10 Reasons to Care Less About the iPhone
With all the hullabaloo about the second-gen iPhone 3G, and the insane amount of press coverage Apple is getting nowadays, I thought I’d release my own statement about why I could care less about the iPhone, along with a couple reasons why I’d love to have one.
10. Mobile Browsing & Location-Aware Apps are handy, but way overblown.
Yes, it’s neat to get on Facebook, MySpace, Jott, Remember the Milk, Digg, Slashdot, Fandango, and the like from your iPhone; but given the price-tag it’s easier just to plan ahead. The world existed before mobile web. Yes, you’re more productive. But I find it freeing to map out things ahead of time and come prepared for things.
9. Small Hard Drive Size
Yes, I realize I’m committing blasphemy here, but even though Solid State Drives are awesome, they’re just too small for the price point. If I’m supposed to put movies and videos and my entire music collection in just 8 or 16 gigs, I’m going to need to do some media dieting.
8. Early Adopters Tax
See my post about the Early Adopters Tax over at Tech Jaws. Those who felt the pain on July 11th or those who saw the iPhone price drop dramatically after they’d already shelled out $600 for a first-gen know exactly what I’m talking about.
7. The Best Features Still Require Jail Breaking Your iPhone
While Apple has done the right thing, so to speak, by releasing the Apps store for the iPhone and iPod Touch, that still limits you to their selection of Apple-approved apps. It wouldn’t be that bad if they’d just get on the ball with partnerships for more popular applications previously jail-broken.
6. More Google Love Needed
We’ve got love from Google for both maps and triangulation with faux-GPS (new models have true GPS I believe), but what about an iPhone version of Google Earth or Google Docs? What about Picasa integration? I will admit, GTalk is nice to have though.
5. Carrier Exclusivity
It’s been said that AT&T is subsidizing the costs of the newer iPhone models by raising the data plan required with activation. But what about other carriers and customers locked into contracts with other companies? Exclusivity for a while is one thing, but I don’t want to pay a cancellation fee to switch to inferior service coverage (in my area, at least, Verizon is king of the air) and then shell out another $300 to purchase the iPhone.
4. My 5th Gen Video iPod and LG VX9900 Still Work Fine
You may not have an iPod or any sort of mp3 player yet, and maybe your cell phone sucks. I just paid a lot of money a year or so ago for my cell phone, and a lot more for my iPod when I purchased my Mac Mini two years ago. They both work fine, and in a pinch my cell phone plays mp3s off the MicroSD card. I don’t need the two combined, because I hardly ever need both at the same time. Plus, the iPhone doesn’t fit my current accessories, so I’d need to get all new accessories. That’s what they count on for profits.
3. The Competition is Heating Up
A number of newer features such as Exchange integration are making the iPhone hot for business people, but honestly, there’s a slew of other phones that have been doing Exchange (yes, non-Blackberries) for longer and do it better.
The Samsung Instinct looks pretty slick, has a pretty touch-screen interface, and is getting rave reviews all around. Verizon has their new mirror-front phone that’s so reflective and shiny it’s sure to distract the A.D.D. gadget-hunters for the next few months.
2. The Gyroscope
One of the neat features about the iPhone and iPod Touch are their ability to sense which way you have them turned, and rotate the screen accordingly. This is due to a gyroscope inside the device. What it doesn’t do is recognize properly when you lean it straight forward parallel to the ground, and turn it left or right. Which means if your screen is rotated one way and you want it the other, it has no idea until you turn it straight up again. This bothers people who hold their phones at a right-angle to their bodies when dialing or doing anything else versus holding the phone out in front of them upright.
1. Battery Life
So, you can flip your phone back into 2G mode if you’d like to conserve some energy, only turning it on if you need it. But let’s face it, a few hours of talk time before dying is not going to cut it. It’s the same thing that’s happening with laptop battery life these days. It seems the more advanced we try to make devices the worse the power management gets. At this rate, you’ll have to start charging your phone twice a day instead of once every 3-4 days like it used to be.
Over all, I’d say the iPhone is still a great phone, but possibly not the best bang for your buck. A purchase like the iPhone is more about gadget-lust and aesthetics than a practical and useful tool. Not to mention letting it out in public is likely to get you mugged if you live in any sort of non-rural city.
I give Apple applause, however, for the improvements made in the second edition, including the flush earphone jack that no longer requires an adapter piece or special Apple iBuds. 3G is definitely a plus and I’m sure a welcome addition to the featureset for recent customers. And style enthusiasts surely appreciate the choice between black and white casings.
The iPhone – love it? Hate it? Let me know in the comments.