Straight-up iPhone Advice

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by sanford, Jul 18, 2007.

  1. sanford macrumors 65816

    Jan 5, 2003
    Dallas, USA
    I'm considering an iPhone and I'd like to hear from anyone who was excited to buy one, bought one, and after using it for a while, wouldn't buy it again if he or she had the choice. In that, you are overall disappointed, even if it's only that's it's certainly quite nifty but not worth the price and contract commitment, etc. Or you have serious reservations about some of the features. Formal reviews aren't helping me much. A few gush over it. A few admit its cool enough at first blush, but not at all worth the price and service commitment. So I'm left in the middle.

    If you have an opinion as such, and don't want to post it here because some people love their iPhones quite are a bit rapid in defending it -- I'm sure I would be, or will be, if I make that kind of investment over a couple years -- then feel free to send me a private message.

    The upshot is that I'm sure I'd think it's the cat's pajamas for the first few days, but does the new experience wane and you wind up wishing you had your $500 or $600 back and instead bought a $50 subsidized full-featured Nokia model?
  2. ShockerMan4x4 macrumors member

    Jun 30, 2007
    This is probably not the answering you are looking for.

    I will admit to this, I bought my iPhone on launch day. Since purchasing it, I have had buyer's guilt.

    Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the iPhone. The only thing is, I'm in college, and I don't think I NEED all of the features the phone offers.

    That being said, I still love the phone. I get all kinds of "ooohs" and "aaaaahs" and it is so incredibly fantastic at eliminating boredom.

    I guess what my point is, I have some buyer's regret, only because I spent $600 on the phone. Its not enough to return the phone, but the remorse is there and there isn't anything in the phone that disappoints me.
  3. ChandlerXJ macrumors member

    Jul 3, 2007
    if you have any doubt, don't buy one. honestly, it's not for everyone and if you're going to go off someone else's opinion and make a decision off of what some other people say, then whatever - I guess you're going to get what you asked for - but just remember that no matter how many people will tell you to buy it, the same amount will tell you not to.
  4. sanford thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jan 5, 2003
    Dallas, USA
    No, that's very helpful, actually. That's one of the things I'm worried about. Not that the iPhone will be awful per se, but that I'll regret having bought it. I'm long out of college but we have three kids. Between the $500 or $600 for the phone and the roughly $30 more per month -- not unwarranted because of the data service -- I'll pay for the contract; we can afford it, but with a family there are always other ways to use that amount of money that benefit all of us -- even if it is used merely to buy another "toy-like" item, like another HDTV set-up for another part of the house. (Or a new Xbox 360 low-end system and swap out my high-end system components for $300, get it now rather than pay $100 to fix a defective system and then *wait four to eight weeks* for a replacement -- also then fixing the other system and give it to the kids for their personal use. But that I don't walk to talk about because it makes me depressed!) Anyway, just examples of other ways to use the money that at least if I regret, it won't be regret over an entirely personal item that I will frankly admit I hardly need -- a stock phone for emergencies and conveniences is all I need.

    So I get you. I'm sure I'd love the iPhone, but I loved my first and three following iPods; but I never once regretted buying any of them, even though back then the first and second cost as much as an iPhone. If I'm going to kick myself the least little bit, I don't want it.
  5. aricher macrumors 68020


    Feb 20, 2004
    It all depends on what you're using it for. I'm on the web a lot and have found the iPhone to be the first mobile device I actually use the web on. I find myself using my laptop less often for reading and actually curl up on the couch or in bed with the iPhone and read the paper. Google maps has also been invaluable as I drive quite a bit for work. Email on-the-go is everything it's supposed to be. Syncing all my contacts, music, iCal, etc from my Mac is flawless - better than any phone I've every had. If anything the iPhone "wow" experience for me has not waned a bit and has only grown stronger. Would I buy one tomorrow? In a second. I've convinced my father, 3 friends and 2 co-workers to buy iPhones in the past few weeks - every one of them is more than happy with their purchase. Much like the iPod this device integrates itself into your life.
  6. kdarling macrumors demi-god


    Jun 9, 2007
    First university coding class = 47 years ago
    As with any major purchase (and contract commitment in this case), you need to first clearly define the mission:

    Do you live and die by phone usage? By texting? By MMS'ing? By browsing?

    How important / complicated is your email life?

    Do you have good ATT coverage in your area?

    Do you need certain business or VPN abilities?

    Do you need certain applications?

    How long does a battery have to last?

    How much is just the cool factor worth?

    And so forth.

    If none are critical issues, then it drops into a simple monetary/toy decision category :)
  7. sanford thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jan 5, 2003
    Dallas, USA
    Yeah, see, that's the vibe I'm getting. If you have an ounce of doubt don't get it, it's not for everyone, etc. I bought an iPod the first day they were released, so I just went on instinct and I was influenced by market opinion. I got lucky. But quickly the iPod vibe developed, even before it became flat-out trendy, that if you have any amount of your CD collection stored on your computer, and you ever step more than five feet from that computer, you need an iPod, that it's not only for you, it's for everyone who meets that single criterion. Based on my mobile phone usage -- very light -- and my mobile e-mail and Internet usage -- nonexistent, and I never think while out, Gee I wish I could check my e-mail or look something up on the Web. I mean, I like my escapes from the Internet and constant contact, and by the nature of my career I long ago developed the habit of writing everything down I might need to know while out and about; so I think by your definition I'm not one of the people for whom the iPhone is valuable, and though I would love it on the "cool factor" I would regret the money spent and the contract obligation on something that doesn't have much use for me -- I mean, most of the time it would sit in its dock.
  8. sanford thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jan 5, 2003
    Dallas, USA
    Put us in a room together, lock the door and we'd kill each other in under ten minutes. I can't even stand to read the paper on my laptop. I do, sometimes, for expediency's sake, but I hate it.[/QUOTE]

    I don't drive. I mean period. I know how, but for medical reasons, I can't -- not safe.
  9. sanford thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jan 5, 2003
    Dallas, USA
    Yeah, you're right. Nice questionnaire. Just about puts the point on the fact that not only am I not an iPhone person, I'm not any kind of smart-phone person at all. Still a cool little device. But I think I would have terrible buyer's remorse when it became most of the time a very sleek desk sculpture. I'm just so used to buying new Apple products and finding them useful to me, there was sort of a knee-jerk reaction that the iPhone would by default be the same. But it's really a whole different class of product for them.
  10. aross99 macrumors 68000


    Dec 17, 2006
    East Lansing, MI
    I love my iPhone, but it does have some drawbacks. Some can be fixed with software issues, and some can't.

    One of the things I have noticed over time, is that the iPhone needs more of your attention to do basic things. For example, you can't even answer the phone without looking at the display (unless you are using the headset).

    With my old phone, I pulled it out of my pocket, opened it up and answered. With the iPhone, you pick it up - LOOK AT THE SCREEN, and press the button. This is impossible to do without looking.

    For me, this makes using the phone in a car (I know not the best idea anyway) much harder.

    Forget about texting without giving the phone your full attention also.

    Can't send txt to e-mail addresses. You can use e-mail on the iPhone, but depending on how you set it up, that is slow and kind of a pain.

    Can't send picture txt's - have to use e-mail again...

    Other little things: No repeating reminders for missed calls or txts. If you set your iPhone down, walk away, and miss a call, you won't find out you missed the call until you pickup the phone, wake it up, and look at the screen.

    Recessed headset jack is a pain also, unless you use the Apple ear buds. If you have ANY other type of headphones, you will need an adapter (see Belkin or Griffin). While they work, they are certainly a pain...

    Same for wired headsets. I use a wired headset all the time on my old phone. I don't want to have to recharge the bluetooth ones. You need an adapter from apple (the TTY adapter) to use those also...

    These issues with headphones/headsets that aren't the standard apple ear buds are something you just have to deal with...

    Some iPod accessories don't work with the iPhone. Expect issues with FM transmitters like the iTrip and some in car connections. I have heard of some issues with speaker docks and clocks as well, although I don't have any of those.

    On the plus side: I can charge my iPod chargers to charge my iphone. This eliminated several devices for me...

    Surfing with Safari (especially on Wi-Fi connections at home) is great. I didn't think this was a big deal at first, but I find myself using my phone to surf news sites like Mac Rumors or Digg when I am waiting somewhere. IT is also great for checking movie times, etc. This has been the biggest surprise for me.

    The keyboard takes a little getting used to like they say, but it works well after a while. I can certainly txt faster with that than pressing aaa, bbb, ccc, etc. May not be faster than a full keyboard, but certainly better than the normal phones.

    My suggestion is that you go check one out at the Apple store, or find someone who has one. Try out the things you do ALOT, and see how they work on the phone.
  11. Sobe macrumors 68000


    Jul 6, 2007
    Wash DC suburbs
    Funny you should ask this because there is a column where the author ended up doing exactly the opposite -- meaning he bought an iPhone returned it then bought another one because he regretted his decision.
  12. rjgonzales macrumors regular

    Mar 14, 2006
    Of course you do... you just don't know it yet. Here is how my brother put it to me before I bought my first Mac.

    Me: ... but I don't make movies, I don't edit photos, I don't make websites....
    Brother: Is it because you don't want to, or because you can't?

    I haven't questioned or regret any Apple purchase since.:apple::D
  13. sanford thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jan 5, 2003
    Dallas, USA
    Oh come on, there's a vast difference in the merits of doing those things versus surfing the Web or checking e-mail on the go. Not that people shouldn't do those things, but they're either things you'll use or things you won't; the value of these uses of the iPhone are often part of your personal lifestyle and philosophy thereof. Few people will change a core life philosophy because of a single product. But as in the case of your brother's advice, they might start doing more things that always sounded interesting to do -- make movies, edit photos, etc.

    Besides, you live in Southlake, so your opinion doesn't count.;) You exist entirely to buy things, so of course you want or have an iPhone. (I live in the DFW area, too, so by default I'm in the same boat, so I can say that. We are the consummate consumers. In fact, I bet if I lived in Eureka or on some island off the coast of Maine -- phone coverage in these areas notwithstanding -- I wouldn't even consider buying an iPhone.)
  14. PowerFullMac macrumors 601


    Oct 16, 2006
    Its not impossible to answer without looking at the screen, you just gotta remember where to touch (or slide). :D
  15. *Spitfire* macrumors newbie

    Jun 2, 2007
    I bought the iPhone the first day, and, without gainsaying any of the shortcomings identified by objective reviewers and users, I am very pleased with my decision on all counts. That having been said, I don't think very many people have such a need for the unique attributes of the iPhone that a purely logical analysis would elevate its acquisition over that long list of other and more responsible uses for money that we all keep tucked away somewhere.

    In the final analysis the iPhone is an overpriced tool, but a really terrific gadget, and I love really terrific gadgets. Given the use you describe yourself of making of it, you may want to make your decision on the iPhone as you would one to buy an HDTV, a video game device, a classic vintage, or an expensive dinner or vacation. All of those things, just like the iPhone, have alternatives that cost a lot less while arguably offering the same basic function.

    Nonetheless, it is those splurges that for many of us add meaningful pleasure to our lives, and each of us, of course, balances pleasure against responsibility every day.

    Based on my experience and your description of yourself, I think that if you buy an iPhone you'll get every bit of the pleasure you hope it will bring, and I doubt very much you'll be disappointed. Whether or not you'll end up one day wishing you had put the "excess" cost to some other use is probably the real question you're facing, and if you find a forum filled with experts on that one, let me know. :)
  16. Sobe macrumors 68000


    Jul 6, 2007
    Wash DC suburbs
    I agree.

    The aesthetics of the iPhone are really impressive and make the phone just a joy to own.

    People often get so caught up in the utilitarian aspects of technology that they don't stop to think whether or not you actually enjoy having the item.

    To me, the iPhone is a work of art and a joy to carry around.

    Other phones may beat it for MMS or tethering or whathaveyou, but for the overall package it's tough to beat.
  17. marksman macrumors 603


    Jun 4, 2007
    I would never answer the phone without looking anyways. Most people I don't want to talk to...:D

    Unless I was answering a phone for a business line where all calls had to be answered, there is no way I would ever not look at my phone, any phone, my home phone, cell phone, any phone, and see who is calling before answering it.
  18. beate macrumors regular

    Jun 8, 2007

    sanford: I was not a smartphone user either though I hated my regular phone's limitation regarding Contacts. I *needed* the iPhone for the complete contact information it would provide and visual voicemail. Just those two features would be worth the $$ - I thought.

    My clients and friends now love me (and my phone) as I actually get the voicemail & respond.

    I've saved myself embarrassment when needing to get to a location that I had gotten directions for 3 times in the past. I simply touched the address in my address book and there...a map. Even if you don't drive you could help out the "driver".

    I feel confident that I can get important email while away from my computer for a day or two at a time. I never liked using another computer to log in to my (10!) email accounts. I don't remember the logins anyway - they automatically go to my Mail. I have the two most used/important ones going to my phone. I have gotten important email that I would not have received for a least a day without the phone.

    I'm less tethered to my computer. I like that.

    I find that I use apps on the phone that I never thought I'd be interested in.

    My prior cells were for utilitarian needs only. This I use because it's a pleasure. It's brings me my Mac. I use a PC also - no joy there. PC just gets the job done much like my prior phones. Point being, sometimes the interface is important. Is it important to you?

    Do you relate visually? If so, the phone's cost becomes a moot issue.
    Feeling connected - priceless.
  19. zap2 macrumors 604


    Mar 8, 2005
    Washington D.C
    Bought the iPhone, and its the best 600 dollars I've ever spent!

    (The battery problem has been annoying, but Apples been nice about it)
  20. sanford thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jan 5, 2003
    Dallas, USA
    Thanks for the detailed answer. I had mostly decided against, but your message helped me decide. It's not the interface/cost issue. I do think interface is important, very important -- although I actually relate verbally or in written language more than visually; I often get more from a paragraph of considered description than I do a rough sketch, for example. (This does not mean I want to type commands into my computer! I typically don't even use many keyboard shortcuts on my Mac on my Mac, favoring the visual menus. But I do prefer the essentially text-based interface of my iPod and iTunes to "cover-flow", which for me was a brief novelty.) In fact, it's not cost at all in this decision, but cost versus facility, for me and what I need. The only point costs comes in is, well, someone asked how much I'd be willing to pay "just for cool", and that's perhaps a couple hundred dollars if I were that enthralled.

    Anyway, your message helped me make up my mind in the negative. Which might not have been your intent, but is good all the same, as I don't want to regret my decision. In my work, I'm not tied to my computer at all, although I do tend to use it for convenience; but I could easily work without it. I use e-mail but not so that I *need* to check it any more than once per day, at the most; certainly not 10 times per day. I look up some things on the Web, but don't like to read on the Web, and can't depend on the Web's veracity but for a limited amount of information. I don't have clients per se, and I sometimes I just let the house phone ring and don't answer a message for two days, a mobile message for a week as almost no one has that number. I don't at all need the Web or e-mail away from my Mac laptop. Roadmaps don't do me any good on the train, and I do usually help the driver with directions on the couple occasions I'm in a car per week, but I haven't been lost in a decade.

    It sounds like in your work it is important to be in contact, whereas in mine it's important to be out of touch, or perceived as out of touch. So while I have a mobile phone for emergency and utilitarian purposes, I think that's the absolute limit of my use for mobile phones. Which means -- for me, of course, not for everyone and I doubt for most people these days -- that constant communication is anathema to my productivity for I do and the most simple, inexpensive mobile phone is my best choice. Paying a lot for useful features is one thing, but paying any price for features unused is another thing entire.

    Thanks everyone for all the opinions and assistance. But I've discovered I'm just not an iPhone customer. I certainly wanted to be one, I think.

  21. lilnyc macrumors 6502a


    Jun 5, 2007
    Perfectly put. And if all else fails, there is a return policy.
  22. havok5178 macrumors newbie

    Jul 19, 2007
    Palm Beach
    Missing the point

    I kind of think it all misses the point. No one NEEDS an iPhone. No one NEEDS a phone that does anything more than makes calls. The iPhone is a luxury item, much like the iPod. All these phones that surf the web and check your email, and make you breakfast in bed, they're all luxuries.

    That said, I think there are only 2 important things to consider when making the decision to buy one: Can you afford it? Does it do what you WANT it to?

    The first one is simple and applies to all things that aren't necessary; if it comes down to an iPhone or food, you buy the food and keep your old phone.

    The next is pretty easy too. I've read so many people whining about the iPhone doesn't do this and the iPhone doesn't do that, and it wouldn't even give me the winning lottery numbers. Blech! By now, there are in depth reviews on here, Gizmodo, Engadget, Ars Technica and my mom's blog, detailing every positive thing about the iPhone and all of its shortcomings. Decide if those are things you want. I, for instance, didn't care about not having MMS because it's just as easy to email a photo. I purchased an iPhone because I've wanted a PDA for years, but hated all the options, especially when it came to synching my address books, emails, calendar. I use all the native OS X apps for those, so a Treo or some such would have been a problem.

    I also hate carrying around my iPod and Phone and hated the thought of shoving a PDA in my pocket as well. The iPhone fit what I wanted perfectly. I can sync my calendar, email, and such, and I get an iPod and phone as well.

    The drawbacks for me aren't big deals. So I can't deal with to-do's: I've worked around it by creating them in Notes. So I can't dial my phone without looking at the screen, well you shouldn't be on the phone while driving anyway.

    As for the remorse part: If you do your research and actually know what you're getting, you'll love it. If you don't, and buy it expecting that it's going to cure your dandruff and find you a young russian bride, you'll be disappointed. I knew the limitations before I pluncked down my money, and I really couldn't be happier.

    Good luck.
  23. matznentosh macrumors regular

    Apr 11, 2002
  24. Djmx macrumors 6502

    Jun 29, 2007
  25. beate macrumors regular

    Jun 8, 2007
    Your post is valid except for the above point - for me! I NEEDED visual voicemail. Really, really. I retrieved my messages every two weeks - if that. I rarely used the phone and if I did, it was to make a call and I couldn't deal with going to voicemail at the time.
    People adjusted but I was living in guilt. Sometimes a simple answer from me would have prevented hours of frustration for another. I kept kicking myself but could not change.

    I was never much a cell user. Didn't hear it ring, didn't answer, didn't get messages. I'm not that much better on the first two points but I do get messages as I'm using the phone more often for other things and can SEE that I have a message and who it's from and I do return my calls.

    Awww.... but very well said.

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