No iPhone For Me

Category: Gadgets

Apple's iPhone seems like the coolest gadget to hit the streets in a long time. It slices, it dices, it can browse the web, manage your calendar, take pictures, and even make a phone call. But here's why I'm NOT going to buy one...

not buying an iphone

Ten Reasons Why the iPhone is not myPhone

As cool as it is to have the latest and greatest, it's important to research new technology before purchasing. The commercials and all the hype regarding this new all-in-one device make it look pretty sexy, but it's smart to take a closer look at what you're actually getting for your money. I have a rule about never buying Version 1.0 of anything, partly because I don't want to PAY for the privilege of being a beta tester, and partly because the passage of a little time usually results in higher quality at a lower price.

Here are my reasons for NOT purchasing an iPhone...

  1. Price - At $500 to $600, there is a bit of sticker shock here, compared to your typical portable gadget. The iPhone combines a cell phone, mp3 player, camera and internet in one device, but you can buy comparable devices for much less money. Sure, it does have some other very cool features, but is the iPhone giving YOU the most bang for your buck?
  2. Network Speed - The cellular network that the iPhone uses is Slow With a Capital S. Excruciatingly, watching-paint-dry, worse-than-dialup slow, according to some first-hand accounts from friends of mine. Apple struck an exclusive deal with AT&T, which forces iPhone users to connect to the web with AT&T's dated EDGE network, when there is no wireless access available. For most people, that's a throwback to 1995 speeds.
  3. Software - Apple has always had proprietary software for Macs and iPhone is no different. Apple has shut out independent software vendors hoping to develop programs for the iPhone, claiming that third-party applications would raise security and stability issues. It's not clear if Apple will yield on this point, but in an age of open source and open interfaces, the iPhone is a closed system.
  4. Web - Although the Safari Browser is slick, most people agree the text is so small that it's hard to decipher. Web developers are saying that font sizes must be three times larger than normal to get good readability on the iPhone.
  5. Call Quality - Early reports say that iPhone call quality is not the best. It also lacks stereo Bluetooth support and 3G compatibility. Modern 3G standards are five to 20 times faster than what the iPhone offers, so if Bluetooth support is important to you, stick with your current cell phone or PDA.
  6. Compatibility - It's disappointing that most third-party headphones will not work with the iPhone, due to the non-standard audio connector. The iPhone's audio jack has four leads instead of the typical three, which makes it possible to listen to music and make phone calls with the same headset, but it also prevents you from using your expensive noise canceling headphones.
  7. Missing Features - Let's see, where's the memory-card slot, chat program and voice dialing? Hmmm, can't find 'em on the iPhone anywhere... You also can't install new programs from anyone but Apple and the web browser doesn't support Java or Flash. And horrors! It doesn't do video.
  8. Keyboard - Instead of the physical keyboard, there's a touch-pad keyboard on the screen. Therefore, it takes up screen space as well as taking some getting used to. Its vreyy esay to mke typong erors on the tuuch screeen due to teh seensittivty and prxximmty of the kkeyys. There's also some concern that the screen surface will eventually become scratched.
  9. Synchronization - Although the iPhone synchronizes once physically connected, the iPhone cannot wirelessly synchronize with a Mac. And don't hold your breath waiting for the iPhone to sync with a Windows-based PC.
  10. Camera - There's very little information published by Apple in regards to the camera's features, but that may not be an oversight. The wimpy 2-megapixel built-in camera is far behind most competing devices. And while the whole screen becomes a viewfinder, there's neither flash nor zoom and it isn't capable of handling movement or low-light conditions. And did I mention that this thing doesn't do video? If this thing could make movies and do one-click uploads to YouTube, Apple would rule the world. But it doesn't...

Girlfriend Not Included

I promised you ten reasons, but here's a bonus: Sex appeal is not included in the iPhone. Contrary to what you might have gleaned from the advertising, simply carrying an iPhone will not make you irresistable to the opposite sex. Couldn't they have included a little pheromone sprayer on this thing to justify the $600 price tag? Okay I'll admit it... this is not all about money and sex appeal. I have a philosophical problem with all things trendy. I just never buy the book when it's number one on the bestseller list, and I usually wait for the movie to come out on DVD. I'm purposely one step behind the pop culture curve and the bleeding edge of technology, because that's where I feel comfortable. Maybe that's number twelve. So, I'm not going to buy an iPhone, at least not yet.

But Wait... There's More

Since I first published this article, I've become aware of some other reasons to consider alternatives to the iPhone:

17 July 2007 - I just saw a PC Magazine report which said you can expect your iPhone battery to last about 18 months. Since you cannot open the case or buy a third-party battery, you must send it to Apple and pay $79 to replace the battery.

24 July 2007 - A security firm has found a flaw that allows a hakcer to take over an iPhone through a web or WiFi connection. The hack allows the attacker to completely control the iPhone and access all personal information stored on the device.

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Most recent comments on "No iPhone For Me"

(See all 28 comments for this article.)

Posted by:

17 Jul 2007

@tswenson, "If there's a cheaper smart phone that does everything the iPhone does, please tell me where to get one!"

Uh, many of the Treos? Cheaper with same "locked in" plans of 2 years -- faster data networks, video, HUGE number of varied applications, easily replaceable battery, etc... Don't get me wrong, I'm no fanboy of Treos. Their flaws are many but in the race for a Holy Grail of the perfect convergence device, I don't see how the iPhone can be declared better overall(vs in a few performance characteristics).

But I am more like Bob these days, in terms of my opinion on Gen 1 anything. Glad you're happy with your purchase bu, yeah, my Treo is better.

Posted by:

17 Jul 2007

I agree with Bob. Spending that kind of money for a device that still has issues is not a great idea unless you have money to burn. Sure the interface is cool. But already there are others with what look to be better and cheaper alternatives. So do your homework before you jump on an advertising bandwagon. A decent phone but is it worth that much? How many $ a call?

Posted by:

17 Jul 2007

Well, I suppose someone could be a combination, car, boat, and airplane.....but then, why would you want thing fails and then you got nuthin.... just a gimmick apple just got a lot of money from you...for a toy. enjoy

Posted by:

17 Jul 2007

You wrote "lacks stereo Bluetooth support" but the iPhone does have Bluetooth and it works great in my car. While the cellular network is slow the iPhone effortlessly finds WiFi networks and you connecd to those in place of the cellular network.

EDITOR'S NOTE: I said it lacks STEREO Bluetooth. And WiFi is still a dream in most parts of the US.

Posted by:

17 Jul 2007

JT says the Treo is cheaper. You have to account for the service charge over the two year period in the total price and this is where the iPhone stomps the Treo. Do the research and you will see that you will save hundreds of dollars with an iPhone. Also, I would love to see you try and find all the bars in Santa Barbara Ca on a Treo, on an iPhone, its a few touches. As for Benjaedieamins complaint on the battery, I spent $60 a year for my last LG phone on batteries to keep the thing running longer than a day. $80 every 18 months is not bad for me.

Speaking to the whole 11 reasons thing, nobody, and I mean nobody has any grounds to tell everyone not to get something they have not even tested. "My freind told me" will not cut it. I have an iPhone, I love my iPhone, I have complaints and they are real. The mail app sucks, Safari crashes too much, the battery never shows fully charged...all problems I have experienced and all problems I know Apple will fix with the first software update. Everyone waiting for the version 2 device will have to wait years. The software will get updated, but the device will stay a while.

I can't believe so many people are so pissed that the phone will not record video...such a small thing...and to totally dismiss the device for it? Its a phone, a PDA, and an iPod, Steve never said camcorder. For me it is the best phone, best PDA, and best iPod ever made. Everywhere I go, people want to know and when I tell them and they see it with thier own eyes, they want one too.

Posted by:

17 Jul 2007

Well for those of you that have to have the cutting edge of tech i congratulate you on your purchase of the iphone but to tell the truth i dont see anything this thing can do that can't be done with verizonse gps enabled v3 razor it gives directions listens to and serves up music watches video takes pics takes video chats and texts emails surfs the web at a much greater speed oh yea and is less than half the price and size i just dont get it the cutting edge the only thing I see the iphone cutting is my spending money

Posted by:

17 Jul 2007

Anybody who spends big bucks on something without even minimum research should expect to be disappointed regularly in life. I love my iPhone, and it's more elegant that I thought it would be. I am greatly disappointed that it is hard for me to get an AT&T signal in my home right here in one of the country's biggest cities (a quirk of tower placement), but you know what? ...knowing so in advance wouldn't have been a deal breaker for me. I've got a great iPod plus a phone that's extra cool—all in one package.

As for the slowness of Edge, I can walk to the coffee shop two blocks away and literally pick up about a dozen WiFi networks along the way. For the times I might really need to go on for something important and specific, well, I'm amazed that it's as doable as it is. I guess it helps that I didn't expect it to be my desktop computer.

As a world traveler, I love the ease of putting my slideshows with music on the iPhone, where they present spectacularly. As for what the phone lacks, well, I READ first, so there was nothing to be disappointed about. And Bob... I can tell you haven't spent much time with this gadget, if any; otherwise a tad more balance would have shown through the negativity. This phone isn't everything, and doesn't pretend to be. But I think it's a lot more that one would gather from your comments.

Posted by:

James M, Orpin
17 Jul 2007

iphone - buyphone - bye-byephone. Let the techies work out the kinks. Get a Nextel Blackberry and enjoy your phone.

Posted by:

17 Jul 2007

Interesting that most of the iPhone lovers argue "but it's so cool it makes up for the shortcomings." Think about the battery issue for a sec. It's not just about replacing the battery, but have you ever purchased a spare battery for a phone or other device? If you can't change the battery, you can't have a backup, either.

Apparently if you are a blind cellphone user, Apple doesn't care about your interest in the iPhone. Check out and all the fanboi reactions to this issue at

Posted by:

17 Jul 2007

I thought the Treos were the answer also. After trying three successive upgrades, each claiming to fix the previous model's problems, I gave up. Froze up constantly and corrupted everything. I got tired of re-loading them every few days. My business partner had the same experience I did. I'm glad to know you didn't have the same problems we did.

Posted by:

Dave J
17 Jul 2007

Another reason , AT&T is not licensed into all of the states in the US. No AT&T = no iPhone service.

Posted by:

18 Jul 2007

Oh boy, I'll make this my last entry in this thread -- really I am not a fanboy -- but... @Jeff's contention that there is some mysterious "service charge" difference that clearly slants in the iPhone's favor? Sorry, this just strikes me as plain misinformation. But perhaps I've misunderstood? If you're talking just about your monthly cellular service fee...

What's AT&T's *cheapest* plan again? Wanna know what I pay, *total* per month? Seems like way too much personal info but here goes...


unlimited data & SMS (grandfathered plan from days of Treo 300 -- hey I said I don't do GEN 1 *anymore*)

500 anytime talk minutes

unlimited talk after 7p and weekends

unlimited mobile to mobile

full warranty & replacement insurance


Avg $62/mo WITH *taxes*.... Even ignoring my grandfathered data charges, AT&T's el cheapo plan will still be more expensive than my current carrier. And I really don't like them so I won't even mention their name. I dislike all carriers because they all seem to treat you like an idiot ATM machine, and are all too willing to bilk you if you're asleep at the wheel. But I digress...

So I agree in part, *do your research*. BTW, through "insider employee referrals"(check sero in google -- now you know the name of the beast), you can beat the price of my plan. Also, notice that I do pay for full waranty and insurance coverage! My standard advice to all pda/phone owners. These things are too expensive and still delicate not to cover.

As for your challenge task of finding "all the bars in Santa Barbara, CA" -- well, there are at least a half dozen ways to do that that I know of but I'll suggest the one iPhone users will probably use these days too. Google's latest Gmap app. Thought DirectoryAssistant(DA) on the Treo might actually be more efficent if you don't need the map. Either way, just a few touches as you say.


Yep, I've certainly seen plenty of your experiences. I think I've been spared that kind of pain because of the ridiculous amount of research( I did before touching and making any changes on the two Treos I've owned. Time that most people(probably wisely) would find not worth the exercise! Sincerely hope your experience with the iPhone is better.

Forgive me Bob and list. I'm really not interested in raining on iPhone users' parade. But it is my opinion that Steve Job's reality distortion field is in full effect as Apple markets the iPhone. No doubt they are doing some good things -- hopefully the good in all these devices gets us to something better sooner. I'll shut up now. Peace.

Posted by:

Gil Simon
18 Jul 2007

I was going to buy an iPhone until I found out that it doesn't wipe you when you go to the bathroom.

Posted by:

18 Jul 2007

Out of all the people that I have read about, no one seems to mention about the fact, it is very difficult to activate. Here is a really good reason why I would not buy a phone for this price. 600 bucks is what I make in two weeks. Why would any one waist that kind of money for a brick. You really must have money to burn. I sure don't. I rather eat then call someone.

Posted by:

Andy Suhaka
19 Jul 2007

I stood on line to buy my iPhone and I love it and and believe it was worth the money. I went to lunch with a couple of non-techie friends and handed the iPhone over to the 5th grader that was forced to accompany her grandma and I had a hard time getting it back from her. She played for a good 1/2 hour, never even making a phone call. She took photos, sent a text message and just played with all the "stuff." No one had to teach her how to use it.

Oh, and the above comment about activiation? Activation was a cinch. I activated it from my daughter's PeeCee and there was an email waiting for me when I got home to "complete activation," to link it to my Mac! And I played with it for hours before I ever got home.

Posted by:

19 Jul 2007

Louise wrote: no one seems to mention about the fact, it is very difficult to activate. The initial problem with activation is no longer a problem. Going through iTunes the iPhone is very easy to activate. You are walked right through the process.

Posted by:

19 Jul 2007

You got it Bob about 1.0 thats why i did not "buy" a computer until now. I don't care vista is great in my book.

Posted by:

06 Aug 2007

Did you forget about the lack of text messaging? Not everyone has or will have an iPhone, and the iPhone cannot receive or send text messages other than by e-mail, correct?

EDITOR'S NOTE: According to the Apple website, the iPhone can "send and receive text messages anytime you’re in range of the cell network. If you can make a call, you can send a text message."

Posted by:

22 Aug 2007

Unfortunately for you Bob, while you're waiting a year or two for the next generation iphone, I'll be enjoying the many things it does do well. If it didn't do anything well, then I could see your point. Maybe after the next generation iphone, you might find yourself waiting again for the even next generation. If you had bought Apple stock when before the iphone came out, you could have afforded to buy every generation iphone that comes out and still have extra change to buy a Mac computer too.

Posted by:

harry loeb
18 Oct 2007

no sound,when recieving sms.must look at the phone every 30 minutes to see if someone texed me.

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