June 29, 2007

Apple iPhone pitfalls - limitations and some things you may want to consider before you open your wallet

ok I know, I can't seem to leave this one alone today... more on the iPhone. It amazes me seeing all the press coverage and comments from people stating "its like a PC in a phone" ... come on man, where have you been for the last 3 years or more? Ever hear of the Nokia Communicator series from years back? How about the Blackberry, Treo, N-Series, E-series, and Sony Ericsson UIQ devices... all of these have amazing functionality, much like what' you'd get out of your PC. Cameras, video, applications, a slick development environment and supporting SDKs, quad-band functionality yadyada... I have to wonder if people really know what they are getting into when they lay down $600 for an iPhone? Indeed I say $600 because if your going to get one and you opt for the "cheap" $500 unit you'll only be getting a 4GB capacity device that's NOT EXPANDABLE... so $100 for another 4 GB is a no-brainer... particularly if you're getting an iPhone for music and video capabilities (why else would you be getting one??) Some other limitations potential iPhone users should consider include:
- network speed... planning on watching YouTube vids? Consider how you are planning on connecting to the service. How is the AT&T coverage in your area... is it spotty??? Plan on taking advantage of the built-in Wi-Fi to enjoy this feature otherwise you'll likely be disappointed.
- Gaming - want to play games on the device? After all gaming has always been one of the HOT apps/services for mobile users. Forget it... have you heard about any games that support the device... likely not. Too bad, especially since it sports a 320x480 screen that would be sooo sweet for playing games!
- Business use? Is synching with your corporate email available? Likely not... you'll need apps from DataViz, QuickOffice and others to enjoy true enterprise communication with your device.
- photos - indeed iPhone sports a camera, however, at 2 megapixels it hardly brings any WOW factor to the table. Integration with Flickr, photobucket, blogger, picass, and shozu would be expected in my mind if it were truly meant to be a cameraphone for the masses (ironically Google just this week announced an extension of Picass to the mobile environment).
- the traveller - given that users are restricted to the AT&T network forget about that... unless you don't mind $500 phone bills. A true mobile traveller will use a plan from a European carrier if he were in the UK etc... swap your SIM card and forget about the roaming charges. Also, don't hold your breath for Skype, Fring and the likes for the iPhone... no doubt you'll have a long wait.
- durability - a glass screen? Sure it looks sweet but I'd hate to be around when you drop it for the first time?
- ArcPad - ok, maybe I'm dreaming but wouldn't it be nice to fire up your ArcPad session on the iPhone??
Any thoughts?


Anonymous said...

I only see one impressive thing about this gadget: The marketing campain Apple has done to make this mass hysteria. And with such high expectations it can only be a huge disappointment.
As I see it, there is only one new feature: the multitouch screen, but how big an innovation is that really? I can't see much use for that on a snall phone screen.
The fact is that you have to get a plan that ends up costing you at least $2000 during those two years.
Apple is really good at PR buts thats about it. Ie. How many years did you go around thinking that PowerPC processors was faster than x86? It all turned out to be one big lie.
It's still beats me why people buy Apple stuff. iPod's require iTunes (I don't get to choose or can just copy files over(, Apple is infamous for their poor support if your stuff breaks down, and they keep having an arrogant approach to the whole market, and not really want to interoperate with any other major technology.

tbr said...

"apple is infamous for their poor support"...are you serious? i've had fantastic support from apple. i dropped a bike helmet on my powerbook, they overnighted it to california and i had it fixed in 5 days. iPod crapped out after the warranty and i got a free iPod. returned open adobe software---nobody lets you return open software, apple did. my company bought us iPhones and while i definitely would agree that it's version 1.0 and has limitations, it's so much cleaner to use than my old razr i'm psyched---and would be if i'd bought it myself. the media integration is excellent. I have my entire corporate portfolio, animation reels and new business pitch on the phone and have already used it to present work when meeting other professionals on the road. it is not a treo, it is an ipod +phone with a sweet screen and some perks. the mail integration is very good for apple users, would be fine for anyone who hosts their own address. of course they don't want to incorporate other technology; they've had massive ownership of the MP3 market by focusing on interface and doing a limited number of things well; they want to extend that authorship into a new realm and for onei'm very happy with the results.