Why I Don't Have An iPhone Anymore

7 Comments

This is really a post that should have been written in July, when my 4GB iPhone went out of the rotation. Given the amount of space devoted here to the acquisition, it’s not fair to leave the impression that I still have one — particularly with the iPhone/Apple (NDSQ: AAPL) events of the past week.

The iPhone had a lot going in its favor: style; good call quality; excellent video screen; features like the stock look-up, stopwatch, YouTube player. If I could afford to own and maintain two $400-$500 handsets, the iPhone would be one of them even without Flash. But it wasn’t enough on its own and it didn’t replace the functionality of the Cingular 8125 I’d had for more than a year.

To answer the question: would I have been irked by the price drop? By $100, probably not. By $200 after only two months, yes.

More about my experience in extended entry:

Yes, the touch screen was more elegant than the one on the HTC smart PDA but the device wasn’t an upgrade from the Edge unit and its lack of download ability — put another way, its reliance on web services — made it less efficient overall. It was one thing to have a disappearing map when I drove across town and quite another to be sitting in the parking lot of a McDonald’s outside Joliet, Ill., trying to get directions to a hotel on the other side of Chicago and failing miserably. When I could get the right signal, the search kept defaulting to the wrong thing. My companion would have thrown it out a window given the chance. I couldn’t cut and paste or do a lot of the tasks I’d grown used to on the clunkier 8125. The aspects I liked were very enticing and close to addictive; the ones I didn’t meant it couldn’t be my only phone/PDA. I decided to bring it back and look again when the next versions emerge.

I revisited the idea last week when the price came down and the iTouch was announced. Maybe the iTouch would be a solution

7 Comments

Jesus

The only thing cooler than the iPhone is reading these posts from people in denial. I expect a good few of the negative comments (at least the ones not funded my MS… remember the Zune 'blogs'…lol) must be posted by people involved in what used to be the smartphone industry. As with any disruptive technology it's going to hurt a lot of people's pockets… but do you know what?…I'm going to enjoy watching rubbish such as WinMobile & Palm finaly end up where it belongs… the trash can!

SideShow

I also test cell phones on a daily basis, and the iPhone has more WOW factor than any handheld device, no argument. But the thing about an iPhone (or iPod/Mac) is that you own one because the design is out of this world, the feeling in your hand is excellent, the thought of using it is dreamy and fluid and inspiring.

Kevin Dent seems bent on not liking the phone, like so many people do not like Macs (mostly because they cost so much). Fine, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But I find it HARD to believe you find the iPhone so average, and even harder to believe that you support that there are phones '3 years old' with the same attributes. This is partly true, but mostly BS. Yes, other phones have pictures that come up; yes, other phones can play video…whatever. The fact is the iPhone is a device on the next rung of the evolution of handheld devices, a rung no other devices are on.

Now, does the device replace all smartphones? No, and it doesnt pretend to. Does it have all the great features that enable someone to ditch their laptop? Hell no.

But does owning an iPhone make you feel like the coolest person around? Yes.

This argument is very similar to Mac v. Windows (any incarnation). If you do not see the beauty in a Mac (or iPhone), like seeing the beauty in an Audi TT, or a Bang and Olufsen stereo, or a building by F. Geary, then you are not one to truly embrace the iPhone. Because, frankly, owning an iPhone, like a Mac, is owning something for far more than utilitarian reasons.

Peace out
JC

Kevin Dent

OK, perhaps I am being unfair, I test an average of 10 news phones a month.

However all the functionality that you just mentioned is also available on most media centric devices from the major vendors for about 3 years i.e. the picture of the person calling, video browsing etc.

Hence there still lacks a differential.

The Treo is not a content friendly device by any means.

Jamie Poitra

I don't think Staci was being negative in a silly sense. She had genuine needs not being met.

The iPhone obviously wasn't meeting her needs. And there <strong>are</strong> many things you can do with Windows Mobile and Palm that you can't do with with an iPhone.

I've never had issues with the map stuff on mine. In fact it came in extremely handy numerous times during a recent road trip.

And my batter has been pretty solid (I get a good two days out of it generally, a day more than my treo gave me.)

I've run into the limitations a few times. But for me it doesn't happen often.

I was coming from a Treo I used for email, web browsing, and making phone calls. It was great for email terrible for making phone calls and absolutely atrocious for web browsing. The iPhone is millions of times better for calls and for email it's close. The web browsing has been great except for the one time I ran into a site I needed to see that had even the text content contained inside of a flash file (Who seriously does that anymore?).

EDGE in Oregon and California at least is a fairly good experience. It's dial-up speed but its pretty solid and certainly enough for the email and browsing purposes I have. I wouldn't want to transfer files over it though.

I get the feeling that those people who really used Copy and Paste on their phones, and who manage files etc., are simply not going to find the iPhone meeting their needs. Your average consumer though doesn't do those things. And probably don't care that they can't.

And if the differential (besides brand) between the iPhone and Nokia et. all isn't obvious then I'm frankly shocked you can't see it. I never had a regular consumer look at and use my Treo, or previous Nokia, and go, "Oh my God that's so cool!". I had a 19 year old guy (who owns a very nice Sony Ericson music phone) spend 40 minutes on my iPhone yesterday just browsing the web and viewing YouTube in awe at how much fun it was. Peoples eyes even light up when I get a phone call and they see the caller's picture take up the entire screen. Little stuff but its those sorts of touches that make your regular consumer get excited.

Apple has some kinks and feature additions they need to work out in their new interface. But I don't think you can say anyone else has anything remotely close to it at this point (whether you like the interface or not is another matter).

Kevin Dent

Well actually I think the mainstream consumer is also having a number of issues.

The crux of the matter is that for a phone to be successful it must have similar or more functionality to make the next step. So I would actually agree with the article completely.

I personally had one for testing during the initial two week period after launch and found that I was completely unhappy with it. My wife who could not tell you what the difference is between a ring-back tone and a real-tone, felt it wasn't as "nice" as her W800i.

I think for main stream user experience on Sony Ericsson's are the best at the moment, broad and sweeping as that is, I just feel they are more in touch with the end user.

In addition when Apple entered the MP3 player market initially it was pretty much green field in that there was no outstandingly dominant brand. However now they must compete with the likes of SE, Samsung, Moto and Nokia for a market share.

To be frank there is a huge difference between Nokia and Creative Labs, with regards to their resources to protect market share. The MP3 player market was not very mature at the time, yet the mobile market is over 20 years old (well in the case of GSM it is about a week or so over that mark I think). This leads me to believe that Apple are entering a very mature market without really having a differential other then the brand.

When I asked my wife "isn't it better that you can keep all of your mp3's on your phone?", she just asked me "why? my phone does that already".

my 2c's

morpheus di blanco

only you gadget geeks carrying around windows smartphone 8125s could make these comments. you hardly qualify as the frustrated mainstream mobile phone user who wants a better mobile experience. most people could never figure out cut and paste on a windows mobile phone, much less want to expend the effort navigating the clunky PC like windows mobile interface to do so.

it was only a matter of time… just a month ago it was so cool to get an iphone.. i was wondering how long it would be for the new trend would be that it is cool to be "anti-iphone". enjoy your elegant windows mobile world…

Atul

Staci,
Good post. Indeed, it's not just the eye catching design that matters, it's the *whole* user experience – the network, the surfing, the simple tasks of calling, txting, and the more complicated ones of the GPS, maps, photoblogging, etc. Ironically, for a device which is so dependent on the *network* for its functioning, must provide an excellent networking experience. Otherwise, what's the use of the device, however cool it looks?
I think Apple has a quite a way to go before they can offer a good/better networking experience. Unfortunately, not all of it is in their hands.

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