Some reflection as a non-owner a few weeks after launch

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by edesignuk, Nov 27, 2007.

  1. edesignuk Moderator emeritus


    Mar 25, 2002
    London, England
    So the Jesus phone finally arrived on our shores 9th November, I got to see one for the first time a few days ago. Just as expected it's an incredibly seductive little device, and I don't think anyone could dispute that.

    As much as you can say a piece of hardware is sexy, it is. Apple are good like that. The GUI and touch screen is undeniably extremely slick and beats any competitors efforts hands down. You see one, you want one.

    ...until you start to think about it. There are some major flaws that have all been well discussed. For me the things that stop it from being truly great, and more importantly stop me from stretching myself needlessly to pay for the thing are:
    • No 3G, and poor coverage EDGE to boot
    • No Flash or Java support (why have such a nice browser with such lack of support for common web standards???)
    • No browsable file system (cannot browse and attach files on the phone to webmail)
    • Bluetooth implementation next to useless (only works with BT headsets, so I understand?)
    • No copy/paste
    • Cost up front of hardware + tariff options are not competitive
    • No MMS (though not personally a big deal for me, a pointless and ludicrous omission)
    • No video shooting capability (same as with MMS, I don't care, but really, what were they thinking?)
    • Other stupid annoyances that I can't think of right now. Hey, it's early :p
    So for me it does have it's faults, significant ones. All faults that kind of baffle me as they are mostly common place in far cheaper and less complex handsets. I just can't get my head round why Apple would skimp on things that could have been incorporated relatively easily from the get go. Simple things that, had they got right, many people wouldn't be moaning about and would instead be out adding to the sales figures.

    So, with all that said, I can still totally understand how and why people will compromise on maybe what they really want and expect. As I started this thread with, Apple just made what they have so attractive that if you have £270 burning a hole in your pocket, and if you can stomach paying slightly over the odds for your contract, you'll do so quite willingly just to own one.

    Just curious to hear how anyone else's opinions might have changed since launch day. Especially from those who have been mainly negative about it.

    My opinion from day 1 is that it is over priced, I don't like how they've gone about all these exclusivity deals, and the phone has some stupid over sights and needless restrictions, but, if money were no object I'd still buy one and just put up with it. It is the Jesus phone, after all :eek: :rolleyes: :p
  2. bartelby macrumors Core


    Jun 16, 2004
    I have to agree, they're damned sexy!

    But the 2 big strikes against it are:

    The ***** monthly plans and no MMS*.

    Even if money was no object the MMS thing kills it for me as a purchase.

    *Americans, please don't harp on about emailing images. In Europe MMS is a standard capability that EVERY phone with a camera supports.
  3. sandman42 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 23, 2003
    MMS is totally commonplace over here in the states too. Most people I know think it strange (at the very least) that the iPhone doesn't support it.

    Worse, for me at least, is the lack of any kind of hands-free control, such as voice control. I have decent voice recognition on my current phone, that doesn't require any training or recording any 'voice names', and I'm completely dependent on it, especially in the car. Why Apple hasn't implemented something here (particularly since VoiceSignal has demonstrated capable software on the iPhone) is beyond me. This is the one thing keeping me from switching to the iPhone.
  4. bartelby macrumors Core


    Jun 16, 2004
    I said that comment because it's mainly Americans who have argued against me on the MMS issue.

    Apple seems to be being incredibly greedy with the iPhone. Missing of simple things and getting kickbacks.
  5. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    These are phones designed well over two years ago, launched primarily for a comparatively undeveloped American mobile industry, by a company dipping its toes into the mobile market for the first time.

    As desirable as it may appear on the surface, in its first incarnation and at the price-point and plan, its not ready for many consumers in the EU. But that's not the recently historical way that Apple rolls these things out and I think they've done the right thing by getting a product with its real USP, the touch interface, to market when it did, bearing in mind the lengthy network negotiations etc.

    However, it's also marketed as an iPod and in that sense, it appears way ahead of the capabilities of most phones I've ever used in terms of being able to easily sync and play music on.

    So, unless you want one and despite its flaws, you feel you can afford one, then it's a good choice for some. But not for me at the moment. Let's see where things stand in 18 months time, March '09, to judge whether Apple have rested on their laurels or have kept the momentum up.

    First goal was to get an acceptable and reliable product to launch, acceptable in the sense that it offered the features that most people are happy with, then establish a presence in the minds of the general public. It's iPhone 2 and iPhone 3 that will truly reveal the shape of Apple's plans and the extent to which they've succeeded with this device.

    At the moment, it's a luxury for those who do what most of us do 90% of the time with their phones, i.e. phone and text people. But it's also a luxury that I wouldn't deny others at all... I'm not even jealous; it's not what I want in an iPod. ;)
  6. alFR macrumors 68020

    Aug 10, 2006
    Actually, Flash isn't a web standard - it's a proprietary technology owned by Adobe. Apple are moving away from Flash generally: witness the complete elimination of Flash from and its replacement with Ajax.

    I suspect most of the features you want are coming in software updates - I agree with BlueVelvet that they did the right thing getting a product to market that does 90% of what a typical user would want (and does it very well IMO). Like the iPod, later versions will only get better.

    I'm happy to be on board at this stage as it does pretty much everything I want: however, if it doesn't do something that you need then you should buy something that does.
  7. edesignuk thread starter Moderator emeritus


    Mar 25, 2002
    London, England
    Perhaps my wording was incorrect, but by standard I mean that it's a heavily adopted technology. One that is key to much of the web and is a long way from being replaced. To be without it in the ultimate mobile browsing experiance is a big deal.
    I'm sure, or rather I hope you're right. Still though, IIRC Apple put back the release of Leopard to get the iPhone right. Since everything other than the 3G is software, why on earth wasn't it in place from the start. Never mind the fact the iPhone has been out for months in the US, and still none of these software issues have been addressed.
  8. TurboSC macrumors 65816


    Aug 4, 2007
    As mentioned earlier this is Apple's first dip into the mobile marketplace. I think they've learned a lot already from the release and the feedback, and I'm sure they're already hard at work polishing up the next iteration / updates.

    Much of those features you listed I really don't use, and I'm really tired of the same old cell phone that does just that. Now I have an internet device, a music player, and a phone all in one sexy package, and that's what I wanted :)

    It'll only get better, not only for Apple, but as competitors play catch up and release their products as well. Win-Win for the consumer :)
  9. Oh-es-Ten macrumors regular


    Aug 14, 2007
    Feature Sheet vs. Real World

    As a very happy iPhone owner it still surprises me how people are basing their opinions of a device on a list of features rather than actually using one.

    I am not going to disagree that a 2MP Camera is a little low, or how the tariffs could be better value, or how not having MMS might be annoying for some people... however any of the well publicised quirks or missing features melt right away when you actually live with the thing.

    This is not so much a mobile to me, rather a baby palmtop Mac that can take care of small duties, e-mails, music and video, showing photos, checking the web and such.

    Anyone who I have met asks about my phone and says 'That is the expensive one' initially, and then after using it for a while suddenly their tune changes quickly to 'that thing is amazing and such good value for what it does'. A lot of people I have showed it to start thinking of ways to get out of their contract..!

    Much like asking most people in the UK about their next laptop purchase. Most are going to say some £300 thing from PC World. However people have a moment of pause once they see or use a Mac in action.

    It is this that a survey can't report. People are looking at a price on a sheet of paper. Once people start to use it (not just pressing things in a shop) this is where suddenly it feels like a bargain after having to use other mobiles terrible and integration with their 'digital life'.
  10. RMferrer macrumors member

    Nov 27, 2007
    i'm going to have to agree with you here. When it first came out..i was like eh. not worth it, even though i sampled it in the Apple store. Then one night i was curious and went to Apple's website and watched that 20 min video tour thing and i was sold. All of a sudden the price tag wasn't even an issue, and neither was breaking my Verizon contract just to have it. I wasn't even aware of 3/4 of what it was capable of. Immediately then i told the wife i wanted the iphone and not the Samsung i760(Thank God i didn't get this.. WM6 FTL!!). My Iphone is scheduled for delivery later today and i'm just anxious to get my hands on it.
  11. thetonyclifton macrumors regular

    Oct 21, 2006
    Belfast - UK
    It has absolutely everything I need and way more than any phone I have ever owned and in a fantastic package, when they were released in the US I liked them but didnt want to want one :) and didnt think they were worth it....just before they were released in the UK I got an unlocked US iphone and I am so glad I did.

    I paid the same as I would have done for a contracted O2 phone but without the contract (so I get a much better deal)

    I would like copy and paste and the ability to send sms to multiple recipients.

    Not only is it the best phone I have owned (depsite actively avoiding it initially) but I also dont need to carry my ipod and have a far better screen for video.

    I can think of no reason to own any other device for my poor blackberry is in the drawer.
  12. lordgaino macrumors member

    Nov 28, 2007
    Yep, i totally agree on the sentiment here.

    There is nothing more tedious than the 'reflections' of a non-owner (nothing personal edesignuk), or someone who has played with it for five minutes in the store, since the beauty of the iPhone is the quality of the experience when you get it out into real-life!

    I am tired of the N95 comparisons based on the lists of features, since everyone who has actually tried a N95 knows that it is a poorly designed handset with an unreliable OS.

    The iPhone excels because it takes real-life usability to the next level.

    I dont need 3g when edge works just as fast in real life but puts no strain on battery life.

    I dont need gps when i have google maps because of the strength of search - i can type in the name of the shop i am standing next to and see a scaleable map of the area in 5 seconds, i dont need to wait over five minutes for a gps location lock.

    The web is actually useable on a small screen - something that i have never had on a mobile device before - again, it doesnt matter how fast the data comes down the pipe unless you cant read the webpage youve downloaded!!!

    The camera is pin-sharp even in doors, the screen is readable even in bright sunlight, the way text messages are displayed is eminently more efficient that scrolling down a 100 message list in my old nokia.

    The phone is also a top end ipod. And just 8gb?? absolutely perfect. I dont need to carry every song ive ever owned with me on a day to day basis!

    Without question the best technology buy i have ever made. And one that wont be sitting in the drawer in 4 weeks time like every pocket windows device ive owned in the past!
  13. emotion macrumors 68040


    Mar 29, 2004
    Manchester, UK
    All I can say is that the whole is more than the sum of the parts with the iPhone. It's not a mass market price (Apple stuff has always commanded silly money, just less so these days) and the tariff is harsh considering the lack of much EDGE where I am but I love the device.

    It's replaced my laptop for communication while on the move and come firmware 2.x and the SDK (and more EDGE from O2, I'm not holding breath on that one) this thing is just gonna get better.

    I can understand people holding off based on raw spec but I would buy Dell every time over a Macbook if I made all decisions on spec. :)
  14. edesignuk thread starter Moderator emeritus


    Mar 25, 2002
    London, England
    As a potential customer they missed because of some silly software over sights and restrictions, reflections as a non owner are extremely relevant. Lots of people talk about the iPhone, but the only person I've seen with one was at a MacRumors meetup. I think this speaks volumes.

    For the record, I'd never compare it to an N95 either, Nokia (very generally speaking) suck! :eek: Nokia falling short of the mark doesn't make the iPhone any better, however.
  15. CD3660 macrumors 68040


    Jun 6, 2007
    Cheshire, United Kingdom.
    Rarely has a truer word been spoken. :)
  16. emotion macrumors 68040


    Mar 29, 2004
    Manchester, UK
    I sat next to a girl with one the other day. I've also seen two other people on the train with one.

    This is a commuter train from Warrington to Manchester. A pretty small sample to see that many.

    They've screwed up with the price of the tariff and the marketing though, sales are low due to that. Apple need to rethink, and I hate to say it just the veneer of a 3G version would trawl people in (despite O2s 3G network having as much coverage as their EDGE).
  17. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Aug 29, 2006
    Washington DC
    As I understand it, the current mobile version of Flash eats processor cycles like they're peanuts. It's really rough on the battery life. I think Adobe is addressing that in upcoming versions.

    I have no idea if Apple will add it to the iPhone at that point, but I'm pretty sure there's no chance they'll do so anytime before then.
  18. freediverdude macrumors 6502a

    Dec 26, 2006
    I'm not sure the iPhone will ever have MMS, unless there's a huge backlash demanding it for now. My take on that feature is that Apple is trying to wean us off of that. Yes, most more basic phones have that, but over the next several years, we're going to be transitioning to a stage where more and more phones are like the blackberries, iphones, and n95's of the world, and will have email. I think this is Apple's statement that we shouldn't be using MMS anymore. Just think, as most phones start getting push email with the ability to have pictures in the emails, who would need it? And you wouldn't have to use up one of your precious texts in your plan. In my opinion, and I'm thinking Apple may be leaning this way too, is that texting should only be for short few word messages.
  19. CD3660 macrumors 68040


    Jun 6, 2007
    Cheshire, United Kingdom.
    So true, and it's a free option as you point out. It's my preference every time!
  20. Shoesy macrumors 6502a


    Jun 21, 2007
    Colchester, UK.
    Wirelessly posted (iPhone: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU like Mac OS X; en) AppleWebKit/420.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.0 Mobile/3B48a Safari/419.3)

    I must have got around twenty mms messages last year, each and every one an advert from my previous contract provider (three). If I never recieve another it will be too soon!
    Flash on the other hand is surely a must at some point, there are simply too many flash videos around to keep ignoring it completely, although just a propriety player for videos could work for me.
    I love my iPhone, and am happy to say it's the best thing to run mac os x since the other things.

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