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Okay, in the interest of full disclosure, there are no bears. I lied. I claim poetic license.
As for the other two, per my previous thread I've been kicking around options for real world testing as I scrap and revamp my website to be a) less ugly b) mobile friendly and c) more focused on my core business of small business marketing advice. Here's my current thinking. Feel free to invite a bear to join you as you follow along. But hide the honey.
I'm not interested in having an iPhone as my primary mobile voice communications device. The Blackberry works just fine as a phone, and I do love the tactile keyboard. What I am interested in is catching up to the rest of the pack in terms of Apple's App Store experience and viewing the web & video from a phone (the primary motivator). Seems to me that an iPod Touch 32, updated to run iOS 4, will do pretty much everything I care about. And if Apple releases the 4th gen in September as rumor has it, I suspect I can pick up an iPod Touch 3 on the cheap. Facetime, if supported on the new model, might be fun, but otherwise a 3 running iOS4 should do the job.
By the way, per a conversation with the Death Star, you can swap SIMs easily between Android and Blackberry. But not Apple. They use a "mini SIM." Why am I not surprised?
Then there's the Android. Quite pricey without a service contract, but may be a necessary evil. However, the Android poses a much greater dilemma than the iPhone / iPod choice. Which freakin' model do I choose? Choices are good, but for testing how my stuff looks on an Android (rather than using it as a phone), I'm not sure how much of the various feature sets I care about. I do want access to their apps, which I assume I can do via wireless since I won't have a carrier, but beyond web / video, that's about it.
And I feel bad about the lack of bears. Really i do. However, we aim to please. Will a do? After all, I am considering joining the flock.
Zero. Seriously, this isn't a purchase I'm enthusiastic about making, so I'm not looking to spend any more than necessary to get myself connected into the Android world. That said, the stuff on Amazon was, like, $500 without a contract. Yikes.
I think the nexus one will give you just as much control along with significantly faster hardware. YMMV but futureproofing yourself somewhat more might be a good idea if you ever need to do something CPU intensive on the phone.
I can buy Androids off Amazon, so I wasn't sure if there was a distinction between those and a "Dev" phone, i.e. does the latter have any particular extra features, or alternatively, is it crippled in some ways?