Monolith of consumer excessMan, there’s been a nauseating level of hype around the iPhone today. (I didn’t include a link; if you want to read more about the iPhone, just check the entire internet). And all for what?

It’s version 1.0 of an Apple device, which means that in around six months there’ll be the next “next big thing” that makes the previous version look like Soviet-era technology. It uses last year’s cellular technology, and by even the most glowing accounts has painfully slow internet access.

There’s no support for third-party development on it; Apple wants to squeeze every last penny it can get out of customers via the iTunes store, and they chose to insult developers by calling their lack of development support “sweet.”

It doesn’t have GPS like other mobile devices do. The camera has no video and no zoom, both of which are supported on my years-old RAZR phone.

I use my phone maybe three times a week, max. Most days I even forget to bring it with me. I don’t have any need for a new one.

Plus Apple’s craftsmanship has been going downhill for a while; broken latches and recalled batteries on the laptops, scratches and battery problems on the iPods, and an OS that seems to be getting less stable as time goes by. My iPod, which is only a few years old (which means there’ve been at least 8 newer versions since I got it) is already giving up the ghost — the battery runs out quickly and at times it refuses to boot up.

Apple’s products are status symbols for a segment of society obsessed with excessive consumerism, a demographic that’s become more and more repulsive the farther we get from the late 1990s. It’s the territory of four-eyed, goateed dorks who think they’re hipsters, driving Volkswagens and listening to the Dave Matthews Band and Jack Johnson and Sheryl Crow on their iPods while still denying they’re yuppies.

All that, not to mention the fact that it’s ridiculous to pay six hundred dollars for a damn cell phone.

Which is why I got the 4GB version instead of the 8GB.

Seriously, you’ve got to see the screen on this thing. You know when they have demo models of PDAs and phones in electronics stores, how they have those printed mock-ups of the real display pasted on the front? The iPhone’s real screen looks like that. I picked one up in the store just to get an idea of the size of it, and was actually surprised when the image on the screen moved.

During my dinner break at work, I stopped by the nearest AT&T store in San Rafael, thinking that few people knew it was even there, so it wouldn’t be crowded. When I got there, there were already around 60 people in line. I joined in for about an hour, and the people were friendly, and the weather was perfect, and I could finally understand why there’s so much hype about waiting in line for the new cell phone or videogame console or Harry Potter book — it’s not even about the product so much about the “event.”

Anyway, that turned out to be a bust, as they sold out after I’d been in line for a little over an hour. I figured I’d had a small taste of the big Day 1 Excitement, so I went back to work and said I’d order one online.

I’m not sure who was driving to the Apple store after I left work; it sure wasn’t me. But the creepily friendly staff standing outside the doors welcomed me and assured me that there were still 4GB models left, and I jumped all over it like Michael Moore on a corndog. I don’t have kids, so it’s not like I need to carry a ton of pictures around with me. And I can’t even think of 1000 songs I’d want to listen to at a moment’s notice. So this, plus the fact that there’s going to be at least a dozen better models released before my contract even runs out, I actually saved money!

And the gadget bloodlust is finally quiet. But for how long?