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Old 06-29-2007   #1
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Southern California
Posts: 395
Default iPhone, or iPhoney?

Well, today is the day. If Steve Jobs had his way June 29th would become a national holiday for all. It would have to be, how else are hard working people supposed to wait in line until 6pm to get their hands on his latest "revolutionary" device? But it's just a phone. Similar to the cell phones every American seems to have surgically attached to their ears for 23 hours a day. Or is it? Early reports, including a demo on the Today Show proved that the iPhone may be everything but a phone as the hosts failed to make a single call or receive one, even when the caller was standing just inches away.

Now I know AVRev isn't in the business of talking about phones, and I must state that I have not used an iPhone, but there are an awful lot of red flags, especially given Apple's past attempts at breaking into the cell phone market, that makes the iPhone seem like just another over hyped toy with a half eaten Apple on the back.

I work in Hollywood and people are taking the day off work to try and acquire an iPhone, much like they did when PS3 launched last Christmas. First off, waiting in line for anything electronic based is absurd. Second, despite all the hype and mile long lines to get a PS3 I was able to acquire not one, but two PS3's the day after launch at my local Best Buy. No waiting, no crazy lines out in the cold and I suspect the iPhone to be no different. Go online and you can buy an iPhone stress free and get it over nighted to you.

Beyond the "need it now" hype, the iPhone just doesn't look all that great to me. Like Apple's own AppleTV (formerly iTV) on paper the iPhone has all the features to make you go gaga but in practice (and there have been several well written user reports both good and bad) it appears to be, well, rather flawed. For starters you better like AT&T for they have the exclusive carrier rights to the iPhone for the next few years. Keep in mind AT&T's service hovers around dead last in terms of coverage. If you're fortunate enough to be in an AT&T zone then the iPhone may be worth it, but step outside the lines and you'll find your precious iPhone may be outdone by a carrier pigeon.

Beyond the service it seems the phone aspect of the iPhone may be the biggest misnomer. From standby it takes between five and six steps to make a simple phone call. For instance, you first have to wake the phone up, then unlock the keyboard, scroll through the nav bar to select the phone program, open the phone program, select key pad and then dial. WTF!? Why, and I'm speaking about all cell phones now, can the damn things just make a friggin call? Isn't that why we buy them? If you do "use" the phone you're going to get that pretty little touch screen dirty for the iPhone has no hard buttons of any kind. Anyone who has used touch screen technology before can attest to its aches and pains in daily livability once the cool factor has worn off. Fingerprints be damned, I for one can't wait to watch my iTunes downloaded copy of Finding Nemo on the iPhone's miniscule screen. Hey with all the greasy fingerprints the movie might actually appear to be underwater.

The iPhone has a built in camera, it's not the greatest but it's there. However, you can't send your wonderful photos to other people via the iPhone. Also, there is no video support via the internal camera on the iPhone. My old Nokia phone, which was free with the service plan, had a better camera with video capabilities and I could beam that content to anyone with a modern cell phone. Did I mention it was free?

Speaking of beaming and or receiving content, the iPhone seems surprisingly limited. Since the iPhone is basically a video iPod that happens to make calls it would make sense that you would be able to download iTunes content directly to your iPhone. Nope. While their are rumors that this option is coming, once again, out of the box Apple fails to deliver. I'm really confused by Apple and iTunes lately. If iTunes is, in fact, the music service of choice for millions of people and makes Apple a TON of money why do they make it so hard to get to it via any other device other than a computer? AppleTV and iPhone are just the latest devices to tout iTunes capabilities yet can not directly download content on their own even in the face of an active internet or Wi-Fi connection.

I feel I could go on and on about the iPhone but I won't, it's to easy. I'm sure I'm nitpicking and there are going to be aspects that are great and given time it will probably all work out. Hell, maybe by version 2.0 (which people are already talking about) it will be the phone to end all phones. I'm more frustrated these days, not with the iPhone, but with Apple as a whole. They have the resources, the talent, the money, everything. Apple really can unleash and just crush the competition, they could make a phone that was flawless, worked on the moon, download songs straight from the artists' mouths and still pick up the kids and walk the dog, but they don't. It seems all their products lately are just variations on the same old thing, or worse variations of what PC users have been enjoying for a while now. Are they simply resting on their design laurels? Why don't they unleash the fury? This is what I can not stand most of all. Honestly, it doesn't matter if Apple makes a phone or a ball point pen, my gripes would most likely be the same, for Apple is supposed to be different and not just in look.

Think about this. If Apple was truly "different" they wouldn't make a phone at all. They'd pioneer some new way to talk to someone. Apple wasn't content with making another walkman so they made the iPod. That was different. Stop repackaging your iPod already. Perhaps it's time for Apple to embrace a new creed. It seems "Thinking Different" isn't the problem for Apple, so much as "Being Different" seems to be.

Long time Mac user and loyalist,

Andrew Robinson
Andrew Robinson

Managing Editor

Last edited by Robinson_A; 06-29-2007 at 12:01 PM..
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