The Apple iPhone wasn’t a miracle just a repurposed design from arrogant salespeople

 

It really needs a glove with the case built in for the left hand.

It really needs a glove with the case built in for the left hand.

I just got an iPhone.

 Since all the hype has died down about these iPhones 2 years later, and people have accepted this device as the most amazing thing ever I thought I would post my reactions to this nice but not miraculous device.

The first thing that I realized when I got this iPhone was that its a video iPod. (of which I also own) It is a repurposed design of a former product. That isn’t revolutionary at all.

It’s like someone at Apple said, wow I like my iPod so much I’d like to make calls from it and ditch my phone. And they did it. All the technology was already developed for a former device. Some new things did have to be added and re-engineered. But there is so much re-purposed from 5-7 years ago, the development costs were probably not that high because they knew pretty close how to use the materials to do this from past experience.

Now I see this Apple tablet image in the news and think they are re-purposing it again on a larger scale. I get the if it’s not broke don’t fix it idea, but their marketing and PR hype is a bit off.

I think these functions work really well:

  • The touch screen is better than the old Palm Treo one and more intuitive. I am impressed at how they solved the QUERTY problem with a touch screen.
  • I think the apps are also very good and its nice that they share the love with the app companies that develop them. I don’t think $5 an app is a bad price for what they deliver and plus you should think before you download a ton of apps and a cost helps you do that. The alternative is that your HD gets full and crashes quickly.
  • It syncs with Yahoo email very well, which is what I use for one of my accounts. It turns out that email is very doable on a small screen.
  • I like the pull the corners effect to read web pages and increase the size of the fonts so you can click a link. This is very intuitive.
  • The GPS is pretty good. I watched my phone show a blip of my location on a map that was about 2 seconds behind where we really were as we drove home. That is pretty good bouncing off a sattelite that fast. I think the directions from where we are to an address will be very helpful in the future.
  • Doing the convergence thing and having the phone, music player, GPS, camera and email all together works great.

I think these things need work:

  • The rss feeds don’t always work on the iPhone. Not that it doesn’t literally work, but these are items I’d like to read in more depth, and on a tiny screen its hard. Also all the links go out to the web and I am finding that I can’t get that data very easily in Chicago.
  • The web issue is still an issue with web enabled phones. I hated that things took so long to download on my old Treo 650 and 4.5 years later its still an issue with the iPhone. (heck its an issue on my computer sometimes with Google reader)
  • I think people who have iPhones use them on the go a lot and the backup for the wireless network are free wireless networks. Which means you’re in trouble if you want to download an rss feed in google reader online. (meaning the bandwidth exceeds the ATT mobile network and that is sometimes spotty with its coverage)
  •  The Metra commuter train and Chicago CTA don’t have free WiFi on their trains and busses and you can’t always find one when you are on the street either. (neither do our cars) So, there are a lot of times/places I look down at my phone and can’t connect to anything (phone or internet network). fail.
  • I feel like we’ve developed content and a device for reading things in real time that wants to be downloading info/updates 24/7/365 and the networks still look like swiss cheese or a spider web, with gaping holes in them. We need more ubiquitous universal access before these devices can really be life changing.
  • The touch screen is great but then switching to a physical button for on/off seems counter intuitive. Why not make all the functions be a part of the touch screen? I keep looking for an off button in the screen itself. 
  • The battery life is horrendus. If I read email and rss feeds on the train and bus between home and work I use 50% of my battery life. Holy Monkeys, this needs a better battery or a plug that pops out the side that you can stick in any outlet you find.
  • I also like that Steve Jobs has the kind of what I say goes power and involvement in the details to make his products good on many levels and keep the design level very high. It’s impressive he has been able to hang on to that power in a large company, it is rare to see and keeping one person in charge makes decision making faster, easier and true to the original purpose. Its how things get done if that person is well rounded in knowledge and willing to enforce what they preach.
  • There is also the annoying problem that on any field you need to enter text you can’t click to put the cursor anywhere on the field to start typing except the end. If you want to change one letter you have to backspace the entire field until its blank and start over. We need to have a click to cursor ability/function, do apples just not do that?
  • The me.com thing they sell as an add-on is cool but way way overpriced. I cited that 1 yr of Flickr unlimited access is $25 and 1 yr of full LiveJournal access is $25. Why is syncing my phone to the web $100 for the year? Assholes. I did get a small discount and got it for $65.
  • The Apple sales guy was over the top. I really hope I never have to go back to that Naperville Apple Store again. He was about 18 and very arrogant. He made me (age 34) feel stupid for not knowing everything about the iPhone or web phones and his Apple Brand Arrogance and demeaning tone was disgusting. Why ask us about our computers at home? Why rip on them in front of us? When you don’t even own one? Admit most people have windows machines and then say why you might consider the Apple, don’t just say everything else sucks. OMG, and don’t explain everything for 2 hours when I just want to buy the damn phone. Dragging things out forever and then asking 7 times if we want to buy the apple care program that I didn’t want. And when someone says they will look it up online and then decide later, don’t say look it up now on this Apple, that is a high pressure sales technique and if I didn’t need a phone that day I would have walked out of the store at that moment. Totally unethical and wrong to do to a customer while you are looking over their shoulder. So, at all costs avoid Apple sales assholes that admit they don’t even own any of the Apple products they sell.  Just buy stuff online if needed. 

The basic thing is that the phone was worth the $288 that I paid (for the 16 gig). I paid like $300 for the Treo 650 in 2005. I think if this works for a few years it will be ok, and worth the purchase. But it really doesn’t need the hype or the arrogance.

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4 thoughts on “The Apple iPhone wasn’t a miracle just a repurposed design from arrogant salespeople

  1. Pingback: noneed.info » Blog Archive » The Apple iPhone wasn’t a miracle just a repurposed design from arrogant salespeople

  2. “There is also the annoying problem that on any field you need to enter text you can’t click to put the cursor anywhere on the field to start typing except the end. If you want to change one letter you have to backspace the entire field until its blank and start over. We need to have a click to cursor ability/function, do apples just not do that?”

    Actually, you can move the cursor to where you need it if you hold your finger down in the place you want to put it–you can then drag it around if you need to and a magnifying glass will show up to make it easier to see. It’s not quite as smooth as it could be and sometimes doesn’t want to work, but it’s there.

    I haven’t tried Google reader on the iPhone (still using Bloglines), but you might check if there’s an app for it–a number of websites (Amazon and regular Google) offer those free so it’s easier to view their content on the phone.

    Glad you’re mostly enjoying it and sorry you got a jerk at the Apple store–they aren’t all like that.

  3. I am thinking of buying the new iPhone 3Gs so it was interesting to read you review 🙂 Thanks =)

    I guess you didn’t like it very much because you already had an ipod as you said

  4. I owned a Sidekick III prior to the iPhone, and really miss the tactile keyboard. I’m very envious of my Pre-owning friends. Admittedly, I impulsively bought an iPhone thinking it would replace the SKIII but be on the same network as my girflriend. Looking back, I could have saved a lot of money and frustration by sticking with a Blackberry.

    To combat the horrid battery life I take several steps. I keep a spare cord at the office, and plug it into my computer to charge. I set fetch to one hour (which is more like manual mode since it seems to only hit the server once every 3 hours according to GMail). I don’t have it searching for WiFi networks.

    I jailbroke my phone for a month, but there wasn’t much in the way of added features or power-saving options that pertained to me; I reverted back when v3.0 was released.

    I ordered my phone online and picked up at the Chicago store. I had very minimal dealing with the girl that set me up. I showed up, she took my credit card and took some time to make sure the thing booted up and was activated, then I walked out. I don’t think she even asked me about further setup or offered much assistance; maybe their approach is just to wait for questions? Generally, I’ve found the Apple store workers to be about as competent as Best Buy employees.

    Apps!

    Although you have to pay for it, you may want to look into Mint.com. I know you keep a tight rein on your budget, this app will help you do that. When you sign-up online, it taps into your online accounts to grab balances and transactions. The iPhone app just gives you a snapshot of that.

    Sportacular is a free app that tells you scores of all major sports. Also, you can set it up to have push alerts at game start, period breaks, score changes, and/or game end.

    What’s On? is a decent, free TV listings app. 😉

    Remember the Milk ties in with the online site, letting you take your “to do” list with you everywhere you go. (Wow, I really need to schedule a visit to the optometrist already.)

    Word Ace is a fun, free game. Think Texas Hold’em + Scrabble. The best part is the multiplayer aspect: you play with people on iPhones, Pres, Facebook… It’s fun and social.

    That’s about all I’ve got.

    I can’t wait for the Google phones on Verizon to be released (and my AT&T contract to run out)!!

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