Monday, July 09, 2007

I Returned My iPhone Back to The Apple Store...

I was anxiously awaiting the coming of the Apple iPhone like everybody else and I even waited in line for two hours on opening night and was relieved when the Irvine store hadn't run out and I was able to get my hands on one - forget relieved - more like extremely excited. I travel a LOT so this was to be my great new travel gadget that I could use on flights to now watch my movies in landscape mode, listen to music and just plain play with, all of the cool features are too numerous to mention and I'm sure everybody has now heard of how unbelievably cool this thing is. So it is with unusual trepidation that I make the following statement:

I just took back my iPhone - and it's hard to explain why...

Know when you love something SO MUCH, that when you find a flaw you are more disappointed than with something less ordinary that you would normally be more accepting of?

I just couldn't get past:

1). The slow Edge network

2). The no GPS on Google maps (which my Samsung SCH-i730 has and it ROCKS! - shows traffic patterns and I can be somewhere - and hit connect and it tells me where I am)

3). The 8GB capacity

4). No swappable battery plus Apple just announced that after 300 - 400 charges you have to send in your phone to have Apple replace it for $79.00 and a loss of your phone for three days (which I cannot do)

5). No external memory and no swappable SIM (which is why you get GSM in the first place - so you can swap it out in Europe)

6). No compatibility with Microsoft Exchange Server and Active Sync - my perhaps favorite feature on my current PDA the Samsung i730 - even though rich text emails on the iPhone looked incredible and my Gmail worked especially well

7). More of my friends, family and daily calls are on Verizon - or 'In my network'

8). The text/email portion didn’t adjust to landscape mode when turned sideways which would make the keys larger and easier to text

9). The recessed headphone input - rendering my $400 Westone UM2 audiophile headphones obsolete - unless I bought a silly adapter

10). No stereo support via Bluetooth. (OK - now I'm nitpicking, but did I mention the slow Edge network???)

Even still, this was not going to be my primary phone! I actually have an ATT account and phone (RAZR) that I maintain to take WebmasterWorld/PubCon calls on and also use primarily when I travel to Europe.

All things considered, I really, really loved this phone (the user interface was out of this world), I am becoming more of an Apple fan because of it and I'm seriously considering getting a MacBook Pro now. Also to complicate my feelings about the iPhone and my incessant raving while pointing out its flaws, I dropped it on the pavement once while showing it to a friend and scratched the top, bottom and a little bit of the screen (!!!), further pushing me apart from it (I know - I have tons of scratches on my Samsung SCH-i730, yet seeing ONE scratch on my iPhone really, really hurt).

To make myself feel better about returning it, I exchanged two thirds of what I paid for my iPhone ($599) for a 180GB Apple TV ($399) - now THAT thing really rocks - I can't tell you how cool it is to have all of the contents of my audio and a lot of my video library readily available not to mention slideshows of all of my pics set to music as a screensaver for my plasma TV...way cool! All wirelessly streamed via my home network without having to manually sync like I do with my iPod.

If Apple were to fix even half of these things, they would have even more of a real winner on their hands. In the meantime, I anxiously await the arrival of the new Samsung SCH-i760 which is supposed to be out any day now. I firmly stand in the camp of waiting for the second generation of the iPhone to come out before I will break down. Before that happens however, I have a feeling that I will be first in line for the new sixth generation iPod player - which is hey, what I was really looking for in the first place now wasn't I?

Update 7/23/2007:

Perhaps the best pro/con review I have read on the iPhone yet...and we come to just about all of the same conclusions. ;)


Anonymous said...

Whaaaaaaaaaat?!? Say it walkin' ;)!!!

searchquant said...

Hey Joe,

I made the iPhone/MBPro switch 10 days ago and have zero regrets. IMO, saying you don't like the iPhone is like saying you don't like the works for Michaelangelo. This is the greatest consumer electronics device


After 10 days using the touch-screen I'm typing emails faster than I was on my Blackberry, and pages are loading faster than they were on my Blackberry.

It is not possible to listen to music, view photos or surf the web with anywhere near the level of ease of use that exists with the iPhone. You shoulda seen me at my high school reunion showing everyone themed photo albums on my iPhone.

Likewise, if the EDGE network is 10-15% slower than you thought it'd be, that's more than made up for by the way iPhone displays voicemails - a huge advancement over any other phone's voicemail.

I *do* think getting the iPhone without the MacBookPro is kind of like getting dessert without the main course. Get both and you won't regret it, life is soooo much easier and more dependable!

Joseph Morin said...

Melanie, err, I mean 'Anonymous'...why do you hate me? ;)


Don't get me wrong, I really, really liked the phone, its just that as a secondary phone (my Verizon will remain my primary) that I use only for PubCon calls and international travel, I won't have as much use for the great email and voicemail features. I think the biggest thing was dropping it and getting three scratches on the face, top and bottom, It had lost its luster, so when Apple offered to take it back without a restocking fee, I jumped at it - figuring that when version 2 comes out (maybe Christmas?) that I would make the switch then.

Anonymous said...

Hey Joe,

Can your phones play videos, and music as good as the iPhone? Do they have visual voicemail? Can you paste pics of your favorite people on your contacts? This is some of the things you will miss by returning your iphone. The iPhone is so ahead of its time that it can't be compared to similar devices on the market now. By the way you described the reasons you returned your iphone, it seems to me you are a PC user, which makes it more evident how you couldn't see how easy it is to work with the OS, compared to Windows Mobile or other PDA platforms. Too bad!

Anonymous said...

Well, count me as a person who returned the I phone.
I am a big mac fan and I have a mac pc at home.

For about the last 4 years I have carried a blackberry and an ipod. I used the Blackberry for phone and the ipod for music.

Well this year I got an iphone for christmas and i thought. "yippee, this is terrific, One device that satisfies both needs". Well I returned it today and exchanged it for a Blackberry curve.

for me, I could not use the keyboard as fast. I am a lady with manicured nails and I found that causes an issue using the touch screen.

also, i discovered there was no copy and paste on the email and this is a big problem for me to use in business. Once I actually started to try to use it to communicate with clients, I realized it just couldn't compare to a blackberry and everything was SLOWER. checking email every 15 minutes was not working and for some reason in my area, it was taking longer than 15 minutes, sometimes 45.

Also, the web browser would just randomly crash and take me back to the home menu of the phone for no reason and there was no way to get back into the page without slowing navigating back to it again.

Yes, you can do bookmarks, but not everywhere you go on the web is bookmarked. If you get kicked out, you have to go to your last bookmark and start all over.
My surfing with a black berry was slower to load pages and lacked the widescreen, but the "go back" feature worked great"
On the iphone, the same type of crashing would occur when in the middle of a song shuffle for no real reason.
also, on my ipod, my album art had no issues. For some odd reason , on the iphone, it was always scrambled. it didn't seem to handle album art correctly unless every single song in your collection had artwork attached. This is a known problem and I found several people had posted about it on other sites.
I was able to work around the custom ringtone limitation by following some advice on the user groups and although it was a pain, i finally got some custom ringtones on it.
I am somewhat technical, the average consumer might have given up on that task.

One of the other dealbreakers for me was not being able to assign a separate ringtone or custom ring tone to emails versus text messages. This was very annoying. I like to know by the ring, if I got mail or text and on the iphone there was only 1 chime that was defaulted it and it was very very low. I never heard it.
I loved how on my old blackberry there was always an indicator light if the phone was to miss a message or be in silent mode when a message came in.

As far as ipod functions, yes, it's very cool, but I'd rather go back to carrying a blackberry and an ipod, than to have to deal with the deficiencies the iphone has in email,and business processes.
I really do use my phone as a business communication device and the text screen thing with no copy and paste, was awful.