with Jim Cramer (who, not so coincidentally, is my uncle -- a fact I disclose every time I write anything) about financial advice for people in their 20s, knows that hell will freeze over before I'm considered a ladies man. I look ridiculous, and my charm is, shall we say, subtle. That no longer matters now that I have an iPhone (as the friendly folks at DealBreaker

pointed out after watching my

latest video).

I could tell you all about how adequate


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Edge network is for Internet connectivity, or what a joy the virtual keyboard is to use, but if you've read this far you'd probably prefer to read about what happened when I pulled out my iPhone in the J. Crew near my apartment last week.

Picture this: I'm just standing in line, answering some email, when the fetching cashier who's ringing me up begs to "see" my iPhone and then asks me half a dozen questions about how I like it.

To watch Farnoosh Torabi's video interview with Cliff Mason, click here


To watch Farnoosh Torabi get Jim Cramer's take of this column, click here


As soon as she gets her hands on the thing, the cashier next to her catches sight of it and flashes me a look of what I can only describe as sheer ecstasy before asking if she, too, can take a look. When the two women on either side of me and the one in line behind me realized there was an iPhone owner in their midst, they reacted like I was one of the Beatles, circa 1964.

Maybe I'm embellishing a bit, but not much. It is true that within that five-minute period, more women tried to make more small talk with me than at any time in the last four or five years. Sure, that's not saying a whole lot, but I did have a guitar and play in a band in college (saying that I played guitar in a band would depend on a very liberal interpretation of the word "play"), and that worked pretty well, but it's small stuff compared to the iPhone.

I had a similar experience when I went to BLT Burger, which I cannot recommend too highly, and my waitress couldn't take her eyes off of it. Sadly, my girlfriend was with me, so I couldn't empirically test the full extent of the iPhone's magnetic capabilities.

People compare the price of the iPhone to the much lower price of a BlackBerry or a Treo and conclude that the $600 price tag is way too expensive. They're using the wrong comparison. We should be comparing the iPhone with plastic surgery. What's $600 compared to the $6,000 you might pay for a tummy tuck, or the $8,000 many will pay for a face-lift? As a cosmetic enhancement, only wrinkle treatments like


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Botox, or Restylane from



are cheaper.

How does the iPhone stack up when compared to other smartphones? I've had a BlackBerry for 13 months, and not once has a member of the opposite sex ever asked to see it. And it's not like I haven't tried to put myself out there. I spent months with the BlackBerry fastened to my belt for the entire world to see. All it ever brought me was grief in the form of unsolicited email from work.

No one ever stared at my BlackBerry and salivated, which is the standard response when I whip out my iPhone. Instead, my friends told me I looked like a tool until I finally stopped wearing the thing. Once, someone said it was slimming, but I think he was being sarcastic. I've yet to test a Treo, but I'm sure the results would be just as disappointing.

On a more serious note, the BlackBerry was also difficult to use. I could never make it connect to the Internet, although that may have been because my corporate masters didn't feel like paying for the service. With my iPhone, I don't even need to be literate, a definite plus given the massive number of my readers who have accused me of flirting with illiteracy.

I said there were two great reasons to waste your money on an iPhone (obviously, don't finance the thing with credit card debt). The first reason is romance. The second reason: Once you own one you'll no longer feel compelled to read every single excruciating, repetitive story about the iPhone that contains no new information -- like this column -- ever again.