Some of this is donkey feces, but I am not biased so for Larry's
benefit and to give him something to write about for another year I
have found for Larry the "Top 10 reasons to hate the iPhone 3G".
Also I have found and use the neatest hands free Bluetooth speaker for
the iPhone from 'Anycom'. It is solar powered/recharged so there are
no wires leading to it in the car. It is so thin and portable you can
easily slip it out of its cradle and drop it in your jacket pocket or
shirt pocket. There you can wonder about carrying on a conversation as
if the person is right next to you.with out ever touching the iPhone
in its hip case. That kind of blows one of this this man's complaints.
Top 10 reasons to hate the iPhone 3G
Dan Warne25 June 2008, 10:38 AM (9 hours 25 minutes ago.)
Is the iPhone 3G really deserving of the nickname Jesusphone?
Sure, the iPhone 3G is a groundbreaking phone. There's a lot to love
about it… the amazingly easy-to-use touchscreen interface, amazing
video playback, a big, bright, high contrast, high-resolution display
that's the best of any smartphone on the market, and a web browser
that's as good as any you'd use on a desktop computer. Not to mention
Apple's new MobileMe service which will provide over the air syncing
of your email, contacts, calendar, tasks and photos with your home or
office computer — no plugging in required.
But there are a lot of big disappointments with the iPhone 3G too.
Some of them are stubborn commercial decisions Apple has made; others
look like oversights, and others are fundamental flaws in the design
of the phone itself.
Think I don't know jack? Before you post an angry comment, read
through the 10 points and then tell me what you think.
#1 No upgrade to the camera
The camera in the first-gen iPhone was only two megapixels with no
flash. "Fair enough," I thought… "it's a first-gen product. They have
to leave themselves room to move for the upgrade they'll surely put
into the next-generation iPhone." No such luck. The camera in the
iPhone 3G is exactly the same as the first-gen one. Still stuck at two
megapixels. Still unable to cope in low-light and still no flash. Oh,
and there's no video recording capability either, even though this has
been found on phones for the last five years or so.
iPhone 3G: 2 megapixel camera, no flash, no video, no optical zoom
Other phones: up to 5 megapixel cameras, optical zoom, lens-based
Verdict: Smackdown by other phones.
#2 No Adobe Flash support
Undeniably, the iPhone has the best web browser of any phone on the
market. But when you hit a web page with Adobe Flash in it, you'll
just get an empty space with a 'missing plugin' icon. Apple says Flash
would run too slowly on the iPhone, but in reality, it's probably more
to do with Apple wanting to promote its competing web app development
Apple realises the 'mobile web' is at a tipping point… if it can get
enough momentum behind developers coding sites specifically for the
iPhone, it will help sales of the iPhone along in the long term. (That
said, unlike Flash, Sproutcore is an open standard that theoretically
widely supported by all handset makers if their phone web browsers got
For a laugh, check out Steve Jobs demonstrating the web browser on the
iPhone. When he views The New York Times, up pops the 'missing flash'
iPhone: no Adobe Flash support
Other smartphones: Flash Lite support, or full Flash support on
Windows Mobile.(Admittedly Flash support on other phones isn't great
either, but then, they're not running a full computer operating system
like the iPhone is, where it would be trivially easy to port Flash
across to run on it.)
Verdict: Other phones win by a narrow margin.
#3 No instant messaging
Despite the fact that the iPhone comes with unlimited data plans (in
the US at least; Australian plans haven't yet been revealed) Apple has
hobbled the iPhone's ability to do instant messaging.
Rather than sending instant messages over the internet to friends, the
iPhone sends them by SMS. Since Apple has great instant messaging
software for Mac called iChat, this is undoubtedly a concession to
phone companies. SMS is widely considered to be the most expensive
data service in the world, with each message only 165 characters long
but charged by phone companies at around 20c per message. Multiplied
out, that equates to 1.3 million dollars per gigabyte of SMSes. (By
comparison, Aussie mobile network Three offers 1GB of high speed
internet usage for $15.)
Oh yeah, and forget about chatting to someone who's sitting at a
computer using the iPhone. Heaven forbid you might want to chat to
someone using MSN/Windows Live Chat, Google Talk, AIM, ICQ, Facebook
or any of the other popular chat protocols.
Hopefully, this ludicrous situation will be plugged by third-party
application developers who will develop internet-based chat clients
for iPhone. However, Apple has said that it will not allow
applications to run in the background on the iPhone; instead, the
developers must run an internet-based service, send a message to Apple
servers, which will then send a message to the iPhone to alert the
user to open the app. Yes, it may save battery life on the iPhone, but
no, it's not exactly convenient.
On a Blackberry, the Blackberry Messenger just sits quietly in the
background. If your phone is on, so is Blackberry Messenger. It's 100%
reliable. It doesn't send messages using a stupid method like SMS. It
uses the Blackberry's unlimited internet access. And yes, Blackberries
do have good battery life.
iPhone 3G: SMS is the only way to instant message people.
Other smartphones: A large variety of instant messaging software that
can send messages using the internet capability of the phone.
Verdict: iPhone is shamed by other phones.
#4 Totally impractical for international travel
The iPhone downloads full emails, attachments and all, when you view
them on the iPhone. If someone sends you an email with several
megabytes of photos attached, that's how much data has to be
downloaded by the iPhone. That's fine if you're in your home country
and have an unlimited data plan. But go to another country and see how
much it costs you — you can expect to pay up to $20 per megabyte. Your
roaming charges will soon be running into hundreds of dollars.
Not to harp on about the Blackberry, but when you roam with one of
them, it's quite cheap, because the Blackberry servers downscale
images to perfectly fit the size of the Blackberry screen before
sending them — a huge saving in data transfer charges, and messages
are heavily compressed before transmission, etc. In fact, even heavy
Blackberry users may be surprised to learn that they use less than 5MB
of data per month.
iPhone 3G: It's the data equivalent of the gas guzzling SUVs that GM
suspended production of this week.
Other smartphones: Well, there are certainly other data guzzling
phones. But Blackberry is a perfect example of a smartphone that's
made for roaming.
Verdict: Blackberry wins
#5 Not compatible with Bluetooth car kits or headphones
Apple has Bluetooth wireless in the iPhone, but it only works with a
handful of wireless headsets. Forget talking handsfree on Bluetooth
car kits or using the iPhone with stereo Bluetooth headphones. You
could expect those sorts of features from the world's leading music
player, but not the iP… oh, wait.
Considering Apple wants the world to take the iPhone seriously for its
phone capabilities, it's truly incredible that it has hobbled the
Bluetooth audio capability so much. Could it be because it wants to
make money from car equipment manufacturers who build an iPod dock
connector into their car stereos?
Caveat: this comment is based on what we know about pre-release
versions of the iPhone 2.0 software. It's possible Apple will have
fixed this in the release version of the iPhone 3G.
iPhone 3G: only works with Apple's mono Bluetooth headset and a
handful of other companies' similar units. No support for Bluetooth
stereo or in-car Bluetooth handsfree.
Other smartphones: many support stereo Bluetooth for streaming to
headphones or a stereo, and most models work with Bluetooth car
handsfree units (though there are still compatibility glitches between
Verdict: Other phones win
#6 No cut and paste
This one is truly hard to understand. Apple brings out one of the
somehow forgets to put in cut and paste... probably the only
smartphone on the market that doesn't have it. The mind boggles. (Also
something that Apple could conceivably fix by the time the iPhone 3G
is released… here's hoping.)
iPhone 3G: No cut and paste.
Other smartphones: Well, yeah, duh. They have cut and paste.
Verdict: Decisive victory for other phones.
#7 Non user-replaceable battery
It's a sad fact about rechargeable batteries: the first time you
recharge them, their maximum capacity degrades. After a few hundred
recharges, their capacity is down to something like half their
original capacity. Normally, this is annoying, but manageable — you
just swap the battery out for a new one, or get a second battery and
swap between the two of them until the first battery is toast.
Not so with the iPhone. Its battery is sealed up tightly inside the
nearly-impossible-to-pry-open casing (believe me, I've taken the back
off an iPhone and that sucker is not meant to come apart… Apple must
be replacing the casing of iPhones it services). Apple will then
install the battery for you (in the US it costs $US85.95) and post it
back to you. Oh, and you can pay them extra $US30 for the privilege of
renting another phone from them to use in the meantime.
Not only is this massively inconvenient, it's a cunning attempt by
Apple to get people to simply buy a new iPhone when the battery
finally dies. People will be asking themselves… "do I pay $105.95 to
get my old iPhone battery fixed, or do I pay $199.00 to buy the latest
and greatest model of iPhone?" I know which one I'd pick, and I bet
that's central to Apple's business plan.
iPhone 3G: Battery sealed inside the case. Costs a hundred bucks and
considerable inconvenience to get it replaced.
Other smartphones: Well, yeah, duh. You just unplug the battery and
put a new one in.
Verdict: Crushing loss to Apple.
#8 No MMS
So you've snapped a nice photo on your iPhone and you want to send it
to a friend? You'd better hope they have email on their phone, because
that's the only way you're going to be able to send it to them with
the iPhone. For some reason, despite its ridiculous decision to force
all instant messaging through SMS, Apple has totally left out MMS
(picture/video SMSes) from the iPhone.
iPhone 3G: No MMS support. You will send your photos using the Apple-
authorised method, by email.
Other smartphones: Well, yeah, duh. They have MMS.
Verdict: Own-goal by Apple.
#9 No turn-by-turn navigation
Despite building a GPS satellite navigation receiver into the iPhone,
Apple has stopped short of offering voiced, turn-by-turn navigation
into the device. Yes, you can plot directions from your current
position to somewhere else, and you can watch yourself as a little dot
on the map, but have you ever tried doing that in a car? I have … on
my Blackberry. I nearly crashed.
If you're thinking I'm being a bit overly critical (isn't it a "nice
to have" feature than a necessity?) compare Apple to Nokia, which has
been offering voiced, 3D, turn-by-turn navigation on its phones for a
couple of years now. Having a Nokia N78 saved my bacon recently when I
realised I was totally lost and didn't have a street directory with
me. I also had a Blackberry with me that has 2D map routing similar to
what's on the Blackberry, and it sucked, because it was like reading a
map constantly while driving.
iPhone 3G: No voiced, 3D turn-by-turn navigation.
Other smartphones: OK, so it's not a standard feature on all phones.
But Nokia, which has over 50% market share in Australia, has been
shipping it with its phones for the last couple of years.
Verdict: Nokia wins.
#10 Stunning hypocrisy
At Apple's last presentation on the iPhone (March 6th 2008), Apple
marketing chief Phil Schiller ridiculed market leader Blackberry for
the complexity of its push email service, pointing out that your
messages have to pass through a RIM messaging server and a network
operations centre before they're sent out to your phone. Plus you have
to pay extra for the service.
With the iPhone 3G, Apple introduces MobileMe, a service that … passes
your email through an Apple messaging server before it is sent through
to your phone. And it costs $AUD119 per year extra. Spot any
similarity with the Blackberry business model?
It seems stunningly hypocritical for Apple's to criticise the
technology of the market leader in the US smartphone space, then adopt
the same technologies in its own product. On the other hand, I'm glad
it has… but I'm flabbergasted at Apple's audacity in working on a
service while at the very same moment criticising others for doing it.
iPhone 3G: made by a company dominated by self-serving hypocrites.
Other smartphones: let's be honest... made by companies dominated by
Verdict: Apple is on even footing with other handset makers. Welcome
to the industry!