Why some people THINK they will NEVER get an iPhone

The iPhone is now more than 3 years old. I love my iPhone (and my iPad). I’m still on my 3GS, after going through the original iPhone (2G) and the iPhone 3G, and awaiting an opportunity to get the iPhone 4. I seemed to think almost anybody could benefit from an iPhone as their main mobile communication and computing device. So while I understand why all people don’t have one quite YET, it surprises me from time to time when people tell me it’s simply not for them. It’s not that they are waiting for a particular feature – they claim that they will not want an iPhone EVER.

That got me thinking: why are these (otherwise intelligent) people so dead set on NEVER having an iPhone? So I asked them about their reasons. It turns out some of them are due to misunderstanding. They are unaware that the iPhone can do what they want or has a perfectly usable alternative way to do the job. But some reasons are more real and permanent.

So here are the dozen explanations I got for why these people claim they will NEVER have an iPhone (in no particular order), along with whether I see this reason as real or imagined, and why. While it might seem like I invented some of these reasons, I assure you that all of these are actual responses I’ve gotten from people I’ve asked.

It might seem like I’m doing market research for Apple, but that’s not the case. I’m genuinely wondering why people think they will never have an iPhone, which I think is a terrific device.

# Reason Real / Imagined
1 iTunes: I don’t want to be tied to using iTunes to organize my music. I want to easily manage it just the way I want. I bring in music from a variety of sources and want to manage it with other programs. Real. Probably permanently.
2 Upgradability: An Android device would be easier to keep up to date and upgrade. Since it’s open source, I’ll be able to pick and choose to upgrade as and when I want. Imaginary. The iPhone is probably the easiest device to keep at its current version or to keep up to date with software versions.
3 Keyboard: I really need a physical keyboard to type on. The lack of one is really tough for me on the iPhone. Real and likely permanent. However, I type very quickly on it and think it’s terrific and more discrete than a physical keyboard.
4 Cost of repair: The device might break and my local carrier provides no insurance policy for the iPhone. However, they provide it for any other phone. It costs a lot to repair and the device is very expensive, so I cannot afford the risk. Real for those affected, but may change based on the market.
5 Not a good phone: All I need is a really good phone and I’ve heard the iPhone isn’t. Arguable. I think it’s a great phone. Others claim otherwise. I mostly use Bluetooth or speakerphone, but even the earpiece works for me and I don’t get more dropped calls than before. It’s even better as a general communication device when considering SMS, email, social media…
6 Not good for business:  The iPhone might be a great gaming platform and “toy”, but it’s not good for business use. Imagined. iPhone works great with enterprise mail (especially Exchange) and has many business applications.
7 Die-hard PC: I’ve been with Microsoft all my life. I feel like I’m simply not an “Apple person”. If I quit now and choose an iPhone, I would be admitting I’ve been wrong for years. Real, but only in your mind… (unless you speak a lot about the topic)
8 Price: The iPhone is more expensive to own than the other phones I’m considering. Real, but it will probably be temporary. Apple continues to drive down price and has older models to help close this gap.
9 USB connection: The fact there’s not a standard USB connector. I want things standardized. Real, but this may change: Apple has agreed, together with the rest of the handset manufacturers, to go to micro-USB standard – though I don’t know how fast, if at all, this will happen. There are also a bunch of accessories that would be hurt by a change in the connector
10 BBM: My “gang” is all on BBM (BlackBerry Messenger). This is the key communication device they use. I would be disconnected. Real. Perhaps an application workaround would be developed.
11 Flexibility: I want to be able to install anything on it. The iPhone is a closed system, it doesn’t allow you to install any app. I want to be able to quickly develop and try things out on the phone. Hmmm. That depends: If you don’t jailbreak the phone, there are some apps you cannot run. However, 95% of the apps I use are from the App Store. For a developer, the Android provides more flexibility, for sure.
12 Memory extension: I cannot extend the built-in memory. Real. However, I don’t think this is a biggie as you can get different memory sizes and more and more we’ll have our data in the cloud.

What I didn’t hear

I was a bit surprised not to hear serious complaints about the lack of Flash support. However, behind some of these reasons given you can see that the “closed world” of Apple has some vehemently opposed to embracing the iPhone.

So what does all this mean?

You might wonder why all this is interesting, as there are few, if any, products that are good for everyone. Well, the iPhone just happens to be one of those that have a broad appeal – as it does fit an awfully wide array of uses and people. The fact that it might not be good for some will continue to drive a healthy competitive landscape, continued innovation and will keep Apple on its edge. These are only a few reasons why people consider other devices more relevant for them – there are probably others. For Apple’s competitors, it would be wise to extend their advantages on the more permanent issues that are unlikely to change in the near future. And for Apple, it would be good to help correct misinformation, and even close some of the gaps where they exist. Of course, even with all that, some people will never convert.

As always, I’d love your feedback.

Especially, I’d be interested in hearing why YOU think you would NEVER have an iPhone.

42 thoughts on “Why some people THINK they will NEVER get an iPhone”

  1. Perfect comments .. i have heard most of these drawbacks…but i feel you are supporting not to buy the iphone 🙂 as most of the comments you have written as REAL.. MAY CHANGE etc . I am in a more dillema now 🙂

  2. Does iPhone allow complete backups?
    Is iPhone going to come out with a screen that does not need continual cleaning from fingerprints and smudges?
    Price is very important, I am not interested in paying hundreds of $$$ either every year to get a new one and want something economical that will last.

    I was an early adopter of PALM, loved them, and went through a few including Visor too, and then left the organzier market completely because of lack of reliability and sturdiness, as well as price.

    I drop things and my kids throw things so I expect stuff to be sturdy. My Nokia phones have taken all the punishment we’ve given them, and the iPhone seems quite fragile and I don’t want to buy rubber add-ons and plastic visor films to protect it.

    I put everything on my Palms, and once, twice, they went kaput whether it was batteries or much worse a need for a hard reset once in a while. Not everything was backed up either, only a few things like contacts and notes – and I lost faith. Went back to storing phone numbers in my regular cellphone, and actually writing things down on notes.

    I’m sitting on the fence for now. I never say never.

  3. Most people I talked to simply say that it is “too much” for a phone, they just want a phone to be a phone and nothing else. They want the nokia-style feature phones, and for them the iPhone really is an overkill.

    Regarding use in enterprise – Apple stated in their last quarterly reviews that 80% of the Fortune 100 companies use an iPhone. As an iOS developer myself, I focus most of my energy on that particular area, since I see the greatest potential in it, and I’m sure I’m not alone. Exchange support is great, and you get have multiple accounts with iOS 4.

    Regarding the USB connection – they will probably simply provide users with an iPod Dock to Micro USB connector free of charge in the packaging, I can’t see them changing this input which became a de-facto input on its own right today.

    The lack of insurance is a very big deal, especially in Israel. I have a friend that really wanted the iPhone but got a Droid instead because he didn’t want to take the risk. I don’t blame him – another friend of mine just got his screen broken and paid 250 shekels just to replace the glass.

  4. Regarding point 2 above – while iPhone may be easy to upgrade (or not to upgrade) the OS versions are what Apple decided to release and when they decide to do so. Being an open source system with live developer’s community, Android versions are released by the community and usually present many improvements over the official Google version. Just 3 weeks after Froyo (android 2.2) release, the CyanogenMod 6 verion RC1 (http://www.cyanogenmod.com) was ready, and other ROM developers follow suit (actually some released their version based on a leaked pre-release of android 2.2).
    All this is not saying anything bad about Apple and iPhone – just stresses the power of open source and the community development.
    Disclaimer – I am a Geek with Nexus One phone (collector’s item now :-))- Android phones are more suitable for Geeks than for the average users, since in order to take advantage of the community versions you need to root your phone (paralel to jailbreak in iPhone) and install your preferred ROM on it. Still for Geeks reason 2 is not really imaginary. My phone is much better (longer battary life, better performance, much improved graphical shell and more) than the way it comes preconfigured from Google with Froyo installed.

  5. iPhone is an easy use phone. I know small kids are just hooked on to it. Even adults crave for it. iPhone’s growth in US is impressive. But one of the biggest inhibitor to iPhone’s growth in USA is Apple tie up with only one service provider. If iPhone becomes publicly available for all networks, then it will for sure be as ubiqutous as iPod for music.

    Many of my friends do not have an iPhone due to not getting tied up with one service provider in USA.

    I find that Kids are quite hooked on to their parents iPhone. When they grow up, they may never have an iPhone. Rather they will have an iPad. Since kids are not bound by the small size of a device, they will go for iPad, which would have bigger display and more features than an iPhone. It is the older generation that is bound by small size of Shirt, Jacket or Trouser pockets. For this reason we opt for a smaller phone that can fit in a pocket. But kids are used to of carrying a backpack wherever they go. They are hooked to device for the love of that device rather than thinking about how to carry it in formals. I think this is the one segment to watch for in future. They may never go for iPhone.

  6. As many Apple fanboys are wont to do, Tal, you forgot a few major reason that I’m sticking with Android… 🙂

    (1) Carrier Choice – In the US, if you want an iPhone, it’s AT&T or the highway. This will probably change soon, but at this point, it’s a big issue.

    (2) Model Choice – with Android, consumers and businesses can find a phone with the features they desire that fits their budget.

    (3) Open Market (i.e. Better Competition) – Apple tends to deny apps that “compete” with their own offerings. There are many examples, but Google Voice leads the pack.

    (4) Censorship – Apple can deny any app that in “Apple’s reasonable judgement may be found objectionable”. Most famous here was the denial of soon-to-be-Pulitzer-Prize-winning cartoonist Mark Fiore’s app which was denied because it “ridicules public figures”. (Isn’t that what political cartoonists do?) Once he won the Pulitzer, Apple changed their tune…

    So as you can see, the openness of Android is a big draw for me.

  7. first reason, keybord is much more comfortable then touch screen(i have exprience on both)

    Second reason, most of the thinks cost you money.

    Third reason, it’s look like a toys and not real phone.

    Forth reason, The price is very high, i have nokia which include
    wifi, bluetooth and GPS in half price then Iphone

  8. First of all, thanks Tal bringing insightful thoughts and perspectives on probably the most popular device on the planet at the moment.

    Two main reasons from me not to choose iPhone:
    Flexibility [Although you’ve already mentioned it depends… I think this requires lot more emphasis on people like me who do not choose iPhone].

    Apple may be doing good things. But, its very similar to policy making in authoritarian governments like China [sorry for bringing politics]. Although they are operating in free market economies, its absurd to see the extent of control they have on the whole value chain of the product. I do not choose iPhone for Apple’s control freakiness.

    I am willing to face the harshness or lack of harmony with non-apple products, than willing to compromise my ‘ability to choose’ for Apple’s policing.

    With your article, its certain that I’m not alone on this :-).

  9. I have ‘a friend’ who is one of those of those otherwise (seemingly) intelligent people, and he recently told me about some of his irrational reasons for not buying an iphone.

    It is a mix of stubbornness, a firm belief that the technology is not the best (but a secret understanding that the packaging is by far the best and that is what really matters) and an idealistic hope that a more open platform like Android will beat what the iphone can offer.

    While he loves Apple’s approach from a business point of view and thinks Steve Jobs is amazing, the closed nature (i.e. forcing us to use apple proprietary stuff when there is better alternatives out there) irks him as a consumer.

    He does realise that while he has been waiting for this mythical Android phone, I…ahem…he could have been enjoying the benefits of the iphone as an interim solution

  10. Interesting topic:) I am using iPhone 2G since it was released and I can tell that it’s a very good device with one problem – it is produced by Apple:) And I would say it’s good and bad at the same time.
    Why is it good?
    Because Apple knows how to take a complicated thing and make it easy to use and attractive for a customer. I really like most of there devices and software and I think they are great.

    Why is it bad?
    When you buy an iPhone, iPad or iPod you don’t buy a device – you buy an access to Apple’s infrastructure (iTunes, AppStore). Only using this infrastructure you can get all the benefits from iPhone or iPad. I must admitt it is a well built and convinient but very closed. And I am sure Apple will keep it like this as long as possible since so far it’s the only way for Apple to keep it profitable and attractive.
    So from the moment you got iPhone you have to use iTunes, you have to get applications only thru AppStore, you have to develop applications only by tools approved by Apple etc.

    In such conditions I feel like I rented phone from Apple, not bought it.
    As a result I know that my next phone will not be iPhone

  11. I’m with you Tal. The first time I saw an iPhone up close was sitting next to you at a conference. I felt like a child seeing a wondrous magic trick for the first time – I was smitten and had to have one. The moment I got my own iPhone in my hands was the moment I understood that I was possible to have emotional feelings for an inanimate object. Without being too analytical, I can say that in addition to ticking so many business and practical boxes, the iPhone is simply fun to use and I can’t see myself leaving my iPhone for another phone in the foreseeable future. All mobile phones have their drawbacks and (like in any healthy relationships) I am happy to overlook the iPhone’s drawbacks in order to enjoy all its many advantages.

  12. The reason ill NEVER get an iphone – called Hila and she is the beautiful mother of my childs.
    Her reason for me not getting iphone is ‘No more gadgets until 2017… grow up’ (-:

    And this is surprisingly after i tried to give her example why iphone is mandatory to everyone anywere anytime using the following video:


  13. I still consider iPhone as an Internet, Gaming and multi-media device than a Handheld-computer (which a lot of iPhone fans will like to call it).
    You will need another computer (with iTunes) to use it 100%.

    Any computer will have first feature as “File Management”.
    Exchange feature might be great, but what to do if you want to attach some documents to the mail. What if you want to download some file and then share with others?
    These are available in most of the smartphones by default.

    Strength of iPhone is in marketing and creating a brand image. Its like you want to spend 10 times money to buy a Jeans (with Designer Brand) even if at the end of the day it is just a denim-jeans.

    … I really laughed so so much on the iPhone-4 ads and on Mr Jobs’ iPhone-4 introduction when they mentioned that life is changed now because with iPhone-4 Facetime. It was put like Video-caht was never possible by any other smartphone. This-is-marketing..!!!! I had experienced Video chat 5 years ago on smartphones.

    To conclude, I am one of those “SOME” who never want to get an iPhone. 😉

  14. Interesting points but, as an iPhone/iPad developer, I would like to comment about #11. If there is something that Apple introduced to their users is the concept of App store. Maybe they were not the 1st one, but they were the 1st one to turn that model into a huge worldwide success. You can install any application, from the 200K+ that are available for free, or not. Before that, what was the App market (J2ME!?, BREW!?, Symbian!?, Palm!?, Windows CE!?)? It *almost* didn’t exist or it was not visible enough (how many apps did you have in your previous phones, besides those samples that would come out-of-the-box?). What was the mobile development industry before? Very restricted. What is it now? An exciting and profitable industry, with new companies starting everyday. What is the so called freedom to install whatever you want? For the huge majority of users it doesn’t make any difference, because they don’t develop apps … they are consumers, now with many more options. For those that develop … well, it can be annoying sometimes because Apple likes to play the dictator, but most of the time, that’s not a big problem … and most of their technical restrictions/concerns are valid, considering that they want their users to have the most pleasant *experience*. Before the iPhone there were phones that tried to become computers (do you miss browsing the Internet using those horrible WAP browsers?) but the iPhone is a small-factor computer that includes a phone (again, it is a different level of *experience*). Android is a welcome member to the club and is helping to balance the market and hold Job’s world domination dreams, but its excessive freedom can also be a problem (fragmentation) and I hope Google will find a way to balance that. Nokia, RIM etc? Well, they will have to catch up fast. So, to conclude, Apple, like any other company in history that has a dominant position, is trying to make as much profit while they can. But for sure they changed the mobile industry and nobody can deny that it is for good. Cheers.

  15. Is flexibility the right term? Surely freedom (as in speech) is closer to the issue? As suggested by Matt Hill some people have problems with censorship of political, of potentially rival applications or of adult content. The banning from the iphone of a cartoon Ulysses by Joyce indicates just how oddly the concept of adult can be interpreted. And many people may want the freedom in a more idealistic sense than freedom.

  16. I currently have a Blackberry. My 2 year service contract has finally expired – thank goodness! Now I can go out and buy an iPhone. My only dilemna is do I save some cash and go with the 3G version or do I pay a bit more for the new 4G.

    Enjoyed the topic. Thanks

  17. While y’all touched on the price of the device, you’ve not mentioned the cost of the service. The reason I haven’t gotten an iPhone is that the minimal monthly plan is about $70. With my regular cellphone, I have a plan that costs $29.99 and it serves my purposes. Should I more-than-double my spend so I could have an iPhone? Too rich for my taste. I’m perfectly happy with my old Motorola, and for wifi surfing I can use my iPod Touch (that came free for opening a checking account).

    Let me have my cheap plan with an iPhone and I’d consider it.

  18. I completely agree with you Tal. Even i was one of the gang that subscribed to the 12 reasons.

    When i bought my iPod, i thought it was just another music player. Owning it changed my perception completely.

    Similar was the experience when i laid my hands on the iPhone. It is the ‘Pele’ of mobile phones.

    All said and done – An Apple is an Apple!

    PS: I recently experienced the iPad. Even though i feel it is not of much use to me now, i find it highly desireable.

  19. Good read, thanks. Never say never! Reminds me of an interesting read I came across via Twitter a week or so ago:
    “Give #market what they want – Girl wants a #Blackberry not #iPhone http://bit.ly/info/9q0Lyl ” (Article title: When Innovation Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up to Be). Key point was that BB messenger was killer reason for BB choice for authors 15 year old daughter.

    Battery is the key reason against iPhone for me. At least for other phones, I can have spare batteries (2 spares currently). With the iPhone, you can buy “extensions” or cases with built in battery life, but until I’m guaranteed a day’s constant conference calls (or at least spare batteries), it wont be serviceable.

    I’m looking right now, and BB is looking likely again (not the Storm I currently have though). Two devices is not an option, sadly.

    Next time, maybe! I just wish PC manufacturers were as innovative as Apple as the ecosystem they have created is very compelling (phone manufacturers not so bad).

  20. Reminds me of an old commercial in Israel:
    A guy approaches a rep in a store to complain that his “camera” is making funny noises.
    I am one of the “never” school – a phone is not viable replacement for surfing. My phone only needs to ring…

    Based on Apple’s recent “glitches” with iPhone 4, it seems that Apple seems to have deviated from the primary purpose of the iPhone (it is after all a phone and not a mini-iPad).

  21. It can’t do video calling to other mobile phones. Even with iphone 4, it only works with other iphone 4s. For me, if the iphone is supposed to have broad based appeal, this is a must have esp for people with families. I use video calling a lot when out and about (or travelling) to see and talk to my young kids and family members.

  22. I will never get an iPhone, given the local price here is too high IMHO. But I don’t mind having it if you are willing to give yours away for me 😀

  23. As an early adopter, it reminds me the time when I purchase 1st generation of iPod. It was not the perfect MP3 player and had many disadvantages comparing to existing or newer Mp3 players that were introduced in the market and I remember friends told me they will never by an iPod. Some of them are owner of iphone today btw.

    With my experience with apple products and owner of all generations of the iphone (I am still a proud owner of the 3gs ), I think they have a great customer service and had really great experience with my previous devices and to me it is one of the important thing as it I use my iPad/iphone almost for everything.

    In your “mini market research” of why people think they will never have an iPhone, it would be nice if we could add columns such: age, sex(male/female), existing device (BB, HTC, etc…).

    I would wonder to see if we can find common dominator for the “never will buy iphone” users.

    In any case, really interesting topic…

  24. Thanks for an interesting article.
    I think there’s a variation to point#7 which starts with “I’ve been with Linux all my adult life and I think I know the kernel inside out…”.

  25. I enjoyed reading this post (Just like other posts from Tal :-))
    Thanks for sharing such things and making us aware in interesting way. Hats off…

  26. First, I must say that I was astonished and happy to see such an overwhelming response. 25 comments in less than the first day. Wow!

    So here’s some responses to the great discussion that’s going on:

    Vaseen, choices are not always easy. I would recommend the iPhone to anybody contemplating – take the plunge and try it. Some revert back, but the overwhelming majority would not.

    Josh, Yes, the iTunes backs up the iPhone on every sync – works much better than the Palm used to, in that regard. My screen is very clean. I have a screen protector that’s very good (and cheap) as well. That said, if you need something that can take a lot of punishment or be exposed to uncontrolled kids, the iPhone indeed is a risky proposition for you. I think people treat their iPhones better than they treated their old Nokia/Motorola phone.

    Josh Salomon, but for the iPhone you would jailbreak it, install any version of the OS you wish, set up your shell, etc. So I don’t get the difference. For the average user, I think the iPhone is much more comfortable, and for the geek that really wants to configure everything, the iPhone also has the option – it’s just not approved by Apple. It is, however, legal now in the US…

    Matt, good points – and a valid testimony from someone that elects not to have an iPhone. But will you “never” have an iPhone? Reasons (2)-(4) that you provide are probably real and long term. I probably meant that reason #11 addresses some of these. The flexibility can somehow be achieved.

    Edward, you add the reason “it looks like a toy” to my list.

    Vijay, that’s what I intended in #11, and you are right to expand it, as Matt has. Rest assured, you are not alone, but you are in the vocal minority 🙂

    Paul, your “friend” would find it difficult to part with the iPhone. This sort of idealism comes at a cost. I believe this cost will be closed soon enough as Android matures quickly. But when?

    Igor, interesting. I thought the opposite – that people that have invested in apps and accessories would actually be more likely to upgrade (and the figures prove this rather convincingly). The closed world is related to #11, but I should have made that clearer. That said, you do not belong to the category of people I interviewed who claimed they would NEVER have an iPhone. Look at what Margo writes right after you 🙂

    Margo, right on.

    Shay, the opening of your comment sounded promising with the word “NEVER”. But then there was a caveat, something about 2017… so that reason doesn’t qualify as a justification for NEVER having an iPhone.

    Manish, so I didn’t get a new reason from you. You can forward attachments and I presume copy-paste of them will be possible in future, if not already in iOS 4.

    Fabio, agree with every word.

    David, thanks for suggesting better terminology. “Freedom and Flexibility” is what I should have called reason #11, and it is a better reflection of what those who I interviewed meant (though perhaps not said).

    Kathleen, go with the iPhone 4. You won’t regret it.

    Zafrir, good point – but that’s what I meant when I said total cost of ownership. But you’re right, I was not explicit.

    Andrew, I have a charger in my car, and on my desk… so I really don’t end up running out of juice. I also have a nice little batter boost in my briefcase, if I ever get lost. The only place battery life is a real issue is conferences without power and a lot of Internet access to go with it…

    Bennie, the iPhone is not a phone. It is a small portable computer that does mobile telephony as one of its applications. But it does it damn well from my perspective (some argue this point). If your phone only needs to ring, you might need other devices for all the thing the real smartphone can do for you.

    Gijsbert, I don’t know when, but I believe that using the front facing camera will be possible very soon. I’d imagine Skype and Fringe to latch on to it as well (otherwise, I think we’ll hear of anti-trust). That will enable this. Not the 3G version of video calling, however. Just good old Video over IP (including 3G, I predict).

    Roy, my mini research included very diverse characters in age/gender/profession/device.

    Wow! Those were a lot of great comments. Thanks!

  27. Really, not of any of most reasons I found as significant ‘plus’ or ‘minus’ for me. As user of many different electronic devices in my life during last 10-12 years, I found that each separate unit can serve much better than any ‘all-in-one’ device. It related to the phones, GPS’es, organizers, PDAs, notebooks, readers, etc. etc. It is no problem to find on the market any device like iPhone, or any other newest smartphone with lot of functionality charged into the small plastic box. And what the next? Next we’ll reach the limit and comes to ‘Audi’ cars joke (AUDI – All Unnecessary Devices Included). Ask yourself: how percents of total functionality of my iPhone I using? Believe, you’ll answer 10-15% or so. Thus why not to use really ‘pocket’, lightweight, long-batteried device with excellent phone functionality first. I’m also has a ‘charged’ model of pocket phone, but as the phone communication device itself – it is not a best thing that I need. Do I need the internet in the phone? No, every time I have notebook or pocket PC in the bag. Do I need the games in the phone? No, small screen, poor sound, no game controllers etc. (even I’m not playing the computer games already a lot of years). Do I need the music in the phone? Really, no. I have enough music at home, in the car, even on working desk if needed. Do I need to write something long from the phone? Really no, it’s absolutely unusable except short SMS, but any $20-phone can do it. Do I need MMS? No, I used this function may be twice during last years. Do I need the book reader, video player, pocket word/excel or music editor on the phone? Really no, most of functionality is just unnecessary or totally unusable because of technical limitation. So, why I need to have the pound of electronics in my hand every time? Why I need to take care to charge it every day, or even twice a day? Why I need to spend the time to learn-downloads-upgrades-backups-etc.-etc.? The regular phone holds minimum 1 week charge, has perfect sound, good signal and almost all functionality, necessary for telephone. The best GPS is GPS, not the smartphone. The best computer is computer, not smartphone. Big secret: I have all of aforesaid things in my phone, even analog TV (watch in car during long travels daily), but I think that such ‘multi’-unit was a wrong choice 🙂
    PS. What do you think, if your dentist will be your plumber and gardener the same time? 🙂

  28. Nokia & HTC have much better phones, offering much more in terms of flexibility, speed, ease-of-operation, phones which are very robust & which are often more competitively priced.
    I think people go to iPhone more for the “Oh Shiny! I like how it looks” factor ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FL7yD-0pqZg )

    Points #1,2,8,9,11,12 are good enough reasons to avoid iPhone & erm.. so is 7 for me 🙂

  29. I don’t think I’ll ever own an iPhone! Don’t get me wrong, I guess their tech is pretty good, Jobs is a brilliant salesman. He has the ability to drill down and simplify to the very essence of the product or service he’s pushing. I think he and the late Billy Mays were one in the same that took two different routes. Both masters of the sale, and have honed the character they take on to do their sales pitch. Billy the Blue shirt, Steve the turtleneck. I admire Apple’s marketing dept also. They should patent some of the quips and marketing campaigns they build. Phrases like “you already know how to use it” in the recent iPad commercials are legendary…

    However Apple portrays something it is not, it used to be a little hipppie startup, full of crazy little characters. New companies like FourSquare are similar in their approach.

    However Apple is no “little hippie company” anymore. They are a huge hulking machine from the growth of iPod, iTunes and iPhone.

    The concept of the iPhone is not new, most of the capabilities and concepts were available in the Sony MagicLink way back in the early 90’s!

    General Magic, Magic Cap, and Sony set forth the ideas that Job’s tried to capitalize on this with Newton….

    Telescript’s concept was an agent that connected to the cloud to perform transactions. A 1994 Vision of the Future – General Magic: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Usk3t_Tjmw

    Most the the ideas in Magic Link were ported into iPhone and Voila! The revolutionary product, even though I owned and used a Magic Link almost everyday of 1994 and 1995!

    My problem with Apple is that they fool the masses into thinking they are something they are not. They pretend to be a renegade rag-tag bunch of bohemian’s, they aren’t! Steve pretends he’s a Buddhist, but his hardware production company FoxConn works people until they would rather commit suicide than return to work. 34 hour shifts with military precision is enough to make anyone want to jump to their death. All so WalMart can sell a $97 iPhone. Not very Buddha like Steve! Boo!

    They stole the name from Cisco, stole the concept from Sony and now cut corners to produce units more cheaply than ever! There is no way they didn’t know that the unit was a defective design before they shipped it.

    And now to point fingers at the rest of the wireless community is horrendous! It’s a slap in the face to the industry. Every time a company has a snafu in wireless it degrades those users who hang on to the incident so proof that it’s not worthy of their time or attention.

    First they denied it, then they tried to tell us we were wrong, and then they lied to us about the bars etc, etc, etc…

    So my issue isn’t with their tech – more the way they do things. And how they poke fun at their competitors and make the industry as a whole look bad. Governing organizations like CTIA and GSMA should drop the bar on this infighting and finger-pointing.

    As I said my issue is not the tech or the company, it’s more they way they conduct themselves. Lately their covers have been pulled and the general public got a little dose and a quick glimpse of what really goes on behind the scenes, how the company really feels about its customers and how they conduct themselves when confronted with reality. I think quite a few people saw this and were turned off by their posture and statements.

    I’m sure Steve wanted the iPhone name badly, to ride on the tales of the iPod success. But his BS finally caught up with him and he had to work his butt off so much he now has to wear a belt.

    Apple has been working day and night to cover its ass back up as it has been hanging out for the last few weeks. I think the Federal Trade Commission should get involved and recall these defective products.

    Putting a rubber band, or a band-aid on a product is not fixing it! It’s called jerry-rigging and allowing crap like this in the marketplace is a blackeye on wireless. I call on the overseers of the wireless industry to issue a statement about the failings of the iPhone. I’m not a hater of iPhone, they pushed the industry and moved it forward a few years. But now they are insulting the very industry that made them a household name and insulting their fellows in the business.

    I hope for Apples sake they totally revamp their designs, software and stance, if not they are headed for disaster. They are no longer the one that “sucks the best”…

    Android in it’s many form factors and various manufacturers are gaining ground everyday… It’s the first year of Generation-M! This is the decade we turn away from static ICT and embrace “information @ our fingertips” available, anywhere, anytime!

    Welcome to Generation-M!

  30. I was on the ones I though I will never move to an Iphone.
    My 4 years old Treo 750 has issues with the keyboard and decided to move on….. to an Iphone 4
    I was RIGHT! I should not move to an Iphone ever. I have not complains about this nice toy, as this is just a very expensive toy.
    As a phone, I have less reception and more dropped calls than before. The phone is just another app, and not the main feature.
    I’m suffering with the lack of business capabilities, mainly on the calendar. No way to forward email, reply to all, etc… very basic functionallity.
    I aslo had issues with Email capability. not for the 350-400 average number of daily emails.
    Unfortunally the new Treo models are not running Windows mobile, so apparenlty I’m stuck with this Iphone, impacting my “remote working” flexibility

  31. I think it is too big for me! The physical size. I like smaller phone that fits perfectly into my jeans.
    I’m a petite girl,btw. Probably explains. 🙂

  32. I think you left some of the real reasons of not having an iphone, one are not arguable but rather facts other may be and most of them are not relkated to technicalities like ease of use etc.


    1. Iphone turns out to be one of the devices with the highest radio microwave radiation, due to recent researches anyone who has children is recommended to keep cell phones away and far. Noting the IPhone is one of the devices that actual has the highest radiation factor 1
    2. It is adictiv, especially to children, not that I have anything against games on a mobile cellulars but those have additional impact factor of getting the radiation mentioned in
    3. Dangerous for adult as well

    Social issues:

    4. I have seen what it made my friends become. although some not might think it as a disadvantage, but they play stupid things with it all day like little children though most of them passed 30
    5. Creates an economical burden on individuals and especially on parents. It is far from being cheap and the on going cost is an additional issue

  33. You just wrote that because you are already trapped in Apple’s marketing ploy. Android is freedom of intellect and not marketing of fashion accessories.

  34. Hi Tal,

    We’re all different, some people find a laptop and a mobile phone that reliably lasts 2 days of use adequate. The thought of being “reduced” to the screen size of the iPhone is not appealing. So they’re as intelligent as the next person, they just have different priorities on their needs. For example, I’m sure some of the execs you meet have tried the iPhone and preferred their laptop – hence their adamant position.

    Just like I have a faster car than my wife, yet we’re both happy with our choices – people have different priorities on their needs with leads to different purchase decisions.

    Another example, why isn’t the Sony PS3 the default Blu-ray player for all homes. Its a cheap, amazing, full featured player and a great games system to-boot. And there lies the reason – some people do not want a games system in their home… We’re all different 🙂

  35. Nice article Tal. I switched from a Blackberry Curve 8300 to an iPhone 3G and the user experience is night and day. I love the iPhone. So much so that I now also own an iPad. Between the iPhone (on-the-go) and the iPad (home surfing) I don’t sit in my office on my laptop nearly as much any more. Both devices have provided me with more freedom. Office documents, graphics, and PDFs open in a snap an scale quickly. Plus, I love how simple and easy Apple products are to use. They are extremely intuitive. My wife also loves the iPad and never reaches for her Dell Netbook any more (which BTW, took 1.5 hours to setup out of the box between all the driver and Windows updates). Whether for home or office, I am sold on Apple. Just a great user experience overall. No complaints!

  36. Tal,

    Good set of arguments, and I relate to many of them, but…since you covetted my 4G in Baltimore I feel I need to respond – and I don’t regret turning down your offer to swap my 4G for your iPad.

    I am hugely attached to the iPhone and probably have bought the shiny back marketing hype and naked jealousy of those who haven’t yet acquired one.

    I did take a few weeks to really adjust to the different role this thing plays in my life. Someone said to me that the difference between a BB and and iPhone is that the BB assumes you are at work and occasionally lets you play, while the iPhone assumes it needs to work for you all the time whether you are working or playing.

    I am sure I don’t want to carry two devices around, and the iPhone works for me brilliantly when I’m sailing (including wind meter app, compass, navigation, fuel calculator, race results…..) or working. My BB was really dreadful at browsing and apps non-existent.

    I don’t have Android experience to compare yet, and will certainly indulge in an iPad before long, if nothing else to enjoy more OTT video and better navigation afloat.


    I am suspicious that the networking software/hardware doesn’t make and hang onto connections as well as previous phones I’ve used, including the BB Bold I had last. But that is mostly in marginal network (rural) areas and roaming.

    Battery life isn’t great. My Power Monkey gets me through the day, but heavy calling days I’ll need to recharge twice.

    Anyone remember the Nokia 6310? A week of talk time and a brilliant phone that worked 99% of the time. But that was before the mobile net, twitter, Youtube et al, so a bit less challenging….

    1. I see I have a backlog:

      Oleg (& Chirag), people differ from each other and their needs and wants. You may not want a multi-purpose device. Others, like me, do. Personally, I’d rather not have different gadgets to do all these things. The thing is, that the iPhone, and all the Android handsets, are more “networked pocketable computer” than they are “phone”. Being a phone happens to be only one of the “applications” on the computer. I also happen to use MANY of the functions of my iPhone on a weekly basis. I enumerated it once and got to over 25 different apps I use at least on a weekly basis, and they make my life easier and more enjoyable. But you and I are different in this respect and I respect this difference. It’s part of what makes life interesting.

      Bruce, indeed a lot of the iPhone and iPad are not very new concepts – it’s just that Apple has been able to make them “really work” well this time around. Others, and even Apple, have failed in the past. We should recall that Apple pioneered the PDA in the form of the Newton, which failed. Apple has also envisioned a lot of this future many years ago. Now they got it mostly right.

      To see some of Apple’s visionary skills, take a look at the video that was included as part of Siri keynote at SemTech 2009. Siri, that was acquired by Apple a few months ago, used an Apple video from over 20 years ago – that video begins at point 1:37 in the video. It’s been shown that much of these technologies have matured and been realized today. Siri was realizing some of the remaining parts of the vision – so Apple acquired them too. But, in general, Apple have had substantial contributions to innovation in our world. Ideas alone aren’t as important as bringing them to life in viable ways that deliver value.

      What I am reading into what you are saying is a growing distrust and a growing “anti-Apple” camp. Many do not like how they do what they do. Granted, they are also acting quite arrogantly in many areas. However, this is a sort-of political/religious type of debate. There are intelligent and wise people on either side of the issue. This is a matter of personal choice where one stands and how important it is to any individual.

      Or, can you point to that research about comparative radiation? I did mention cost. I did not mention addiction; though I doubt people consider this a prime reason not to get one. On the other hand, it does turn out they might sue the company later, as this addicted gamer just did.

      Alan, you are indeed right – we all do have different wants and needs. Thanks for the reminder!

      Tony & Eric, your experience is similar to mine – I find it does a lot of things terrifically well. Which is why I was surprised to see some people think it will never be for them. Another reason I was intrigued by this is that this community is a “hard nut to crack” and would be the last, if ever, to buy into a concept. As you can see, people are very passionate about either side of this debate – some making it a battle of good and evil – a sort of religious / theological conflict.

      Thanks again for the lively discussion and feedback!

  37. Interesting that “I don’t like Apple’s bullying attitude towards its customers.” When I buy a phone, I’m BUYING a phone, not licensing it, renting it, borrowing it. I ought to be able to whatever the hell I want to with it, including jailbreaking. The folks who complained about being locked into iTunes were close to the mark, but not seeing Apple’s arrogance in the full light of day for what it is.

  38. An update: A great must-read post by MG Siegler on TechCrunch explaining why Android is not as open as most think. For the geek that would root or jailbdreak/unlock the device, perhaps. But for the average person? The Android phones on the market are more closed than the iPhone… As I said – must read.

  39. I will get rid of my i Phone as soon as the contract is up FOR ONE REASON ONLY. It does not have a decent appointment reminder, nor is there an app out there with one.

    I need a reminder alert like I had on my last phone. It will ring like an incoming call. It will repeat the call every 5 minutes (I should be able to set the interval time as I like) until it is answered. When answered a window appears with the appointment details.

    Not so much to ask, but it is no where to be found. An email or message alert (as they have now) only gives a small beep and done. I never hear it – the phone is an another room on the charger etc.

    I need this app to make sure I take my medications and test my blood on time (diabetic).

    I find thousands of sites in internet with others saying the same thing. i Phone company is loosing out due to this.

  40. I had been arguing with my close friend on this issue for quite a while, based on your ideas, it proves that I am right.
    Let me now show him your web page – I am sure it will make him buy me a drink, lol, thanks.

    – Kris

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Please type the characters of this captcha image in the input box

Please type the characters of this captcha image in the input box

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.