Apple has only made one mistake with the iPhone.

Welcome to our Community
Wanting to join the rest of our members? Feel free to sign up today.
Sign up

Air

New Member
Oct 14, 2007
27
0
0
#1
Steve Jobs stood on stage in January and told the world that the iPhone runs Mac OS X. This announcement is the only problem Apple has made with the device and with its customers.

Apple never marketed the iPhone as a PDA replacement. They've only ever marketed as a very advanced Phone, with music capabilities, movie capabilities, and advanced internet capabilities. They included a set of applications which range from 'moderately useful' to 'awesomely useful.' Sure the phone isn't 3G yet, but Edge isn't completely godawful (unless you're attempting Youtube) and the wi-fi works fast and powerfuly. Every program is intuitive, easy, and filled with many subtle little features that become second-nature so quickly that it's easy to simply forget what makes the iPhone so amazingly intriguing in the first place. It is a wonderful, amazing phone. It is a wonderful music/movie player. It is a wonderful internet device. The iPhone, however, is not open. And that is the rub.

To say the system runs on Mac OS X indicates a level of freedom the user can have with the device. The operating system works very attractively, but the iPhone is simply not intended to be open to the user for the application of native programs or certain features. Blame this on record companies or phone companies if you wish, but Apple is the one who said the iPhone runs on Mac OS X. Clearly, this was a huge mistake.

Fast forward to now, and iPhone message boards are swamped with complaints on how the 1.1.1 firmware update crippled user customization and even bricked iPhones. Digg seems to be filled with dozens of stories every day about how Apple is losing touch with their customers due to the crippling effects of the update. Ambrosia's "iToner" has ceased to function, due to restrictions being placed to protect the new iTunes Ringtone service.

All this is because Steve Jobs stood on stage in January and told everyone that the phone runs OS X. With that announcement came a very valid expectation of freedom with the iPhone device. The phone was even put next to Smartphones to compare the number of buttons on the face of each device. Jobs even insulted Smartphones, calling them simply "So called 'Smart'phones."

What really, really must get to the Apple community and consumer base is that, at this point, they know that Windows Mobile is MORE open than Apple's own "Mac OS X" used on iPhones. It's akin to outright betrayal to some. How can Microsoft's device simply allow one to import ringtones, although through ugly Windows-infused menus and cumbersome Activesync "Browse" sifting while the iPhone looks and controls very attractively but simply disallows the openness of a ringtone? To put it in much more dirty terms, the iPhone is the much more attractive and sexy girlfriend than the Windows Mobile choice, but at least the Windows Mobile girlfriend doesn't charge you for anal.

And even then, Bill Gates didn't stand up on a stage and claimed "These new phones run on Windows XP!" No, Microsoft said very clearly from the start that the operating system was Windows Mobile. And if you don't like its native applications, than the customer is free to try something else. Don't like IE? Find Opera. Please, try this application for AIM. You know you want it; it's native. And don't forget the Java application enabler, in case you want to try lesser mobile applications. Google Maps for Windows Mobile is pretty damn good too, at least on the Cingular 3125 that I used.

I'm not trying to make Windows Mobile sound like the savior of freedom. It doesn't even let you terminate applications manually and doesn't let you exit out of a program (it takes you back to the home screen, but keeps the application running in the background). On my Cingular 3125, if I had too many applications running and then decided to use the camera, the phone would automatically lower the resolution to something ungodly (try 128x128) and not even tell you that it did so. The only way I could ever close other processes would be to restart the phone, or select a higher resolution on the camera function and finally then it would allow me to actually turn off another program. Hopefully Windows Mobile 6 fixed some of these issues, but my phone was stuck on Windows Mobile 5 and there was no supported upgrade. But I digress.

This past week, I upgraded my Cingular 3125 to the iPhone. I know, I've lost some freedoms, but I knew that going into the deal. I purchased the phone after the 1.1.1 update had been unleashed upon the masses, so I knew that my future rests in purchasing ringtones and not creating them from CDs or voiceclips or other sound sources I already own or to which I have legal access. I love my iPhone, despite the restrictions that surround it. I'm used to tinkering with my Operating System. I even edited the registry of my 3125 a bit. But the features, ease of use, and beauty of the iPhone really capture my heart. I've yet to have the iPhone "freeze" on me like my old 3125, forcing me to take out the battery and pop it back in for a restart.

Sometimes Safari runs out of memory and simply exits, but that's the extent of 'problems' I've had with the iPhone (and at least Safari drops me back off at the page I was just at anyway). I've purchased 6 songs (to then be able to purchase 6 ringtones). I love the autocorrection feature for typing, as it handles all of the little grammatical nuances that are killing modern society (though, I hope none of you have to constantly refer to anyone named "Sara," as the iPhone doesn't like that name). As a phone, it is marvelous and intuitive. The internet performs absolutely wonderfully as well, as do the featured Internet-enabled applications. And I already have all 8 gigabytes of the phone filled with movies, music, and podcasts. iTunes is much, much better than the Zune software I'm used to dealing with.

I know I sound very anti-democratic and very pro-totalitarian with admitting that I love the iPhone despite all its restrictions. Windows Mobile allowed me to run 3rd party applications, and utilize any sound I wish into a ringtone, but even then I vastly prefer the iPhone for all the reasons that make the iPhone so appealing and great. I just wish Steve Jobs hadn't told me and everyone else that this phone runs on Mac OS X. It's simply a cruel and unusual marketing lie.
 

kdarling

New Member
Bronze
Jun 20, 2007
425
1
0
NJ, NC, CO
#5
Apple never marketed the iPhone as a PDA replacement.
Except perhaps in their quarterly earnings call, where they actually claimed:

"In terms of the corporate market, we think the iPhone is a breakthrough product for all customers, including businesss customers."

I'm not trying to make Windows Mobile sound like the savior of freedom. It doesn't even let you terminate applications manually and doesn't let you exit out of a program (it takes you back to the home screen, but keeps the application running in the background).
The iPhone also keeps apps running in the background, unless you hold down the Home key for ten seconds to kill the app. With WM, you can install third party utils to change that behavior.

As for Windows Mobile, keep watching:

There are so many people working now on touch-enabled apps for WM, that it's just a matter of months before I'll be able to give my wife a smartphone that I've customized on say, Verizon, to work as well as, or better than the iPhone (because of GPS, 3G, etc).

Webkit (Safari) has now been ported to WM and is up for sale to carrier(s). There are also background tools that enable touch scrolling for ALL apps. Soft keyboards like iPhone's, too... only better, because they're customizable.

http://www.pocketpcthoughts.com/
http://pocketnow.com/index.php?a=portal_detail&t=reviews&id=997&p=1

I believe that Apple will have to open up to third party apps or lose momentum. Just look at the HTC Touch, which, without any of the huge hype or fan support, has sold almost as many units to a world that's hungry for unlocked touch phones.
 

greenjbhsd

Member
Silver
Jul 13, 2007
571
0
16
#6
I personally believe that the mistakes don't stop there. The first mistake granted was the OS X statement, but it went beyond there. The current issue is Apples strong desire to lock things out and offer partial services within the phone. Good examples are the "mostly" complete browsing experience we get with Safari (I am sorry, you don't say you have the full internet experience in your pocket without Flash), and crippling the ways we communicate with other devices such as with no MMS and a horribly implemented text messaging program.

Overall I am at a 6.5/10 as far as being pleased with the phone. The other things about the phone, beyond features are what bug me the most. The biggest being going from 5 bars to no service when the phone has not been moved.
 

electoman

New Member
Bronze
Sep 20, 2007
127
0
0
Atlanta, GA
#7
"I'm not trying to make Windows Mobile sound like the savior of freedom. It doesn't even let you terminate applications manually and doesn't let you exit out of a program (it takes you back to the home screen, but keeps the application running in the background). On my Cingular 3125, if I had too many applications running and then decided to use the camera, the phone would automatically lower the resolution to something ungodly (try 128x128) and not even tell you that it did so. The only way I could ever close other processes would be to restart the phone, or select a higher resolution on the camera function and finally then it would allow me to actually turn off another program. Hopefully Windows Mobile 6 fixed some of these issues, but my phone was stuck on Windows Mobile 5 and there was no supported upgrade. But I digress."


It is my understanding that WM 6 did correct the program close. However, just as in Windows, one would have to hit the "X", the same holds true for WM. In fact, AT&T's 8525 had this added in the upgrade for WM 5. It was annoying prior to have no memory available.

Each has its "+" and "-".

One side note, I started a practice with my old PPC phones of resetting every morning and I do that with the iPhone as well. Never seem to have all the issues that people keep discussing here.
 

kdarling

New Member
Bronze
Jun 20, 2007
425
1
0
NJ, NC, CO
#8
It is my understanding that WM 6 did correct the program close.
No. But when WM7 comes out, based on CE 6.0, a lot of problems will disappear. CE 6.0 removes the memory map barriers that help cause lockups.

Anyway, back to the iPhone... I sympathize with Jobs wanting an easy-to-use customer appliance... and thus, wanting to keep total control. But yeah, he shouldn't have thereforee hyped it up as OSX so much. Raised too many expectations.

I'd love to see that desktop Widget maker ported over. The one he showed where you grab a section of a webpage and create a new application.
 

DocHolliday

Member
Bronze
Sep 28, 2007
53
0
6
#10
IMO Apple made a few mistakes.

Whether they marketed as a PDA replacement or not the functionality is that of a Smartphone/PDA, so it goes in the Smartphone/PDA category, which means it needs to have ALL the functionality of the standard smartphones and many PDA's and THEN add the great features that are iPhone specific. Then, and only then would the iPhone be a GREAT and WONDERFUL device. This is what they are missing.

3G would be nice, not neccessarily needed, but it would be great. The Wi-Fi feature is useless to a lot of people day to day. If you're near a hotspot or a in a large city that has wifi all over the city, then great. More cities don't have wifi than those that do, so that being considered make the phone 3G. When I'm at home I'm using my pc, not a media device.

GPS Navigation capability would have been a great added feature that few phones have, making the phone with it's internet capability head and shoulders above the rest

Basic Cut and Paste- This is requred, sorry.

Being able to record Video- They already put a camera in there. All they need is the software to record video. Phones that come free have this capability, thereforee a superior phone must have this capability and then some.

Being able support Flash. With it's robust internet power, having flash is a must for many sites, thereforee to make this a fully functional web device...you need flash.

Make the batter user replaceable- Stop being a penny grubbing company and let the users easily replace their phones. Convenience is what users want. Let users go to an Apple store or online and purchase a battery, and pop it in when users notice battery functionality slipping.

Have the phone support more video file formats, who wants to have to convert every video they load on there?

Make ringtones easily accessibly- This is a basic feature. Have to have it. A lot of people want their custom ringtones.

And how about being able to send a normal picture or video message. This is also a standard feature on phones that are far lesser quality. That's a must have.


You add all these features and you have a super phone that I would recommend over the N95. Until then the iPhone is a disappointment in my eyes. Disappointing, because I had hopes for the phone and wanted one, but missing so many basic things, I can't justify it yet. I don't want to sound like a "hater", because I'm not. I really am hoping that the next iPhone hits a home run. If they don't get it by the 2nd generation though the iPhone becomes insignificant as other phones will keep getting more and more robust and Apple will be 2 steps behind with every generation of the iPhone, seemingly because they want to squeeze every penny they can out of the Apply loyalists, people who always have to have the new gadget, and the trendy hipsters. That's not a good message to send in my opinion.
 

Air

New Member
Oct 14, 2007
27
0
0
#11
I'm curious as to when the next iPhone will be announced, and if the new firmware will be available for the current version. I'm sure that we will be seeing 3G and GPS for the next bit of hardware features in the next version though.
 

flavius

New Member
Bronze
Jul 9, 2007
30
0
0
#12
The OP has a point, but the real mistake happened later, in fact only very recently when v1.1.1 was rolled out.

They should have embraced the enthusiasm and inventiveness of their customers as an asset earlier.
 

Hawk

Genius
Gold
Aug 2, 2007
6,682
241
83
48
ATL
#13
If they don't get it by the 2nd generation though the iPhone becomes insignificant as other phones will keep getting more and more robust and Apple will be 2 steps behind with every generation of the iPhone, seemingly because they want to squeeze every penny they can out of the Apply loyalists, people who always have to have the new gadget, and the trendy hipsters. That's not a good message to send in my opinion.
Isn't that kind of how they started losing customers to MS back in the day when it was Mac vs Microsoft?
 

greenjbhsd

Member
Silver
Jul 13, 2007
571
0
16
#14
I think it was always more in that they are control freaks. The one advantage that Apple has always had was that they control both the hard and software. So errors/bugs/incompatibilities were not nearly as common. Couple that with a low market share hold and you have a stable and mostly virus free machine. During the 90s they decided to license the hardware, seemed like a good plan to them, of course that lasted all of a year as other companies turned out a machine = or better in quality (aesthetics aside) and Apple started to lose hardware revenue. The licenses were then pulled. All control shifted back to Apple. This is the kind of thing that drove some people, such as myself, away from Apple, though I would not say towards Microsoft. I do use Windows XP, but that is only b/c based on my uses I have only two choices Mac or Windows, since I left Mac, there was one house to go to.

Apple has made many good choices, but many poor ones as well. Overall I think they are a fair company, they treat their customers fairly ok. One thing I did like about them is they never shifted their customer support overseas, so it was nice to call them and have a good conversation and get to a solution fast.