Castleton campus hops on iPhone bandwagon

Gentle tapping sounds resonate from the thin, sleek black and silver rectangle as Justin Bouvier’s fingers dance across the gleaming touch screen. He turns the palm-sized device sideways, and types himself a note on a virtual keyboard.Bouvier, a freshman at Castleton, is not in the middle of a test for space age technology. He was playing with his iPhone, a device that combines a state-of-the-art music player with the Internet, and oh yea, it also works as a phone.

“My iPhone lets me access my to-do list, Facebook, and email. I just like what it can do,” Bouvier said.

According to the 2009 first quarter report from Apple Inc. the iPhone has been selling at an incredible rate. The company reported that they have sold 4,363,000 iPhones, an 88 percent increase in sales from the same quarter in 2008.

Alex Davis, also a freshman at Castleton State College, said that he is contemplating buying the iPhone for another reason.

“I really like the applications,” Davis said. “And I understand my iPod way better than my cell phone, so I would like my phone to be both.”

The “applications” mentioned by Davis are programs that iPhone owners can purchase and download from their phone or the iTunes store. The functions of these applications range from health and fitness workout planners to monopoly to “iBeer” which is a virtual beer that fills the screen and drains away as the user tips the phone sideways to simulate drinking from it.

The functions of the iPhone were summed up by sophomore Thomas Townsend-Pitt, who described the phone as having “everything you never needed.”

A sales associate at the Rutland branch of AT&T who asked that his name not be used, said that he sees more people in the 35-40 age range buying the iphone than college students.

This could be because the phone comes at a hefty price. Bouvier’s phone cost him $199, but he said that he feels it’s worth the price. Also, there is a $30 monthly fee to receive the Internet, which many students, including Davis, would find financially strapping.

“It’s one of our more expensive phones,” the associate said “The people who want something for business usually go for the Blackberries, but the iPhone is more for entertainment. I guess the people with money just want something to play with.”

Students who want to buy the iPhone will have to buy it online or head for the AT&T store in Rutland. It is also available on the Apple Web site.

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