I gave up...

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Dr.Gargoyle, Oct 3, 2007.

  1. Dr.Gargoyle macrumors 65816

    Dr.Gargoyle

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    #1
    Before I begin, I am a huge Apple fan. I have currently 3 Macs at home and my future computers will most likely continue to be Macs.
    That said, I have been waiting for the arrival of the iPhone for a couple of years now. When I realized it finally was going to be announced at the WWDC 07, I followed the announcement live in the Apple store at Michigan Ave, Chicago with my credit card ready to go. The phone was of course not released, but what was worse was that it was locked to a carrier and it wouldn't be available in Europe until 4Q. (I live in Sweden, but travel extensively)
    Well, I´ve had hold out for so long by then that 9 more months wouldn't make much difference, so I decided to continue my endless wait. But as the rumors began circling directly after the announcement, I got increasingly worried. No WCDMA or HSDPA? No GPS? Carrier exclusive phones in Europe??
    A couple of weeks after the US release, I was in NYC and made my way down to the Apple store at 5th ave. When first I held the phone in my hand and got to play around with it, I just went WOW. I just got to have it!
    Ok, No WCDMA nor GPS, but I was sure the phone eventually would be hacked so you could change SIM card freely and if I was lucky there might be a third party GPS solution by the time I got it.
    Later I realized the iPhone wouldn't be released in all of Europe by 4Q, but only in UK, Germany , France. I was very disappointed, but... I really liked the iPhone, so I guess I could wait a bit longer. In the mean time I could get a Garmin Nüvi 370 for my navigation needs ($475 at amazon).
    Just when I was about to buy the Nüvi, iPhone 1.1.1 update happened. I think this was the final wake up call for me. It suddenly stood blatantly clear to me that the iPhone, at least to me (note to me) as a person that actually venture outside my own country, basically was form without function. If I eventually could get an iPhone, I would more or less be forced to buy a separate GPS and an extra cellphone to use when I was traveling. But, wasn't the iPhone suppose to be three devices in one and not the opposite?

    Today I finally caved in and, very reluctantly may I add, bought an unlocked Nokia 6110 navigator for $570.
    No matter how beautiful the iPhone is or how brilliant the UI is, I just cannot keep pretending as if the shortcomings aren't there.
    OK, the Nokia is ugly compared to the iPhone, the UI is a disgrace in comparison, BUT it does what I need it to do. Not very well and absolutely not with ease, but still... it does what I need it to do.

    Still, I don't think all hope is gone. That is why I went with the 6110 and not N95. I still hope that Apple for their own sake rethink their business model. Is visual voicemail really worth the loss in lost customers that can't be tied down due to excessive roaming charges? I seriously hope that someone at Apple gets to travel and pay the roaming charges from their own pocket. I am sure they will begin to see the light after a couple of thousands dollars in roaming charges.
    Moreover considering how fast Apples UI is copied today (see Vista), it is just a matter of time before SonyEricsson or Nokia will sell an unlocked iPhone clone.
    It saddens me to say that I will be first in that line if Apple hasn't presented me with a viable option by then.
     
  2. The Stig macrumors 6502a

    The Stig

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    #2
    Too long to read. But as I understand it, you got rid of your iphone. That sucks.

    The Stig
     
  3. Dr.Gargoyle thread starter macrumors 65816

    Dr.Gargoyle

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  4. Osarkon macrumors 68020

    Osarkon

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    #4
    I was contemplating buying an iPhone when my phone finally died, but when I saw how crippled it is in comparison to other phones here in the UK, I went and bought myself a Sony Ericsson k800i. It does what I need to and more.
     
  5. Maxiseller macrumors 6502a

    Maxiseller

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    #5
    I wholeheartedly agree with you.

    Apple unfortunately see the big dollar sign right now, and locking it to a carrier ensures that the aforementioned sign is bigger than it may have been unlocked. The carriers make very little profit from selling the iPhone, and it does appear that even the carriers themselves (O2 here) dislike the deal. I had a telephone representative actively discourage me from buying an iPhone because it was such a rubbish deal.

    Maybe eventually, it will become unlocked - it depends how big the media backlash/public backlash is. Time will tell.
     
  6. PDE macrumors 68020

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    #6
    I completely understand what you're saying. Apple is shooting itself in the foot with its control system. In the U.S. it seems it works fine, but as has been said countless times before, this won't work well in Europe where expectations are very different. People will see it all as a rip-off.

    I love my iphone, but if I am truly honest about it the only thing it does better than any other phone I've had (including much older phones) is the user interface and integration of the ipod and phone. Video is nice, but just for occasional fun, not to really watch movies on.

    UI is huge, but if it means limiting everything people can do with their phones I'm not sure if it's worthwhile and I know people won't think it's worthwhile. My SE w810i is not at all as flashy and fun, but it is flexible and completely unrestricted.
     
  7. Dr.Gargoyle thread starter macrumors 65816

    Dr.Gargoyle

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    #7
    I inclined to believe that the reason behind these ridiculous restrictions on the iPhone are due to the bizarre american cellphone market. People over there are basically accustomed to be tied down by carriers to a degree that is far beyond what most non-americans would accept.
    It might prove to be good business if Apple intended to market the iPhone in US only. Nevertheless, as brilliant as the business model might appear in Apples boardroom, I think it has serious flaws, especially considering that the US GSM/WCDMA market is a minuscule compared to the World market.
     
  8. PDE macrumors 68020

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    #8
    Absolutely. I think Apple has demonstrated with these moves that it really is not an international company. It doesn't think globally - I mean, the Chinese market is potentially huge and will never accept the restrictions Apple is putting on the iphone. In fact, it never really has been great outside the U.S. - sales, service and availability has consistently been poor elsewhere. I've had to purchase and/or have Apple products services in the U.K., Sweden, Hong Kong, Taiwan and the U.S., and only U.S. was it good. Everywhere else it was second-rate, excruciatingly slow and generally unacceptable.
     
  9. Dr.Gargoyle thread starter macrumors 65816

    Dr.Gargoyle

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    #9
    I couldn't agree more. I buy all my gadgets in US. I both get better service as well as significantly lower price in US.
    It is insane that Apple has 37 stores in CA alone and none in most european countries e.g. Germany. AFAIK, the Paris store hasn't open yet. One could think that the boardroom is exclusively populated by failed banjo artists.
    Apple is missing out on a huge market.
     
  10. Sobe macrumors 68000

    Sobe

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    #10
    So is the Eurotariff a joke?

    I thought it was implemented to help stop those exorbitant roaming charges.
     
  11. Dr.Gargoyle thread starter macrumors 65816

    Dr.Gargoyle

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    #11
    The carriers are strong-armed into it due to insane roaming rates. As an example, Vodaphone has introduced something called passport which lowers the cost a bit, but only calling from 20 countries or so. I just pay $0.90 per minute now.:rolleyes:

    On top of that, the carriers have invented new brilliant methods to rip off the customers, like instead of as customary charging in 10/30 sek interval they use 10 minute intervals. Opening charges are close to getting mugged. Vodaphone charges you 10 min in opening charges.
    Mind you, this is the improved tariff!
    I live very close to the danish border. If I drive 20 miles west, I am in Copenhagen. Until very recent it was more expensive to call from Denmark (20 miles away) to my home than to call US (much longer than 20 miles) from Sweden.
    Vodaphones current max price is $7/min. (45.94 SEK/min)
    Basically, you need to be able to change SIM cards.
     
  12. Sobe macrumors 68000

    Sobe

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    #12
    I have a good friend who lives right across the Danish border in Sweden. I haven't discussed mobile phones with him though.

    I don't begrudge your choices, but it honestly sounds to me like this is less a problem with Apple than it is a problem with how European countries regulate the mobile phone industry.

    I can't even imagine how annoying it would be if I had to pay roaming charges if I went into DC or Pennsylvania or NYC.

    Americans simply don't care because, generally, we have a country the size of all of Europe to play in. That's a pretty large sandbox.

    What's clearly needed here is for the EU to grant broad exemptions to each local wireless provider so that using company X in Denmark is no more expensive than using company Y in Germany.

    I appreciate the problem, but to me, this is the result of protectionism. Each country protecting its own wireless companies/rates/tariffs at the expense of the consumer from other European countries.

    I can't blame an individual consumer for wanting to bypass that, but I don't think it's Apple's fault that European countries are relatively smaller and that the wireless companies overcharge foreign users of their networks.

    Instead of blaming Apple, let's put the blame firmly where it belongs - in the EU parliament and in the government houses of every European nation.
     
  13. gkarris macrumors 604

    gkarris

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    #13
    Yea, very different cell phone use and expectations in the USA. I assume the same goes for other parts of the world.

    The USA is used to subsidized phones which are locked to a carrier. Then when the contract is over, the phone can be unlocked since you now own the phone outright.

    Steve and AT&T are out to change that.

    AT&T (Full circle, was previously known as "Ma Bell") used to own the phone system and the equipment, not allowing anyone else to use a "pirate phones" on the system. Steve is now feeding this old addage, not to mention having the iPhone be a "closed" system like the iMac, Mac Mini, etc. Add to the fact that Steve has said that essentially no AT&T means an inoperative iPhone.

    I think Apple will fail in markets where unlocked phones and freely going between systems is the norm... unless Apple is willing to change its mind.
     
  14. DeaconGraves macrumors 65816

    DeaconGraves

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    #14
    Thank you, OP, for your rational explanation. I kept waiting for the eventual "so I bought an iPhone and now I'm pissed that it doesn't do what I knew it couldn't do" response, but it never came. :p

    Sorry to hear that the iPhone didn't do it for you, but I'm sure improvments are somewhere in the (distant) future.
     
  15. seer macrumors member

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    Oct 3, 2007
    #15
    I live in Sweden, bought the phone from the US on ebay for cheaper than it will be released in Europe (due to the terrible state of the dollar!), unlocked it using anysim and it works great (on Telia)

    As long as I dont get an updated firmware I can use it fully. If you are super quick you could still get a 1.02 phone
     
  16. Dr.Gargoyle thread starter macrumors 65816

    Dr.Gargoyle

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    #16
    Long story short, a lot of the problems in the european cellphone market stems from the WDCMA license auctions around 2000 where carriers paid billions for a license.

    But that is really besides the question in the bigger picture. The sandbox is much bigger than US/EU. I do appreciate that US is a big sandbox, compared to all european countries, even EU. But, the world doesn't constitutes of EU and US alone. Considering that more or less the every place on this planet is within a 16 hours flight away and airfares are relatively cheap, I do think it makes sense to get an unlocked phone.

    No matter where you go in the world, you will always find a need to be able to contact people, like calling for a cab. If I am in China, I really don't want to pay $100 just to get a cab.
    It gets worse, imagine you are in China with a friend at some busy market and you lose your buddy, so you decide call him. You both have locked iPhones. Even though your buddy might be just 100 feet away from you, both you and your buddy are charged for a call China->US->China. Does it make sense to you paying in total $200 for a short call when you are just 100 feet away from each other?
    If you both instead get local SIM cards, it will cost you less than a dollar.

    Locked phones will always be bad for people that travel a lot, until a true international carrier finally enters the market.
     
  17. alFR macrumors 68020

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    #17
    I agree that the problem with roaming is largely with the carriers. IMHO the simplest and fairest thing would be for roamers to be charged the same as a local user of the network they're roaming on, e.g. if I go to Paris and use Orange France to call the UK it should cost me the same as if I was an Orange France subscriber. If all companies entered into this sort of reciprocal arrangement it would work. However, I'm not holding my breath for that....
     
  18. Dr.Gargoyle thread starter macrumors 65816

    Dr.Gargoyle

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    #18
    Thanks, but if I am paying $399 for a new phone, I really want to be able to dl new improved software. Remember that one major reason to skip the keyboard on the iPhone was to be able to add new functions via software. You will lose out on all that since you can't upgrade.
    To be quite honest, I have recently realized just how crippled the iPhone is. No matter how revolutionary the UI is, the fact remains. If you live outside US you basically get a local phone at best or a drop dead beautiful $399 brick at worst.
    That is not the Apple I know or thought I knew... I hope they will reconsider.
     
  19. Unspeaked macrumors 68020

    Unspeaked

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    #19
    ATTENTION APPLE SHAREHOLDERS!!!

    Are you reading this thread? Do you see what is happening? Would you rather these people buy Nokia phones and give Apple zero dollars than buy an iPhone and use a "non-approved" carrier?

    The argument that unlocked iPhones take food out of the mouths of Apple executives is pretty weak... it's the difference between something and nothing.
     
  20. climber25 macrumors newbie

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    #20
    New high in the stock today. Not sure investors really care.
     
  21. daemontrader macrumors newbie

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    #21
    Hard to say how many more phones would be sold if it was unlocked so you may have a point. But you are forgetting the revenue they are getting every month from the carriers in exchange for the exclusive deals. This is great for shareholders.

     
  22. Chakalaka macrumors member

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    #22
    I understand your frustration but for me I rather have a hacked 1.02 iphone than any Nokia so far.
     
  23. Unspeaked macrumors 68020

    Unspeaked

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    #23
    I'm not saying they're not doing well, or that the exclusive deals are bad.

    I'm just saying the witch hunt for unlockers is hurting what could be an even bigger bottom line...
     
  24. Dr.Gargoyle thread starter macrumors 65816

    Dr.Gargoyle

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    #24
    As I said before, it really depends on where you live and what you are going using the device for. If you live in US and never considered applying for a passport, then I can see the point.
    If you like me travel to many new places in different countries... The sad truth is that any unlocked cellphone is better for me than the iPhone.
    Call me an Apple hater if you care, but I just can't convince myself spending thousands of dollars because to some bizarre business model.
    I would love a phone with both form and function, but if it comes down to choosing between the two I will choose function over form any day of week.
     
  25. andiwm2003 macrumors 601

    andiwm2003

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    #25
    i'm living with an unlocked nokia phone as well. it's ashame that there isn't a good service provider for people living "internationally". and locking a phone makes it just worse.
    i hope cingular comes up with a good international plan soon.
     

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